UPS tacks on a $1 fee for holiday-season deliveries

ATLANTA — Shipping at the holidays through UPS is about to get pricier.

UPS is adding a new charge of under $1 for shipments to residential customers during peak delivery periods in November and December.

United Parcel Service (UPS) said Monday it will add 27 cents for residential deliveries from Nov. 19 to Dec. 2 and Dec. 17-23. UPS will add a fee of between 81 cents and 97 cents to overnight, second- or third-day deliveries for residential deliveries Dec. 17-23. 

UPS will also add a new peak surcharge of $24 for oversized packages — if width plus length times two is more than 130 inches — and $249 for packages weighing more than 150 pounds, from Nov. 19 through Dec. 23. Those seasonal fees are on top of regular surcharges for large or heavy items.

The company said it was adding the new fees because it must acquire extra air and truck cargo capacity, temporary facilities and seasonal staff to meet demand at the holidays. It added that packages that have "unconventional shapes or sizes create even greater operational complexity during high-demand periods."

The move could push some retailers to pass on the cost to their customers, or else rely on shipping companies other than UPS, according to The Wall Street Journal. Still, FedEx may follow suit and add its own holiday fees, analysts told the publication. 

UPS will also charge a peak surcharge on some international air-shipping routes.

During peak shipping season the Atlanta company adds airplane and truck cargo capacity, often at higher short-term rates, and hires additional seasonal employees.