Small Package Surcharges

Insights into the most common charges and surcharges you may see when shipping through Mercury

Mercury discounts apply to transportation and fuel charges. The main charges associated with a shipment, based on weight, dimensions, service level and origin and destination zip code.  

Below is a list and description of the most common carrier surcharges:

Mercury passes on carrier delivery surcharges to our clients with no added costs.

  • Residential Delivery/Residential Surcharge Assessed on shipments that are designated to be in a residential zone by FedEx and UPS or when the Mercury client selects "Residential" through MyShipNow. Shipments delivering to a residence will be left without a signature, unless otherwise requested.

  • Indirect/Direct Signature/Delivery Confirmation Signature: Charged when "Signature Required" is selected in MyShipNow. Carriers automatically require a signature for all shipments to commercial addresses unless a signature is on file for the company receiving the shipment and there is no charge for this. For shipments to residential addresses, when "Signature Required" is selected, carriers will only release the shipment to a person at the delivery address (unless a signature is on file).

Shipments to commercial locations are "Signature Required" by default for FedEx and UPS- selecting "Signature Required" may lead to an extra charge. During the COVID-19 pandemic, delivery attempts may vary. Our Client Support team is monitoring shipments for delivery and notifies clients of any issues.

  • Third Party Billing:  Charged to clients when they give Mercury's FedEx account number to a vendor where the sender selects "Bill 3rd Party" for shipping. An example would be inbound shipments to a client from a manufacturer.

Contact Mercury for potential options to avoid the third-party billing charge.

  • Peak and Temporary Surcharges: Peak surcharges are assessed by carriers generally in November, December and January due to heightened shipping levels. Temporary surcharges are assessed by carriers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These charges vary by carrier, weight, service level and destination.  
  • Delivery Area Surcharges (DAS): DAS) are extra fees applied to deliveries to remote or hard-to-reach locations. The surcharge covers the increased cost of delivering to these areas such as rural or suburban areas, offshore islands, or areas with limited access. The surcharge amount may differ based on the location, delivery service provider, and type of delivery. DAS is commonly added to courier or parcel services. Applied to packages destined to select zip code locations (source: 
    • Delivery Area Surcharge: Commercial (DAS Comm.)
    • Delivery Area Surcharge: Extended Commercial (DAS Extended Comm.)
    • Delivery Area Surcharge: Residential (DAS Resi.)
    • Delivery Area Surcharge: Extended Residential (DAS Extended Resi.)
    • Delivery Area Surcharge: Hawaii Commercial (DAS Hawaii Comm.)
    • Delivery Area Surcharge: Hawaii Residential (DAS Hawaii Resi.)
    • Delivery Area Surcharge: Alaska Commercial (DAS Alaska Comm.)
    • Delivery Area Surcharge: Alaska Residential (DAS Alaska Resi.)
    • Extended Delivery Area/ Extended Pickup Area: For international shipments delivering to or picked up from remote/less accessible locations.  
  • Dry Ice: Assessed by carriers on packages containing dry ice.

  • Saturday Delivery: Surcharge for shipments delivered or attempted to be delivered on a Saturday. Using MyShipNow select the "Saturday Delivery" service level. Not available to all areas, contact Mercury Support for availability.
  • Pickups
    • Return On Call Surcharge/Return Pickup Fee: Carrier charge when clients request a FedEx/UPS pickup for a return shipment other than a regularly scheduled FedEx/UPS pickup. 
    • NDOC P/U- Auto Comm: "Non-Document Pickup Commercial" surcharge assessed by FedEx for unscheduled FedEx pickup of Ground shipments that are not packaged inside of a letter or pak from a commercial building.
    • Saturday Pickup: Assessed by carriers for shipments that are tendered on a Saturday.

Mercury pickups and regularly scheduled FedEx/UPS pickups have no charge.

  • Address Correction/ Address Correction Ground: Packages with incorrect zip codes, missing suite or floor numbers, incorrect street addresses or other address issues which make the packages undeliverable are assessed this charge to deliver to the correct address.

