Shippers are still delivering school supplies, and yet the ecommerce industry is already getting news of holiday shipping policy changes. The first announcement comes from the United States Postal Service (USPS), who’ll add shipping surcharges to packages moving from October 3, 2021 through the gift-giving season until December 26, 2021. Charges tacked on range from 25¢ to $5, increasing as packages become heavier and travel farther. 

USPS charged internet retailers a surcharge during the holidays last year, and reportedly turned a fourth quarter profit because of it. This year the holiday season shipping rate changes are applied two weeks earlier—in 2020, USPS holiday surcharges started on October 18. In 2021, the peak seasonal rates begin on October 3, 2021. 

Additionally, postal surcharges in 2021 are now also applied to consumers shipping gifts as well as ecommerce businesses fulfilling online orders. 

Carriers limiting retailers to an order ceiling is another reason to work with professional fulfillment partners,says eFulfillment Service Sales Manager, Taylor Gonyon.

For First Class Parcel Service, under 1lb. or 453 gms, the increase is $0.30. 

For Priority Mail, and Priority Express: 

  • $0.25 increase for Zones 1-4, 0-10 lbs. (0-4.5 kg)
  • $0.75 increase for Zones 5-9, 0-10 lbs. (0-4.5 kg)
  • $1.50 increase for Zones 1-4, 11-20 lbs. (4.9-9 kg)
  • $3.00 increase for Zones 5-9, 11-20 lbs. (4.9-9 kg)
  • $2.50 increase for Zones 1-4, 21-70 lbs. (9.5-32 kg)
  • $5.00 increase for Zones 5-9, 21-70 lbs. (9.5-32 kg)

At eFulfillment Service, we’re also anticipating that DHL and FedEx will announce surcharges for the season as well, as they did in 2020. And carriers will continue to hold internet retailers to negotiated parcel volume caps, requiring retailers with online order volumes that grow beyond their caps to seek service from other shippers. 

“Carriers limiting retailers to an order ceiling is another reason to work with professional fulfillment partners,” says eFulfillment Service Sales Manager, Taylor Gonyon. “Because of our overall volume and a close relationship with our carriers, we’re able to  accommodate small and medium businesses whether they enjoy an order volume spike during the holidays or not.”

eFulfillment Service’s holiday fulfillment advice to startups, entrepreneurs and other small and medium sized online retailers, is to communicate repeatedly with customers, encouraging them to buy early and expect delays. In 2020, holiday shipping challenges included overwhelming volumes of online orders, supply chain employees absent from work because of COVID and a massive snowstorm, causing an estimated one million gifts to be missing from below the tree on Christmas morning. 

eFulfillment Service announced new expedited shipping rates for current and new clients, starting August 9, 2021, to give its clients more options for fulfilling customer orders. 

“While we expect DHL and FedEx to announce holiday surcharges as well, we’ve been able to reduce our overall shipping rates for expedited services by more than 50 percent,” says Linda Sorna, Client Care Manager. “And those savings will help our clients offer expedited shipping as an option throughout the year.” 

To learn more about shipping rates for the holidays, and whether working with a professional fulfillment partner like eFulfillment Service is right for your business, fill out the Get a Quote Form.