OnTrac and DHL eCommerce Solutions have announced home delivery surcharges for the 2022 peak season, joining larger competitors in adding fees during the busiest stretch for parcel carriers.
The cost of OnTrac's peak residential surcharge, active from Oct. 30 to Jan. 14, 2023, depends on how much more home delivery volume a shipper is sending during peak versus its baseline volume, according to its website. DHL eCommerce Solutions' peak season surcharges begin earlier and end later than OnTrac, starting Oct. 2 and running through Jan. 21.
For OnTrac, the baseline volume is the customer's average weekly residential volume from June 5 to July 2. However, if the average from Sept. 4 to Oct. 1 is less than 80% of the June-July volume, OnTrac will use that period as the baseline volume instead. This approach mirrors UPS' peak season surcharges for large shippers.
OnTrac's peak season surcharge
|Shipments over ‘baseline volume’||Per-package fee|
NOTE: Surcharge is active from Oct. 30 to Jan. 14, 2023.
OnTrac also has an additional handling surcharge ($6.50) and a large package surcharge ($70) active from Oct. 2 to Jan. 14, 2023.
"These temporary adjustments help offset increased operating costs and apply to all service levels on a per-piece basis," according to OnTrac's website. "Peak period surcharges are in addition to our published accessorial fees."
OnTrac, which delivers to eight states in the western U.S., is in the midst of a merger with eastern U.S.-focused LaserShip. The carriers launched in July a transcontinental service delivering packages between their coverage areas. LaserShip did not respond to a request for comment on if the OnTrac surcharges will apply to transcontinental deliveries.
Meanwhile, DHL eCommerce Solutions, the logistics giant’s parcel shipping-focused division, is imposing fees as high as $3.20 per package for its SmartMail products, depending on shipping speed and distance. SmartMail relies on the Postal Service for final-mile delivery. DHL is also introducing peak surcharges on SmartMail Return products.
DHL eCommerce Solutions and OnTrac add to the slate of carriers that have recently announced their peak season delivery surcharges. Larger carriers FedEx, UPS, the Postal Service and Amazon have all announced their own surcharges or rate hikes to help them deal with the expected surge in volume.
Experts are forecasting a smoother peak season this year as shippers move volume earlier and e-commerce growth cools off from the heights it reached in 2020 and 2021. However, capacity constraints remain a concern as carriers like FedEx and UPS prioritize more profitable volume, such as business-to-business and healthcare shipments.
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