Often, Mercury finds incorrect addresses before shipping, avoiding 1-2 day shipping delays for clients.

Mercury's proactive tracking researches undeliverable shipments by contacting the client or recipient and continues to monitor until a successful delivery. This saves clients the need to spend time on a 1-800 number.

  • Shipping Charge Corrections
    • Service Levels: In addition to the updated transportation charges, packages with incorrect weights or dimensions which are corrected by the carrier during transit are assessed this fee by UPS.
    • Fuel Surcharge: UPS also corrects the fuel surcharge to calculate using the new weight or zone.
    • Residential Adjustment: UPS applies this charge to shipments not marked residential, but delivered to locations designated residential by the courier.
    • Others: UPS applies other accessorial charges using the new information.
  • Additional Handling Charges (AHS)
    • Weight: Charged on packages with an actual weight of 50 lbs or higher for domestic shipments and 70 lbs or higher internationally.
    • Dimensions: Applies to packages which are greater than 48 inches on the longest side or 30 inches on the second longest side.
    • Packaging: Applies to package with non-standard packaging. Generally charged to shipments without a cardboard outer box such as shrink-wrapped packages or Styrofoam*. 
    • Oversize Charge: For shipments that exceed 96 inches in length or 130 inches in length and girth. Packages with this surcharge have a minimum billable weight of 90 lbs.
    • Additional Packaging: Applies when clients request Mercury provide additional packaging to a shipment such as laptop boxes or corrugated boxes around Styrofoam containers.
    • SED Preparation:   Applies when a Shipper's Export Declaration is required and the electronic filing is prepared by Mercury. This is for U.S. exports including a single commodities valued at $2,500 or higher or for other shipments on the ECCN list that require an EEI filing.

*FedEx and UPS generally do not accept Styrofoam packages. Mercury assists clients by providing an outer cardboard box to avoid delays for client's shipments.

  • Duties, Taxes and Government Fees
    • Original VAT/Duties: Value Added Taxes charged by foreign countries, varies by country and commodity based on Harmonized Code.
    • Customs Duty: Percentage charge based on commercial invoice value, destination country and harmonized code.
    • Other Government Agency Fee: Assessed by various government agencies.
    • Food and Drug Administration Clearance: Ancillary service fee charged when FDA clearance is needed for importing.
    • Advancement Fee: Import clearance processing fee charged by carriers for international packages where duties and taxes are applied. Clients will sometimessee the charge on a separate invoice from the transportation charges due to government agency processing time.
    • Merchandise Processing Fee: For shipments from Canada into the US where a merchandise processing fee is assessed by customs. 
    • Canada GST: Goods and Services Tax charged by Canadian customs. 

Mercury can estimate duties and taxes before shipping. Contact Client Support and have the destination country, HS number and customs value for the shipment ready.

  • Return Charge: For undeliverable packages after the carriers makes 3 attempts or when clients request an in transit package be returned, this fee is charged.

Mercury client's can request an in transit package be returned or redirected. When clients want a package returned that has already shipped but not yet been delivered, Mercury can assist and stop the shipment and return it back to the client or redirect it to a location of the client's choice. These can show up on a client's invoice as Return Charge, Address Correction or Package Reroute.

  • Early Surcharge UPS: Surcharge assessed to priority shipments through UPS requesting Early AM service, delivery times are between 6:00 and 8:00 AM but not available to all locations.

Early AM shipments to a location with no one there to sign for them for the initial delivery attempt will be reattempted for delivery later in the day. This often leads to a delivery time later than the Next Day AM service.

  • Unauthorized Oversized Charge: Shipments that meet any of the following will be assessed this very expensive charge.
    • Physical weight over 150 lbs
    • Measuring more than 108 inches in length
    • Measuring more than 165 inches in length and girth combined

Contact Mercury's freight team for shipments that meet these size/weight criteria.

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