How do parcel carriers calculate their fuel surcharge?

Fuel is the only surcharge that applies to every small package that is shipped. While there are a plethora of other surcharges, they are only applied for certain reasons. A residential surcharge is only applied if the package is shipped to a residential address. An additional handling surcharge is only applied when a package exceeds a specific size or weight. But the fuel surcharge is applied to every package.

The price of fuel is constantly changing so FedEx and UPS update their fuel surcharge percentage on a weekly basis. Fuel is always a percentage of the cost of the transportation charge combined with a number of other surcharges like the residential surcharge mentioned previously.

Transportation Charge $10.97 Residential Surcharge $5.50 Net Spend without Fuel $16.47 Fuel @ 15.25% of Net Spend $2.51 Total Cost $18.98

The Ground fuel surcharge percentage is based on the U.S. On-highway Average price for a gallon of diesel fuel. You can see in the table below that this changes every week. This weekly charge is then compared to the FedEx or UPS Ground fuel surcharge table to determine what percentage rate should be applied for that week’s billing.

The same methodology is used for Express shipments but with the  U.S. Gulf Coast (USGC) spot price for a gallon of kerosene-type jet fuel used as an index.

To learn how to reduce the impact of fuel on your parcel spend, contact our parcel experts.

U.S. On-highway Diesel PriceWeekly Retail Gasoline and Diesel Prices

FedEx Fuel Surcharge TableFedEx Ground Fuel Surcharge Table

UPS Fuel Surcharge TableUPS Ground Fuel Surcharge Table


Learn More



Sign-up for the AFS Newsletter

Receive news updates and insights delivered straight to your inbox.

Download the Full Q1:2023
Cowen/AFS Freight Index

Reach out to our team by
phone or email

Become a carrier

First name:
Last name:

Motor Carrier #:

First name:
Last name:

AFS client name:
PRO #:
Invoice Date:
Payment Received Date:
Invoice Amount:

Other carrier inquiries

First name:
Last name:

AFS client name:

Have you tried logging in to vendor portal?

If you do not have a vendor log-in, please fill out the following.

First name:
Last name:

Have my account manager contact me

First name:
Last name:


AFS is directing carriers and customers to direct all inbound invoices to [email protected] or via established electronic submission, such as EDI or eSubmit to avoid processing delays due to the impacts of the COVID-19 countermeasures and service interruptions at the United States Postal Service.

Carriers should contact Carrier Support via email at [email protected] in lieu of calls. We have added additional resources and later hours to assist you and email will serve as the method for fastest response. Please send an aging report with your inquiry so that we may provide you the most current status.

Thank you!