Why Was I Charged a UPS, USPS, or FedEx Billing Adjustment? 

Published on November 7, 2022
Written by
Filed under Shipping Basics
Read time 7 Minutes

Let’s cut to the chase, shipping is already expensive enough. When you get your invoice at the end of the month from the carrier, additional charges are the last thing you want to see. These fees are known as a billing adjustment. A billing adjustment occurs as a result of a few different factors. Sometimes, they are a result of shipments being configured wrong. Other times, they are simply the byproduct of inflation, increased fuel cost, or the delivery driver’s discretion. To better understand how to avoid these adjustments, let’s discuss what typically causes them on your UPS, USPS, and FedEx.

Common Causes Of Billing Adjustments

Residential Surcharge

Residential surcharges are included in the shipping rates when you use UPS Home or FedEx Home delivery. Generally, this increases the rate about $4.00 compared to standard Ground services. However, with USPS, this is not an applicable fee. Unlike UPS or FedEx, the US Postal Service does not charge differently based on whether an address is commercial or residential. Additionally, you can use services like UPS by ShipStation to get surcharges like this reduced or even waived. 

Fuel Surcharge

A fuel surcharge is applied when the cost of fuel required for delivery exceeds the contract-defined amount between the ship-from and ship-to location. These are fees added by UPS and FedEx, though. As with Residential Surcharges, the USPS does not add this into the fees. 

Oversize Dimensions or Weight

If a parcel’s dimensions exceed a carrier’s maximum dimensions, you will be charged a fee. UPS, FedEx, and USPS have different maximum. 

USPS Max Weight and Dimensions: For the USPS, the maximum is 108 inches in length and girth combined and 70 lbs in max weight. Oversized USPS parcels will have a $100 fee applied.

FedEx Maximum Dimensions and Weight: With FedEx Ground® and FedEx Home Delivery® Servicesthe max  weight is 150 lbs. The maximum dimensions are 108″ in length, and 165″ in length plus girth. For parcels that exceed these dimensions or weight, an oversized surcharge of $52.50 is applied. 

UPS Maximum Dimensions and Weight: UPS has a max weight of 150 lbs for UPS Ground® and Home® shipments. The maximum dimensions are 165 inches in length and girth combined. An oversize surcharge of between $95-$115 is applied to any UPS parcel that exceeds these weight and size limits. 

Incorrect Weight

If the weight is not properly entered when a label is created, this will result in a billing adjustment. This is commonly a result of packaging and packing content not being included. Many shipping platforms such as ShipStation allow you to increase order weight to account for packaging instead of just using a saved product weight.

Returns Surcharge

Another common reason that you will end up seeing an owed balance on an invoice is due to returns surcharges. These can be for domestic or international shipments that are unable to make final delivery. Causes of this could be that there was nowhere for the driver to deliver the parcel, an incorrect address was provided, or the customer refused to accept the package. 


The USPS historically did not have a billing adjustment. Since they charge for labels upon creation, the USPS would either return a parcel to sender or charge upon delivery.  However, to make the process more seamless and inline with other carriers, the USPS now has an automated package verification service


Since UPS bills you monthly for your shipments, any additional fees or billing adjustments will appear on your invoice. If you have any questions about any of these additional charges, you can reach out to UPS to file a claim. Additionally, you can reach out to billing support through the Billing Center at UPS. 


FedEx is another invoicing carrier. As a result, you may see additional charges on your invoice that were not present when you created the labels. If you want to dispute these charges or learn additional information about why you were billed, reach out to FedEx billing to get the best insight. 

How ShipStation Helps With Billing Adjustments

Another way to avoid billing adjustments is to use shipping software like ShipStation. We helps merchants save time and money on shipping through time-saving automation, discounted shipping rates, and a host of tools that help you verify your shipments are correctly labeled before you print postage.

Calculate Better Shipping Rates

ShipStation has a lot of address validation tools that help create the most accurate rate possible. Some platforms don’t include residential verification or don’t check against carrier databases to authenticate that an address is formatted correctly. Our rate calculator also lets you compare all the available services so you can find the lowest rate for your shipments—helping you save even more money. 

Discounted Shipping Rates

When you ship with ShipStation, you get access to discounted shipping rates that you wouldn’t get just by having a standard carrier account. We offer discounted shipping rates available from UPS, USPS, DHL, and more. For instance, with UPS by ShipStation, you are charged upon label creation. UPS by ShipStation also surcharges that can impact shipping rates. You will see no Residential Surcharges, Fuel Surcharges, Delivery Area Surcharges for Domestic services, and no Peak Period Surcharges

To see how much we can save you on shipping costs and fulfillment time, sign up for a free 30-day ShipStation trial today. 

Written by

James Messer

James Messer is a copywriter specializing in shipping, logistics, and ecommerce.

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