What is a fuel surcharge?

A fuel surcharge is a flexible addition to shipping costs that compensates postal companies for the fuel their trucks use during deliveries. Everyone receives these surcharges with their shipping costs. Generally, the fuel surcharge is between 4% and 7%.

How is the Fuel Surcharge determined?

The fuel surcharge is determined by many different factors, such as:

  • Current price of fuel per barrel
  • Amount of fuel utilized annually
  • Amount of fuel utilized in certain areas 
  • Amount of fuel utilized in the last several months.

Essentially, the surcharge changes often but it is not a sudden decision. A lot of calculations and cost management goes into it. The price of jet fuel and shipping costs of said fuel can also account for fluctuations in fuel surcharge costs. At ShippingEasy, we have developed Flat Rate Green-a product that keeps your shipping costs low that even with this fluctuation you are still saving money!

USPS Fuel Surcharge

According to the USPS Priority Mail page, USPS does not charge for fuel surcharges on package delivery.

FedEx Fuel Surcharge

As of September 7th, 2015, and until October 4th, 2015 the fuel surcharge upper limit is 2.00% for FedEx Express and 4.00% for FedEx Ground. There are different prices listed for freight but international shipments are the same.

Learn more about FedEx Fuel Surcharge.

UPS Fuel Surcharge

UPS uses a similar formula as FedEx but they calculate their fuel costs on a few different criteria, such as price per 1000 liters of fuel and the price of jet fuel. As of September 7th, 2015 the current cap of the fuel surcharge is 6.5%

While FedEx has a scheduled change and period of time in which their fuel surcharge changes, UPS changes theirs every month around the same time. If you are unsure when that change happens, you may want to check the website.

Learn more about UPS Fuel Surcharge.


The fuel surcharge can greatly impact your shipping costs and indirectly affect your customers. Always keep apprised of the latest changes by utilizing the links in this article and keeping yourself aware of big fluctuations. For UPS from ShippingEasy One Balance accounts, surcharges will appear as adjustments to the account. Learn how to view adjustments.


Simplify your shipping (and save) with ShippingEasy. Start your 30-Day Free Trial.



Add a Comment

Please sign in to leave a comment.

  • answerbot_article_public