DHL Peak Surcharge: The Company Follows Major Carriers' New Peak Surcharges as Stress Grows

The continued pressure on the logistics industry has led carriers such as UPS and FedEx to implement additional shipping surcharges in advance of the traditional peak season for 2021. As the industry moves closer to the actual peak, typically marked by Black Friday, other carriers are following in kind. DHL has now released its peak surcharge schedule as well. Shippers need to understand these surcharges and why keeping a full view on the price, in addition to leveraging carrier value-added services, is essential to minimizing shipping spend.

What's the DHL Peak Surcharge Breakdown?

Tracking peak surcharges are not new in logistics. However, the industry has been in a state of a perpetual peak for 18 months and there are few, if any, signs of a possible slowdown. As a result, shippers need to plan for increased surcharges from carriers and what they mean for landed costs. DHL Peak Surcharges are effective October 3, 2021, through December 25, 2021, and break down as follows:

DHL eCommerce Solutions SmartMail Domestic Products Weight Break Zones 1-8 Zones 11-13 Parcel Ground & Expedited All $0.20 $0.30 Parcel Plus Ground & Expedited 1-10 lbs.
11-20 lbs.
21-25 lbs. $0.29
$0.29 $0.75
$5.00 Parcel Expedited Max All $0.29 Bound Printed Matter 1-10 lbs.
11-15 lbs. $0.15
$0.15 $0.75
$3.00 DHL eCommerce Solutions
SmartMail Return Products DHL Peak Surcharge Per Package Parcel Return Light All $0.45 Parcel Return Plus All $0.75 Parcel Return Ground All $1.00 USPS Products Zones 1-4 Zones 5-8 USPS First Class Parcel All $0.30 $0.30 USPS Priority Mail 1-10 lbs.
11-20 lbs.
21-70 lbs. $0.25
$2.50 $0.75
$5.00 DHL eCommerce Solutions International Products DHL Peak Surcharge Per Package Packet International All $0.10 Packet Plus International All $0.10 Packet IPA All $0.10 Parcel International Direct All $0.10 Parcel International Standard All $0.10 DHL eCommerce solutions Products for Canada Based Customers DHL Peak Surcharge Per Package Zones 1-8 Zones 11-13 Parcel International Direct Priority & Parcel International Direct Standard 1-15 oz.
1-10 lbs.
11-15 lbs. $0.20
$0.29 $0.30

Will There Be an Oversized DHL Peak Surcharge?

DHL has not yet released any information on whether there will be an oversize surcharge associated with peak volumes. However, DHL oversize surcharges are generally higher than both UPS and FedEx through non-peak periods. As a result, it is possible that DHL forgoes adding a higher-tiered surcharge for oversized packages going into peak 2021.

What About Value-Added Services and How Will Those Affect Carrier Decisions?

The above peak season surcharges indicate a greater need to track average cost by zone and by carrier. However, it's going to be difficult to assess which carrier to leverage based on service level and costs. DHL may appear ideal when compared directly to UPS or FedEx, and to the company's credit, DHL does offer some value-added features, such as address correction.

Unfortunately, simple address corrections can only go so far. Tracking total costs must occur behind the scenes and provide drill-down capabilities, but the best way to approach any carrier this peak season is by making their jobs as simple as possible. But what does that really mean?

Mistakes can and do happen, and while minor address corrections are great, the real value lies in finding and correcting anomalies at the moment a shipment is tendered to the carrier, as well as real-time freight auditing and payment processing, which are a vital value-add created by Intelligent Audit, known as anomaly detection. When combined with the granular details surrounding each carrier's performance, shippers can make more informed decisions about carriers, lanes and fulfillment models.

These are crucial steps in keeping peak season shipping costs under control. More importantly, working with an expert in freight analytics can help your team identify other opportunities for improvement across all potential carriers and become an extension of your team. As a result, you're able to achieve increased throughput, cost reductions, and improved efficacy of shipping. With the complexity of FedEx, UPS, and DHL peak surcharges growing, a dedicated partner will be the defining factor in success versus failure this year.

Find the Right Path Forward by Knowing What's Happening and Partnering With Intelligent Audit

The management of shipping has never been more complex, and as e-commerce expansion continues, paired with ongoing economic recoveries and the possibility of legislative action for continued economic stimuli, the 2021 peak season will see new records. Yet, those gains will inherently mean more limited capacity, increased demand and higher shipping costs, especially with respect to peak season surcharges. The DHL peak surcharges are only the latest to come out of the industry, but there are still three full months before the traditional Black Friday peak season kick-off. Surcharges may rise again across any carrier between now and the holidays. Contact Intelligent Audit to learn more about upcoming peak surcharges and how your team can be ready and well-equipped to manage shipping spend today.

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