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Navigating Peak Shipping Season

June 3, 2023
What is Peak Season Surcharge Shipping?

As summer gives way to fall and the holidays emerge on the horizon, it’s important that your business begins to plan for peak season. Whether you are in retail or not, the rush on gifts — coupled with the already present delays throughout the supply chain — creates a strain on shipping carriers that is bound to affect your organization. But what is peak season and how do you navigate around peak?

While other carriers continue to increase prices to offset rising delivery costs, LSO’s seamless shipping network allows us to provide our customers with great savings on top of great service, even during peak season. 

A Peek At Peak Season Shipping Surcharges

With carriers struggling to keep up with a demand that outstrips the current capacity of shipping infrastructure, peak season shipping surcharges have been introduced to coincide with the holidays. Most networks have already seen delays due to labor shortages, pandemic-related restrictions, a rush on materials and other factors. After the especially chaotic 2020 holiday season, carriers are clearly hoping that increased prices will help them keep up with heightened demand. Here’s how customers can expect that to impact them: 

  • When is peak season? This will vary from carrier to carrier — LSO has defined it as the two-month period between November 15 and January 15 — but generally speaking, expect surcharges to start sometime in October and last into the first few months of the following year. Some carriers, like FedEx, have made a point of not announcing an end date to surcharges, and customers should anticipate prices to continue to rise well into 2022.
  • How much are surcharges? Again, it depends on the carrier and what you’re shipping. Larger volumes and packages with heavier weights will see a greater price increase compared to smaller packages, but even regular customers and small businesses can expect an increase of anywhere from $0.25 to upwards of $5 per parcel. It seems that USPS’s surcharges will be significantly lower than FedEx’s, but that situation is still developing.     
  • Does normal volume matter? This is a major concern for customers operating larger businesses. In some cases, carriers will assess your peak season volume compared to the national average and your volume earlier in the year to establish your surcharge. For other carriers, including LSO, there is no threshold based on volume earlier in the year and no tiered surcharge levels, which is great news for those enjoying an increase in sales from holiday e-commerce.

Keeping Your Costs Down During Peak Season

So now the million-dollar question: how can your business minimize surcharges? Depending on your carrier and the type of business you run, the answer will vary, and in some cases your options may be limited. After all, shipping to your customers is hardly optional, especially around the holidays. That said, if you are able to plan in advance to avoid the higher surcharge windows — some carriers charge more the closer you get to Christmas — whether through promotions or simple scheduling, you’ll be doing a favor to your bottom line. 

A more comprehensive solution, though, is to ship with LSO. The recently-announced LSO approach to peak season surcharges is a Goldilocks solution for customers looking to keep costs down. Again, the cost will depend on the type of shipping you plan to use, but LSO’s pricing on average is more affordable than our competitors. When choosing LSO, you don’t have to worry about tiered pricing, volume-based thresholds or nebulous surcharge dates. Most importantly, small business shippers will pay no peak surcharge, allowing you to ensure that the holidays stay merry and bright, no matter how much shipping you do. 

Reliable and Affordable Shipping

Despite the additional headaches of peak season and the ongoing logistical nightmare the COVID-19 pandemic has caused for the supply chain, LSO is here to offer comprehensive, convenient shipping to Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kansas and Oklahoma, including 100% of Texas Zip codes . LSO has been in business for more than 30 years, so this isn’t the first time we have dealt with extenuating circumstances. Let our experience guide your business through the typically-chaotic peak season and ease your mind. 

Here’s the comprehensive shipping solution you can only expect to find when you partner with LSO:

  • Dedicated service from our Austin-based team. When you call us you get live reps instead of automation. 
  • The best on-time records and lowest damage claims rate in the shipping industry.
  • Custom shipping options tailored to your needs.

In a season where planning ahead is the name of the game, our full-service shipping can provide your business with the best services during peak, including: online pickup scheduling for most locations, easy rate calculation, and other convenient services that will leave your customers impressed. Ready to get started? Learn more about LSO and our unique approach to caring for regional businesses, or open an account with us and start shipping today.

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