How Do COVID-19 Peak Surcharges Affect My Organization?

What are UPS and FedEx "Peak Surcharges"?  

UPS, FedEx and other carriers have responded to COVID by increasing fees and stopping Guaranteed Service Refunds (GSRs) or Late Package Refunds (LPRs). You might notice that UPS and FedEx have added a new type of surcharge, directly related to COVID-19. 

UPS Logo                 FedEx Logo

Both companies have dubbed these "Peak Surcharges", with some specific charge names under this umbrella term.

The specific surcharges, rates, and applications are being updated frequently as the carriers continue to monitor current events. You can see the latest information using the links below: 

  UPS Peak Surcharge Info

  FedEx Peak Surcharge Info

Why Add Peak Surcharges?

  • More people are ordering packages than ever before, as many retail locations have been closed, and companies have a higher volume while also trying to speed up shipping. 
  • Organizations that have switched to online operations are now utilizing shipping services for the first time.
  • Front-line businesses (healthcare, PPE providers, transportation, etc.) have greatly increased their volume. 
  • The containment restrictions have and are disrupting the global supply chain. 
  • These factors all lead up to the fact that cargo capacity is limited, and there is a much higher demand for carriers than ever before. 

UPS vs. FedEx: How Are They Handling Peak Surcharges?

You can use the links above for in-depth information on each carrier's surcharges, current rates, and the most recent updates.

We want to point out a difference between the two primary carriers in their approach. When these peak surcharges first went into effect in April, the two carriers handled them a little differently.

FedEx's first temporary surcharge only applied to international services. In contrast, UPS added these for both international and domestic services. 

Understand How Peak Surcharges Affect You with Parcel BI

Parcel BI is a data analytics tool that automatically pulls your carrier invoice data into visual dashboards and reports to help you analyze your parcel spend and operations. 

Peak Surcharges from UPS and FedEx in Invoice Charge Detail Report in Parcel BI

These peak surcharges are part of the data that comes in from your invoices. Our tool can help you identify how these new COVID-related fees could be affecting your business.

Who Do Peak Surcharges Affect? 

Organizations that are…

  • Shipping internationally 
  • Shipping to or from China and Hong Kong 
  • Utilizing Third Party Shipping / Third Party Account Shippers (/third-party-shipping)  
  • Shipping to/from the U.S. and your weekly package average is up more than 25,000 packages 
  • Shipping over 500 large packages in the U.S 

If any of the above statements apply to you, you are subject to be affected by these charges.

Read on to find out how Parcel BI can help you lower the impact these charges have on your organization. 

How Will it Affect My Organization?

When you look over the rates using the links provided above, you may not think these will have a significant impact. However, these charges can add up, fast. 

If you noticed an increase on your recent carrier invoices or bills that seems out of the ordinary, there's a good possibility you are being affected by these charges.

Though the carriers released all of the information, they did not notify all of their clients who may be significantly impacted with these charges. 

What Can I Do About Peak Surcharges?

While you can't stop the peak surcharges from hitting your account, you can do a lot with your carrier invoices and the data provided within them.

Parcel Spend Overview Report from Parcel BI

*Click the image above to enlarge.

Parcel BI is a business intelligence tool that takes your carrier invoice data and delivers insights that help you avoid these charges and lower your parcel spend. It includes many reports, such as Parcel Spend Overview, Sender/Receiver Analysis, and Invoice Charge Detail to name a few. 

Going Beyond an Audit In Light of No GSRs / LPRs

Most companies with a large parcel spend invest in Refund Audits to recover the additional fees that the carriers charge. 

But that's not all you can do with your invoices. Moreover, due to the halting of GSRs / LPRs in the wake of COVID-19, you may be hard-pressed to find any refunds through an audit at this time.  

Using the Invoice Charge Report to Analyze Peak Surcharges

The Invoice Charge Detail is one of the most useful reports within our SaaS tool. It allows you to view all of your invoice charges and  multi-select individual charge types (such as Peak Surcharges) to see how much, in dollars, specific fees are costing you.


Peak Surcharges from UPS and FedEx in Invoice Charge Detail Report in Parcel BI

Invoice Charge Detail Report: Peak Surcharges

*Click the image above to enlarge. 

The image above shows you how you can filter by account, service type, Carrier, Zone and more. You can also individually or multi-select the various charges this detail report includes.

This report allows you to identify which accounts and services are incurring peak surcharges and how much they're costing you.

Take it To Next Level

The flexibility of our BI (Business Intelligence) tool allows you to drill down on this data to package and invoice -level detail. 

You can then begin to identify high-cost accounts (3rd Party Shippers), make adjustments to internal processes and shipping policies, and better understand how these peak surcharges are affecting your organization. 

Peak Surcharges Drill Down with Parcel BI featuring Microsoft Power BI
*Click the image above to see how you can isolate the top charges and drill down into the detail.

To take it to the next level, you'll want to look at your parcel spend, and these surcharges, through different lenses - using the power of Parcel BI

Parcel Business Intelligence Empowers You

Parcel BI is all about empowering you, the user. These dashboards and reports are self-service with technical and strategic support from our team. 

For example, our Carrier Analysis report allows you to analyze how much you ship, average cost of shipment and more to compare your carriers.

Sender / Receiver Analysis Report from Parcel BI, business intelligence tool to analyze Parcel Spend

You can also use the Sender / Receiver Analysis report (pictured above) to see which Third-Party Accounts and Shipments are incurring peak surcharges.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg…

To get a free demo and analysis of your parcel spend to see how these peak surcharges are affecting YOU, fill out the form below.

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