The most important part of shipping large packages is to know the rules regarding your package’s weight and dimensions.
Any package over 96 inches on its longest side will be assessed a FedEx oversize or UPS large package surcharge.
Any package over 130 inches in length + girth will be assessed a FedEx oversize or UPS large package surcharge.
FedEx and UPS define a package’s girth as 2 x width + 2 x height (where width and height are the 2nd and 3rd longest sides of the package)
Any package that weighs over 150 lbs scale weight will be assessed a UPS over maximum limits or FedEx ground unauthorized package surcharge.
Oversize and Large Package Surcharges
The FedEx oversize and UPS large package surcharges are some of the most expensive surcharges in Express Package shipping. FedEx defines this oversize charge rate as applicable to “packages that exceed 96 inches in length or 130 inches in length and girth. Rating will be based on the greater of the package’s actual rounded weight or dimensional weight, subject to a 90-lb. minimum billable weight.” UPS uses the same definition, so this surcharge applies when a package’s length exceeds 96 inches or its length plus girth exceeds 130 inches.
In 2024, The FedEx oversize charge is based on zones, varying from $160 for a Zone 2 Express package, to $205 for a Zone 7 Ground Shipment.
In 2024, UPS large package/oversize charge is based on zones, varying from $160 - $235 per package.
Over Maximum Limits and Ground Unauthorized Package Surcharges
Surcharge fees for packages that exceed maximum weight limits are even higher than regular fees. For instance, in 2024, UPS charges $1,250 per package for exceeding the weight limit. FedEx Ground charges an unauthorized package fee of $1,250 for the same reason.
These surcharges apply to packages weighing over 150 lbs, which are generally not accepted by either FedEx or UPS. However, if a package weighs less than 150 lbs but has a dimensional weight of over 150 lbs, the scale weight is what counts, and the surcharge fee will still apply.
If a package weighs more than 150 lbs, it cannot be accepted by FedEx or UPS for shipment and must be sent using a freight service. As a result, it is not possible to create a label for such a package.
Sometimes, customers may create a label assuming the package weighs less than 150 lbs, for instance, they may label the package as weighing 140 lbs. However, when the package is brought to the FedEx/UPS station, it may be determined to weigh over 150 lbs during the weigh-in. At this point, the carriers have several options, including delivering the package but with an additional fee, returning the package to the sender, or destroying it.