How to Reduce the Impact of Oversize Charge on Shipping Costs6 min read

Shipping is an expensive part of any ecommerce business. Therefore, it is wise to cut corners wherever you can to save on costs and grow your business. However, that may not be as easy as it sounds. 

Your shipping bills can contain additional expenses over existing shipping fees that can put a dent in your wallet and deter your plans to save on shipping costs. 

One of such expenses is an oversize charge, which unfortunately is a common expense for businesses dealing with particularly large products such as pianos, washing machines, refrigerators, etc to name a few. 

With the right optimization techniques, businesses dealing in large goods can reduce the impact of oversize charges. But first, let’s understand the basics.

What is an Oversize Charge?

An oversize charge is a surcharge levied on packages that exceed the carrier’s permitted weight. This charge is applied to the package’s actual weight or dimensional weight, whichever is higher.  

Major carriers such as FedEx and UPS treat oversized packages differently according to their own calculation and nomenclature.

FedEx Oversize Charge

A FedEx Oversize Charge is applied to packages that exceed 96 inches in length or 130 inches in length and girth. 

As we mentioned, the surcharge will be based on the greater of the package’s actual rounded weight or dimensional weight with 90 lb as the minimum billable weight. 

FedEx also suggests that the package shape and dimensions may change during transit, affecting the package’s dimensional weight and surcharge eligibility. In such cases, FedEx may make appropriate adjustments to the charges at any time.

UPS Large Package Surcharge

A Large Package Surcharge is applied to each UPS package when its length plus girth [(2 x width) + (2 x height)] combined exceeds 300 cm but does not exceed the maximum UPS size of 400 cm.

Large Packages are subject to a minimum billable weight of 40 kg in addition to the surcharge itself. 

UPS does not apply an Additional Handling charge when a Large Package Surcharge is levied.

Catching up with the Price Hike for Oversize Charges in 2022

If these surcharges don’t worry you enough, keep in mind that FedEx and UPS increase the rates of these surcharges YoY. Not to forget the additional peak surcharge during the holiday season

In 2022, both FedEx and UPS increased the rates of their services by an average of 5.9%. This applies to oversize and large packages as well, making you, the retailer, feel the brunt end of the price hike. 

Here’s a quick rundown of the FedEx and UPS Oversized and Large Package price hike.  

FedEx price hike for Oversize Charges in 2022