Surcharges for shipping services
Whether you are a frequent shipper or just needed to send something one time, it may have happened in the past that the courier charged you extra. In this article, we will break down the possible surcharges for shipping services to help you understand how couriers charge extra costs, what are shipping surcharges, and how to avoid them.
- Definition of shipping surcharge
- Most common shipping surcharges
- Other types of shipping surcharges
- How shipping surcharges are calculated
- When shipping surcharges are calculated
- How to avoid shipping surcharges
What is a shipping surcharge?
A shipping surcharge is an additional fee applied by the courier to the initial service costs.
This additional cost can be charged for different reasons, related to additional services or to the shipment itself.
Most common types of shipping surcharges
- Fuel surcharge. In case there is any variation on the price of fuel, couriers may apply additional surcharges based on these extra costs.
- Overweight surcharge. In case of oversized or overweight shipments, couriers will charge extra shipping costs calculated based on the correct data.
- Peak season surcharge. During holidays or peak seasons, logistics companies have higher operational costs, which then lead to shipping surcharges.
Other types of shipping surcharges
Shipping surcharges can be of different nature and caused by many reasons. Depending on the logistics company and the service, you may get charged extra costs during the transport or after your delivery.
Below, we will describe the shipping surcharges that are used by most courier companies.
Extra tip: choose reliable and transparent companies, to avoid hidden shipping costs or surcharges for basic services.
Shipping surcharges related to the order
- Change of order details. Requesting a change of delivery address or other shipping details may lead to additional costs and shipping surcharges, depending on the courier’s Terms of Service.
- Dangerous goods. Handling and transporting dangerous goods require extra care, so the courier may charge additional costs for the shipment.
- Additional services/options. Requesting extra services such as additional insurance will lead to extra charges, and some couriers may hide these surcharges from the first quote. Pay close attention to the small letters when booking any service online.
- Package rerouting. Asking to reroute and change the destination of your parcel cause the courier to change the route and leads to shipping surcharges.
- Weekend delivery surcharge. Not all couriers offer the weekend delivery option, and in most cases, this service is considered an additional solution, leading to shipping surcharges.
Shipping surcharges related to the transport
- Undeliverable shipment. When the shipment cannot be delivered, it will be stored at the local depot for a limited period. If the parcel is not picked up, the courier will return it to the shipper. In this case, return transportation charges may apply.
- Remote area surcharge. Collections and deliveries to isolated locations have higher costs for the courier, resulting in surcharges in most cases.
- Residential area surcharge. Couriers may charge extra costs for deliveries to residential addresses, especially for heavy loads or pallet transport.
- Pick-up or delivery re-attempt. Some couriers might charge extra whenever they have to repeat a pick-up and delivery because the consignor or consignee was not at the address.
- Custom clearance surcharges. In some situations, to speed up the delivery process, the courier might carry out custom clearance procedures on behalf of the client. Later, these costs will be passed on to the customers as shipping surcharges.
- Storage in a warehouse. This type of shipping surcharge is applied when the shipment is stored in the warehouse for more days than the limit.
How are shipping surcharges calculated?
When the logistics companies process the shipment in their hubs, the parcel is scanned, weighed and measured. In case they discover that the shipment is overweight or oversized, the courier will apply surcharges.
Other types of shipping surcharges are calculated based on the specific event, for example, a parcel rerouting surcharge will be applied only when a change of address is requested.
When are shipping surcharges calculated?
Shipping surcharges are calculated after the shipment is processed. After the parcel reaches the courier’s hub, it will be weighed and measured.
Other types of shipping surcharges may be calculated during the transport or at the moment of delivery.
It is very common that the courier company charges the customer only after the delivery has already taken place, as it may happen that it takes a few days for the surcharge system to fully synchronise.
How to avoid shipping surcharges?
To avoid receiving shipping surcharges, follow these tips:
- Check the dimensions of your shipment. Make sure you provide the correct dimensions when placing your order and that your shipment doesn’t exceed the size limits for the selected service.
- Provide the correct information on your order. Double-check the information provided to avoid mistakes or surcharges later on.
- Check for alternative services. If your shipment exceeds the standard limits of the service, check for other types of shipping options. For example, heavy items may be better shipped on a pallet than with the package service.
- Select another delivery address to avoid surcharges related to remote or residential locations.
How do shipping surcharges work with Eurosender?
When booking with Eurosender, you see the final price calculated before proceeding with the payment. Our system always provides the full quote, without any hidden costs.
If you provide accurate information and follow our tips to avoid surcharges, you won’t have to worry about any surprise surcharge later.
In the unfortunate case of shipping surcharges, you will receive all the information via email, including the cause.
Still have questions?
Check our articles that answer the most common questions about shipping.