4 tips to mitigate the surcharges of shipping service providers on vacation

With ongoing inflation and supply chain issues, keeping your shipping budget on track will be a challenge this holiday season. This includes budgeting for peak holiday surcharges from carriers. How can you compensate for higher shipping costs during the busiest shipping season of the year? Our study with Retail Economics also found that 30.3% of shoppers think delivery costs are the most important factor in deciding whether or not to buy from a company. So, increasing your shipping costs must be a last resort to better meet your customers’ expectations. We’ll summarize some of these surcharges for you and share four tips to help you keep your shipping budget intact for the holiday season.

Summary of holiday surcharges for 2022

Holiday surcharges are additional and/or increased fees levied on certain carrier services during the holiday shipping season. These surcharges typically include increases in the amount you pay for a service if you use it to ship, or increases in the adjustments you can get year-round for things like incorrect shipping dimensions or using incorrect packaging. Holiday surcharges typically begin in early to mid-fall and apply throughout the holiday season and into the New Year. Below we’ve highlighted some of the biggest holiday surcharges for any carrier.

USPS*: Midnight (00:00) on October 22, 2022 – midnight (00:00) on January 22, 2023

  • $0.25 – $6.50 increase for Priority Mail® and Priority Mail Express® Services with USPS Commercial Rates
  • $0.25 – $5.50 increase for first class parcel service, Parcel Select® Ground and USPS Retail Ground® Services with USPS Commercial Rates

*See our for all USPS holiday surcharges to blog.

FedEx: September 5, 2022 – January 15, 2023

FedEx calculates holiday surcharges based on the shipper’s specific package volume. These fees vary from $1.25 to $7 depending on the volume. We recommend visiting the FedEx website directly for more information.

4 tips to reduce the impact of carrier holiday surcharges

Order free packaging

Carriers like USPS offer free packaging for services like Priority Mail, so you don’t have to worry about finding boxes. You can even order some of these items directly from your Stamps.com account. Free USPS supplies typically arrive within 5-7 business days so you can plan your supply orders accordingly throughout the holiday season. When you order free USPS supplies through Stamps.com, some of these materials can be shipped automatically after a specified time frame, so you can just sit back and sip your hot chocolate.

Measure and weigh your shipments carefully

With holiday surcharges adding to costs, measuring your boxes correctly is more important than ever. Don’t be afraid to measure and weigh your boxes multiple times so your calculations are as accurate as possible. This way you reduce the likelihood of receiving accommodation fees and charges, some of which increase during the holiday season.

It’s also the perfect time to get acquainted with dimensional or DIM weight. The DIM weight is based on the dimensions of your package and not the number you see when you place your package on the scale. For USPS and UPS shipping, first determine the volume of your shipment (length x width x height). If this number is less than 1728, your shipping cost will be calculated based on the actual weight of your shipment. If this number is greater than 1728, divide this number by 166 to find your shipment’s DIM weight.*

*Note: If shipping to Canada, divide this number by 139.

Introduce product bundles to increase AOV

The holiday season is a great time to create product bundles as it can help increase your average order value, or AOV. For example, if your store sells electronics, you could offer customers a new phone case and charging cable when they buy a new iPhone. These product bundles can even be promoted on your store’s website or in your customer communications to highlight offers and increase your AOV. A higher AOV means more money for your business, so you can help offset the cost of holiday pay.

Offer promotions to increase sales

Offering free shipping or free shipping above a certain threshold are two of the best ways to drive more sales during the holidays. When a customer is close to the free shipping threshold, they are more likely to purchase an additional item or two. You can even feature smaller items as featured products to help your customers remember things they may have forgotten while shopping. By sending your regular customers exclusive Christmas discounts, you not only increase your sales, but show your customers that you care.


Continued financial and disposable pressures will be paramount during this holiday season, so peak holiday supplements are a significant budget. The increases for these services are inevitable, so finding ways to save on your shipping costs is important. Using free USPS supplies, offering promotions to your customers, creating product bundles, and measuring/weighing your shipments before purchasing postage are all easy ways to offset these extra charges. If you take the time to incorporate these tips into your holiday shipping routine, you can increase sales and lower your shipping costs while thriving year-round.

Ensure a merry and merry Christmas mailing by signing up for a free trial at Stamps.com.

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