UPS’ 2021 General Rate Increase: What You Need to Know

Woman wearing hard hat looking at tablet computer in warehouse

Last week, UPS announced its general rate increase (GRI) for 2021.  Despite the high delivery demand we’ve seen in 2020, UPS matched previous years’ increase average

In 2021, UPS Ground, UPS Air and International services will see an average increase of 4.9%.

Although every customer will be affected differently, this increase aligns with what we’d expect to see for the coming year.  You can take a closer look at the rate preview here.

Surcharge and Fee Increases

Where we see the large increases, however, is with surcharge pricing.  UPS increased all of its surcharge rates for 2021.  While we’ve seen their temporary surcharge increases spike during the COVID-19 crises, these surcharge increases go into effect on December 27, 2020, and will be here to stay throughout 2021.

Here are some of the more notable changes.

Additional Handling Surcharge

2020 Rate

2021 Rate

Percentage Increase





Dimensions (Lenght, width, length + girth)









Note in the chart that UPS will also change how it assesses additional handling charges.   Starting January 10, 2021, in addition to the original criteria, a package with their length plus girth exceeding 105 inches will also be charged this fee.

Later on in the year, UPS will change how they calculate additional handling and large package surcharge rates.  Effective April 11, 2021, rates for non-hundredweight service packages will differ by zone.  Hundredweight service packages will also vary by zone, but it won’t go into effect until July 11, 2021.

Large Package Surcharge

2020 Rate

2021 Rate

Percentage Increase

Commercial (Domestic)




Residential (Domestic)




 Residential Surcharge

2020 Rate

2021 Rate

Percentage Increase









Hundredweight (and GFP)

$41.85 per shipment

$43.20 per shipment


How to Prepare for 2021 Shipping Rate Increases

This time of year can be a stressful one for businesses, and the events of 2020 have only added to that stress.  Between peak holiday surcharges and the temporary surcharges imposed due to the pandemic, there’s a lot of changing information to keep track of.

If you’re looking ahead to 2021 and need help making sense of these rate increases, reach out to our shipping experts.  Together, we can look at your invoices and identify the increases that could affect your bottom line. 

The Reveel App uses AI and machine learning to provide an unparalleled look into what’s impacting your bottom line. Through invoice audits, peer benchmarking, and rate modeling/simulations, you can see the health of your operation and assess pricing changes from parcel carriers like FedEx and UPS. Sign up for a free Reveel account today to see how you can leverage automation to synthesize your data, ship more for less, and reduce the time needed to identify issues and action items.

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