Carriers Announce CoronaVirus Changes

As the CoronaVirus pandemic continues to play out, carriers are starting to adapt to the new reality. Recently UPS, FedEx, and DHL announced significant changes that are very likely to impact shippers.


UPS has stated that it will be continuing to operate and ship in and out of China during this period. However, in order to keep those operations going, they will now be instituting a Temporary Peak Surcharge.

According to the company’s announcement:

To better manage the increased demand for air cargo capacity and the increased costs to maintain service during this period, a temporary peak surcharge will apply to UPS Worldwide Express, UPS Worldwide Express Freight and UPS Expedited shipments originating from China Mainland and Hong Kong SAR to North America and Europe Regions from April 5, 2020 until further notice. However, as the Coronavirus situation continues to evolve, the Peak Surcharges are subject to change and the Peak Periods may be extended or otherwise changed. The latest information on Peak Surcharges will be available at

Here’s how the surcharges breakdown:

Service Levels Surcharge
Worldwide Express Plus® $0.34 per lb.
UPS Worldwide Express® $0.34 per lb.
UPS Worldwide Express Saver® $0.34 per lb.
UPS Worldwide Expedited® $0.29 per lb
UPS Worldwide Express Freight® $1.13 per lb
UPS Worldwide Express Freight® – Midday $1.13 per lb

In addition, effective March 24th, UPS is suspending its Service Guarantee for shipments originating in the US until further notice.


FedEx has decided that effective immediately, they are suspending money-back guarantees for certain services. The announcement doesn’t give a firm end date, just that it will be “until further notice.”

The specific FedEx services that this will impact are:

  • FedEx Express
  • FedEx Ground
  • FedEx Freight
  • FedEx Office


Last week, DHL declared the situation a Force Majeure, a provision under which the company is relieved of liability for non-performance based on circumstances beyond their control.

In general, a Force Majeure declaration does not affect all customers equally, or even at all. Any impact will be dependent on the language of a customers’ contract.

Given the unpredictability in the economic system during this situation, it’s likely that others will follow suit in the coming weeks.

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