United Parcel Service (UPS) is a household name in the shipping industry and one of the most valuable logistics companies in the world. They are widely used by consumers and businesses on a daily basis for fast and reliable delivery of packages.
UPS prices tend to be more expensive than the post office, depending on the service, with their shipping rates subject to change depending on changes in the marketplace.
As such, UPS shipping rates are dependent on the intended destination and time of delivery. The guide below outlines the cost for the various UPS services and provides tips for estimating shipping prices.
UPS Shipping Rates: Domestic vs International
UPS provides domestic and international courier services, allowing eCommerce businesses access to a global customer base. However, UPS shipping cost varies significantly depending on the package's weight, UPS shipping option, destination, and size/nature of the package.
UPS International Rates
UPS ships internationally to numerous countries, with prices that are naturally higher compared to domestic rates due to the distance covered, and unique restrictions per country.
You can get a broad overview of their international rates by looking up a price quote on the shipping rates chart, or you can get a quote directly from the UPS website.
UPS has guaranteed time/day-definite delivery globally based on the intended destination, and you can choose between UPS air services and freight services, depending on the urgency of your shipment.
Below you can find sample price for a 4lb package with the dimension of 8x5x2 being sent from New York City to top international cities with UPS Worldwide Expedited.
*These rates are estimates and subject to change.
|From New York City||Cost|
UPS Domestic Shipping Rates
UPS domestic shipping rates are comparably affordable due to short distances involved. However, there are a wide range of delivery options with various costs. UPS domestic ground and UPS air network can deliver your shipment affordably to any U.S. state faster than other couriers.
UPS provides a time and day-definite delivery as well, which is evaluated based on your shipping destination. For urgent deliveries, the courier offers overnight delivery and same-day delivery, which is the most urgent option for delivering critical shipments. Similarly, you can check out UPS flat rate shipping, which charges fixed rates for specific destinations.
Below you can find sample prices for a 4lb package with the dimension of 8x5x2 being sent from New York City to top US cities.
*These rates are estimates and subject to change.
|From New York City||UPS Ground||UPS Next Day Air|
Like other couriers, UPS shipping prices are affected by shipping surcharges, which apply to urgent, express, and international shipments. Surcharges can change due to various factors, and you should check the UPS shipping rates chart regularly for the current information. Some of the UPS surcharges include;
- Fuel surcharges: UPS shipping rates can change based on the prevailing fuel surcharges. However, note that UPS urgent and express freight fuel surcharges vary from North American fuel surcharges and international airfreight fuel surcharges. Nonetheless, fuel surcharges apply to ground pickup and delivery, and are updated monthly.
- Residential surcharge: UPS offers on-call pickup and delivery service to residential and business addresses. For such services, residential surcharges apply.
- Extended area surcharge: These charges apply to UPS deliveries in areas with difficult reach. They can also be quoted as remote area surcharges.
- Security surcharge: UPS security surcharge rates are determined by the shipments' origin and destination.
- Peak season surcharge: peak season surcharges apply to specific international airfreight.
- Capacity surcharge: these surcharges are applied to select air freight lanes.
UPS 2021 General Rate Increase
Due to changing economic climate, UPS recently announced some changes in its prices, starting in 2021. The changes affected most UPS shipping fees, which consequently led to changes in the overall UPS shipping cost. With an estimated increment of 4.9%, below are some affected UPS shipping rates for the year 2021.
|Charge||2020 Cost||2021 Cost|
|Address correction fee||$17.00||$18.00|
|Additional handling fees||$24.00||$25.50|
|Dangerous goods fees||$105.00||$115.00|
|Delivery area surcharge|
The price increases outlined above are just but a few changes in UPS shipping costs. You should regularly check the UPS shipping rates chart for actual prices.
How Does UPS Calculate Shipping Costs?
If you plan to send your packages with UPS, using the UPS rate calculator will help you find the an accurate quote. As mentioned, you should avoid unpleasant surprises by considering several factors, including the customs duties and package weight. That said, below are some factors that determine UPS shipping cost.
1. Transit Time
The speed of shipment to the destination is probably the main factor to consider when estimating UPS shipping prices. The cost will depend on when you want your consignment delivered. For this, the UPS time and cost calculator can help eliminate guesswork, as it provides various service levels. Once you have chosen the intended delivery speed that suits your customers' expectations, you can select one option from various services, be it day-definite ground services or night flight out.
2. Dimensions and Weight
This reflects the package density or the amount of space that the package will occupy. This applies to both domestic and international shipments. You can easily calculate the dimensional weight from the UPS shipping rate calculator by simply inputting the package's actual weight and dimensions in the calculator.
3. Delivery Surcharges
Delivery surcharges apply to packages that need to be delivered or picked from remote areas. These charges cover the high cost of providing shipping services in hard-to-reach areas. Using the time and cost calculator can help assess these charges with ease to avoid unexpected price quotes later.
4. Taxes and Additional Fees
All international shipments are subject to additional charges in the form of customs duties depending on the importing and exporting country. The U.S., for instance, has merchandise-processing fees while Europe has the Value Added Taxes. Shipments with various commodities are also subject to brokerage charges, which cumulatively add on the cost of shipping. That said, using a UPS shipping rate calculator takes away the headache of estimating UPS shipping costs.
What about UPS Shipping Insurance?
Shipping packages often exposes them to the possibility of damage. However, you can take away the liability by purchasing UPS insurance cover. Insurance for goods in transit is available from UPS's licensed insurance affiliate, UPS Capital Insurance Agency. UPS capital provides customizable insurance policies based on the nature of your shipments.
Some of the benefits of UPS insurance include reimbursement of the sale prices of goods shipped, cover for risks including those from acts of God, and customizable policies that cover in-transit goods and those in a warehouse.
However, UPS can only be liable for damage or loss of goods up to $100 for domestic packages with UPS Worldwide Express Freight with no declared value. However, if your goods cost more than this amount, you can declare a maximum of $50,000 per package or $100,000 per pallet. Apart from UPS insurance coverage, you can opt for Easyship Added Shipping Insurance. This cover provides compensation for goods up to $5,000.
Get a UPS Quote with Easyship
UPS is one of the most established domestic and international shipping couriers widely used by small businesses and eCommerce merchants. Consumers appreciate them because of their reliable service and tracking.
It's important to give your customers shipping options so they can decide the tradeoffs between the cheapest, fastest, and best value shipping options at checkout.
Using the Easyship shipping rate calculator is a great way to estimates your shipping costs. Similarly, you can combine the reliable UPS shipping protocols with Easyship shipping solutions for seamless label generation, accurate shipping costs, and shipment automation.
Sign up for Easyship now to supercharge your shipping!
Did you find this guide to UPS shipping rates useful? If so, you might find the following valuable as well.
- Your Guide to Managing eCommerce Returns
- DHL Domestic & International Shipping Rates for 2020
- Everything You Need to Know About UPS Tracking
This article was updated on February 5, 2021 to reflect new information.