July 17, 2023
Flexport’s Fulfillment Fees Won’t Include Surcharges During the 2023 Peak Season
This blog post was originally part of a peak season series published by Deliverr, now part of Flexport. The content has been adjusted to fit the Flexport brand voice and tone, but all other information remains unchanged. With the merging of Deliverr’s services (DTC fulfillment, B2B distribution, and Last Mile delivery) into Flexport’s existing international freight and technology services, we’re now able to provide merchants with true end-to-end logistics solutions spanning from the factory floor to the customer’s door.
Preliminary peak season planning is in full swing as many companies make proper operational adjustments to meet heightened customer demand. From inventory forecasts to marketing promotions to specialized fulfillment initiatives and inventory prep, it’s heads-down planning from now until Black Friday and Cyber Monday to ensure operations run smoothly.
Despite this detailed level of forethought, many businesses often forget to account for the single most expensive line item in their budget: carrier surcharges.
Carrier Surcharges Explained
For those new to ecommerce or those experiencing their first peak season, carrier surcharges may feel unfamiliar. Here’s the TL;DR overview:
Each year between Black Friday and the December holidays (Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa), major carriers including USPS, UPS, and FedEx impose fees on top of their usual transportation base rate, fuel rate, and service fees for package deliveries.
This is to offset any additional equipment, trucks, and labor needed to flawlessly execute delivering a larger volume of packages in a shorter window of time. While most surcharges may seem small at first sight, they can add up quickly and hold hidden fees.
Surcharges vary by carrier and business cases, but common criteria for Ground surcharges include:
- Oversized packages (large dimensions or high DIM weight)
- Rural delivery
- Priority service levels
How to Avoid 2023 Peak Season Shipping Surcharges
While accounting for these additional fees before they’re charged will help you better maintain your costs, partnering with a 3PL is the most cost-effective option for most companies.
When your business partners with a 3PL to fulfill orders during peak season, you get access to competitive pricing including lower surcharge rates and no additional fuel surcharges.
This year, Flexport is foregoing surcharges on top of standard order fulfillment fees. What you’ve been paying all year to fulfill orders with us will be the same costs you see on your billing invoice during peak season months (October through December).
We’re able to implement this pricing model for two key reasons:
- We place inventory close to demand so shipments travel less distance. This allows us to save on shipping costs.
- We absorb portions of the increased peak costs of warehouse labor and transportation so it has minimal impact on your business.
Additionally, we will be increasing our labor forces to continue to meet on-time shipping and delivery SLAs and help your business maintain a positive customer experience throughout the holidays.
Don’t Settle For Expensive Surcharges This Peak Season
Ensure your peak inventory is inbounded to the Flexport network in time to take advantage of these competitive rates.
The deadline to inbound inventory to one of our cross-docks or fulfillment centers in time for Black Friday and Cyber Monday is November 6, 2023.
The deadline to inbound inventory to one of our cross-docks or fulfillment centers to be sellable before December 14, 2023 is November 23, 2023.