Amazon Prime Day Prep Webinar Watch Now

Sifted logo

UPS Large Package Surcharges in 2023: How to Lower Surcharge Fees

Mar 2, 2023

6 min read

What is the UPS large package surcharge?

UPS is actively trying to eliminate large, oversized shipments that are difficult to handle or process. They impose heavy fees called large package surcharges to cover the additional costs, time, and labor involved in storing and moving these packages.

Note that there are other UPS surcharges as well that affect your bottom line. These include:

  • Oversize package surcharge
  • Address correction surcharge
  • Additional handling surcharge
  • Residential surcharge
  • Peak surcharge
  • Delivery area surcharge
  • Fuel surcharge
  • Incorrect weight surcharge

Shipping carriers like UPS, USPS, and FedEx announce an increase in shipping charges and surcharges every year called the General Rate Increase (GRI). Check out our guide on how the 2023 GRI impacts your shipping costs and how to get better carrier rates.


2023 UPS & FedEx GRI Analysis

This guide contains everything you need to know about the UPS large package surcharge and how to proactively avoid it.


How much is the UPS large package surcharge in 2023?

Effective December 27, 2022, the UPS large package surcharge rates for domestic and international packages are below. (Large Package covers parcels where length plus girth isgreater than 130 inches or if length greater than 96 inches)

Large Package SurchargeZone 2Zone 3-4Zone 5+
Rate for Commercial Delivery2022$110$120$140
% Increase18.52%17.24%15.15%
Rate for Residential Delivery2022$135$145$165
% Increase15.63%14.71%13.16%
Rate for International Shipments2022$145$145$145
% Increase14.71%14.71%14.71%

View the UPS Rate & Service Guide for more information on UPS carrier surcharges.


What does the UPS large package surcharge apply to?

For domestic shipments, UPS considers a package to be large when its longest side exceeds 96 inches or its combined length and girth [(2 x width) + (2 x height)] exceeds 130 inches and is less than 165 inches.

Large packages are also subjected to a minimum of 90 pounds minimum billable weight, except for UPS Ground shipments.

Note that UPS doesn’t assess an additional handling charge when a large package surcharge is applied.

In addition, UPS assesses an Over Maximum Limits surcharge on shipments that are sent through its small package delivery network. If the package is above the below limitations, the Over Maximum Limits surcharge applies:

  • More than 150 pounds
  • Greater than 165 inches in length and girth combined
  • Larger than 108 inches in length

UPS applies additional handling fees, special handling surcharge, and over maximum length surcharge on packages that don’t meet its weight, shape, and size limits. Also known as non-conveyable shipments or ugly freight, these shipments can’t be processed on traditional conveyance systems and require additional care and manual processes.


Tips to Lower Large Package Surcharge Fees

Here are some of the most common ways shippers minimize the impact of UPS large package surcharges:

Optimize Packaging

Packaging matters when it comes to the size of your shipment. Use appropriate packaging based on the size and contents of your package. An effective way to target lower rates is to use poly mailers instead of cardboard boxes for items like pillows and apparel. Poly mailer bags are compact and occupy less space.

Know Your Box Dimensions

UPS applies a surcharge for any shipments that exceed its weight and size guidelines and require special handling. Here are some measurements to help you avoid such charges:

  • Packages can weigh up to 150 pounds.
  • Packages should be at most 48 inches on their longest side.
  • Packages should be at most 30 inches on their second-longest side.
  • Items should be fully enclosed in a corrugated shipping container.

In addition, shipping carriers like UPS and FedEx use the dimensional weight pricing (based on the height, length, and width) of a package to calculate your shipping rates and compare it with the actual weight. Carriers use the greater of the actual weight or dimensional weight to calculate your shipping charges.

Read our resource article on reducing shipping costs by reducing dimensional weight.

A good practice is to calculate the dimensional and actual weight of the package, especially if you sell large and lightweight items. Check out our dimensional weight calculator to automatically calculate the billable weight and shipping cost of your packages.

Negotiate a Lower Fee with UPS

The 2023 UPS large package surcharge will cost you in the range of $135 to $170. If you are a high-volume shipper, you can negotiate lower rates with your carrier and get a discount.

Sifted’s contract modeling helps you to model contract terms with different carriers, including their service levels and special service options, to project how it would affect your overall costs.


Gain Visibility into How UPS Surcharges Impact Your Bottom Line

Large package surcharges can significantly increase the cost of each package going out the door. Shippers can take specific measures to avoid paying these hefty surcharges, like optimizing your packaging for DIM weight pricing and renegotiating carrier contracts.

