2023 Peak Season and Demand Surcharges for Holiday Shipping [+Timeline Chart]

Every Fall, the major shipping carriers add demand surcharges to their regular rates. These extra charges offset the burden of moving a higher-than-average volume of parcels.  

Between November and mid-January there is, on average, a significantly higher volume of online shopping. This corresponds to a large volume of packages that need to be moved around the US.  

Here is a breakdown of this year’s annual peak season and demand surcharges that all shippers can expect to see reflected on their shipping invoice. Be sure to note this year’s ship-by dates, to ensure all packages get to their destination on time. 

This post will continue to be updated to reflect new or changing demand surcharges as carriers publish updates.  

Shipping Carrier Peak Season and Demand Surcharges

Below is an active list of carrier surcharges that will take effect during the 2023 holiday season. This will continue to be updated as the major shipping carriers publish demand surcharges this year.   

If you see that we’re missing any relevant surcharges, please email us at [email protected] and we’ll be sure to add or update it. This is a dynamic chart that can be sorted to view the information according to your specific needs (by carrier, by date, etc). 

A note on surcharge naming

Please note in this chart “annual surcharge” denotes the surcharges that were announced with the general rate increases at the beginning of the calendar year. “Demand surcharge” denotes those that will take place during the Q4 peak season, between November and December.

2023 High-Impact Demand Surcharges


Services included: US Express, US Ground, and International Ground  

Effective date: October 2, 2023 – January 14, 2024 

  • Additional Handling, $6.95 per package 
  • Oversize, $73 per package 
  • Unauthorized Package, $410 per package  

Services included: Ground Economy  

Effective date: various  

  • Demand Surcharge  
  • $1.60 per package, October 30, 2023 – November 26, 2023 
  • $2.60 per package, November 27, 2023 – December 10, 2023 
  • $1.60 per package, December 11, 2023 – January 14, 2024 

Services included: Express and Ground US domestic residential  

Effective date: October 30, 2023 – January 14, 2024 

  • Residential Delivery (excluding Ground Economy and One Rate) 
  • Ground $1.35 – $6.35  
  • Express $2.40 – $7.40  

Get a full list of FedEx demand surcharges here. 


Effective date: October 1, 2023 – January 13, 2024 

  • Additional Handling, $6.90 per package 
  • Large Package, $74.90 per package 
  • Over Maximum Limits, $410.00 per package 

Effective date October 29, 2023 – January 13, 2024 

  • SurePost, $1.35 – $6.40 per package  
  • Ground Residential, $1.35 – $6.40 per package 
  • Next Day Air Residential, $2.40 – $7.50 per package 
  • All Other UPS Air Residential, $2.40 – $7.50 per package 

Get a full list of UPS demand surcharges here. 


The United States Postal Service will not levy any additional surcharges for customers during the 2023 holiday season. Including no additional fees for residential area delivery, for Saturday delivery or for minimum volumes.

Shippers can expect more predictable pricing. USPS strives to provide the most affordable shipping method.

Read the full USPS announcement here.


DCL has announced there will not be any demand surcharges added during the Q4 peak season this year.

See all surcharge information and updates here.

When do Demand Surcharges Take Effect?  

Q4 is historically the busiest time of year for shipping carriers. The season brings gift-giving holidays like Christmas, annual sales events like Black Friday, and higher-than-average package return rates in January. All this combined means it’s the busiest shipping time of the year.  

While all carriers have slight differences in their demand surcharge schedule, generally these surcharges are in effect between late October and mid-January. Some carriers have rates that increase again for the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, which historically marks the peak of the higher-than-average package volume.  

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