Sifted Logistics Intelligence gives you complete visibility into your supply chain spend. It shows how rate increases affect your business and offers ways to optimize costs using AI-powered modeling and simulation.

Protect your business from the ever-changing shipping surcharges. Get a demo with Sifted today!

Topics: Large Package Surcharge, Shipping Costs, UPS

Check out related resources at Sifted.

Everything You Need To Know About the UPS and Teamsters Negotiations

Everything You Need To Know About the UPS and Teamsters Negotiations

If you ship with UPS, there’s no doubt you’re aware of the ongoing contract negotiations between them and the ...
Read More
6/5/23 Monday Parcel News Update

6/5/23 Monday Parcel News Update

1. FedEx Reaches “Tentative Agreement” with Pilots Union After more than two years of negotiations, FedEx ...
Read More
5/29/23 Monday Parcel News Update

5/29/23 Monday Parcel News Update

1. USPS Hopes to Attract More Commercial Volume The USPS announced objectives for year 3 of their 10-year ...
Read More
Amazon FBA Inbound Shipment Process: Optimization Tips

Amazon FBA Inbound Shipment Process: Optimization Tips

What is Amazon FBA? Amazon FBA, also known as Fulfillment by Amazon, is a fulfillment solution that provides ...
Read More
5/22/23 Monday Parcel News Update

5/22/23 Monday Parcel News Update

1. FedEx Pilots Authorize Strike FedEx pilots, pushing for higher wages following successful negotiations from ...
Read More
How to Reduce Shipping Costs by Adopting Sustainable Packaging Solutions in 2023

How to Reduce Shipping Costs by Adopting Sustainable Packaging Solutions in 2023

The Critical Need for Cheap, Sustainable Packaging Solutions We know the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated eCommerce ...
Read More
7 Ways to Get the Cheapest Shipping Rates

7 Ways to Get the Cheapest Shipping Rates

No two shipping carriers are the same: each has its own benefits and features to suit different types of shipments ...
Read More
5/15/23 Monday Parcel News Update

5/15/23 Monday Parcel News Update

1. UPS and Teamsters Negotiations Shift to National Agreement 3 weeks after talks in Washington D.C. began, UPS ...
Read More
5/8/23 Monday Parcel News Update

5/8/23 Monday Parcel News Update

1. FedEx Freight Closing 29 Locations, Furloughing Employees FedEx’s less-than-truckload (LTL) subsidiary, FedEx ...
Read More
What is a FedEx Audit?

What is a FedEx Audit?

What is a FedEx audit? A FedEx audit offers an in-depth view of your FedEx invoices to reveal mistakes. FedEx ...
Read More
5/1/23 Monday Parcel News Update

5/1/23 Monday Parcel News Update

1. UPS Fighting to Retain Major Clients Last week, UPS shared their Q1 earnings report with investors, citing ...
Read More
2023 Sustainability Infographic

2023 Sustainability Infographic

Are you keeping up with the Joneses? Today's consumers expect fast, affordable, AND sustainable shipping. Our new ...
Read More

How Sifted Works

Connect to
your account

your data

Power your

Get Your Logistics
Intelligence Demo

Strategic ways to prevent loss down the line

Services you could be utilizing right now for savings

Ways to cut material costs without cutting quality

Are you an FBM (fulfillment by merchant) Amazon seller?

Check out our Marketplace Intelligence solutions to protect your bottom line.

Shipping Insights & Alerts
Get updates and track the things impacting your business most

Decision Support
See how supply chain adjustments pay off before you pay out

Carrier Management
Streamline how you manage your carrier operations and contracts

Business Automation
Let software do what it does better than people can

Seller Insights
Measure and monitor with confidence.

Sales Visualization
Shed new light on your sales data.

Fee Analyzer
Understand the impact of ever-changing FBA fees.

FBA Audit & Recovery
Secure money you’re owed from Amazon.

Discover news, tips, and industry best practices

DIM Weight Calculator
See how DIM is impacting you

Hear from industry experts on LeaderShipping

Customer Stories
Learn how other brands use
Logistics Intelligence

Carbon Calculator
Calculate your CO2 Emissions

Download free reports and expert how-tos

Get a personalized tour of our software

Logistics Intelligence
For parcel shippers

Marketplace Intelligence
For Amazon FBA sellers

Let's get you to the right place!

For parcel shippers

AMAZON Marketplace Intelligence

Not sure if you have an account? Email [email protected].