When a package falls outside the maximum dimensions / weight, the chance of a surcharge is high. Surcharges are always calculated by the carrier afterwards.
If a package is too large or too heavy, it can no longer be processed automatically over the belt. This means that an employee must process the shipment manually.
Also, an unclear label, wrong packaging of your shipment or selecting a wrong shipping method may be a reason for a surcharge.

In this article you will find an explanation of the various surcharges that can be charged and how you can prevent them. The following surcharges will be explained:

Surcharge remote area, over size and oversize weight, wrong shipping method, due to the nature of packaging, Envelope / Document, new label, package return sender,
Europallet exchange service and Pallet outside maximum dimensions.

Surcharge remote area

DHL Parcel also delivers your shipments in remote and difficult to reach areas within Europe (including islands and ski areas). In that case, the transit time may be slightly longer. Do you want to know if the destination of your shipment is in a remote area? View this via the online remote area tool or download this pdf with the remote areas of DHL.

These surcharges may vary based on the area where you send them.
This is calculated as follows:

International shipments

  • € 0.45 per KG, with a minimum of € 20.00 per shipment.

National shipments

  • € 0.25 per KG, with a minimum of € 10.00 per shipment.  

Surcharge over size and oversize weight € 45

These surcharges are for the packages between 240 and 600 cm long with a maximum diameter of 30 cm and a maximum weight of 50 kg.
When a package is too heavy or too large, it can no longer be processed automatically over the belt. This means that an employee must process the shipment manually.

When will you receive this surcharge?:

  • Packages heavier than: 31.5 kg / Maximum: 50 kg.
  • Package between 180x100x60cm (lxwxh) and 200x120x80cm (lxwxh)
  • Package between 180x100x50cm (lxwxh) and 240x100x200cm (lxwxh)

Packages weighing more than 50 kg are treated operationally and administratively as a pallet.

Only Benelux:

  • Package between 240 and 600 cm long with a maximum diameter of 30 cm and with a maximum weight of 50 kg.

*A package larger than the maximum specifications is sent back to the sender. The surcharge is invoiced.

To avoid this surcharge, it is advisable to stay broad within the dimensions and weights. Packages are measured and weighed by specially calibrated equipment, however measurement differences can occur.


I send two identical packages with the following dimentions 179.5x100x59cm. Afterwards I receive an invoice one of these shipments has received a surcharge and the other does not, how is this possible?
One of these packages has been placed slantwise on the belt, so this has caused a deviation in the measurements.

Surcharge wrong shipping method € 3.70

You get this surcharge when you have chosen the wrong shipping method: DHL Europlus instead of a DHL ForYou shipment.

The size is larger than: 80x50x35cm or 150 L and / or heavier than 20kg or the package has been sent to a private address with the business network.


  • My package is larger than 80x50x35 cm and must go to a private address?            If you send this with DHLForYou you will receive a surcharge, so the advice is to include the surcharge in the shipping costs or send the package with another carrier. Do not choose for the Europlus network, because this is not suitable for consumers and this can also be calculated for a surcharge or even be sent back to the sender.

Surcharge due to the nature of packaging € 3.70

This surcharge is not directly related to the dimensions or weights of a package.
If a package can not be sorted automatically due to its nature, shape or packaging, this surcharge will be charged by the carrier.

These are the criteria for manual processing:

  • Package larger than 120x60x50cm (lxwxh)
  • Package smaller than 15x11x3.5cm (lxwxh)
  • Indications on package such as 'Fragile' or 'Handle with care'
  • Addressing: Address and barcode are not on the largest side. (placement label)
  • Packaging: Wood and metal, sealed packages and films (eg bubble wrap) or Styrofoam, plastic bags
  • Combining loose boxes into one package / With tape or other binding material, 2 or more packages are combined into one package.
  • Content is not fixed in the packaging (slides back and forth).

To avoid this surcharge, it is advisable to pay close attention to the packaging. Do not use round tubes, avoid mentions on the package, stick the label on the longest side on top of your package, do not tape packages together and make sure there is enough padding so that the contents do not slide back and forth.

Surcharge Envelope / Document € 3.70 

It is not possible to send envelopes or documents via the DHLForYou network. If you use this shipping method for this type of shipment, a surcharge applies.

  • Package smaller than 15x11x3.5cm (LxWxH)
  • Package lighter than 0.5KG.

If you want to send letter mail via DHL you can use the shipping method: DHLForYou Letterbox. If you want to hand it in at a DHL service point, use the shipping method DHLForYou Drop Off.

Surcharge new label € 0,60

This surcharge will be charged once a relabeling has occurred.
This can also have various causes, for example:

  • A scratch trough the bar code / QR Code
  • A bobble in the barcode / QR Code
  • The original label contains errors
  • Label not attached on the longest side (package is scanned from above)

Surcharge package return sender

When a shipment is returned to the sender, there are also costs here, these costs are for the sender.
These costs will only be charged if this concerns a refusal at the door, incorrect address details or when a package is not picked up at the depot / service point on time.

If the shipment is in the DHL private network (DHLForYou), the calculation is as follows:

Shipping rate + € 1.25

*If you send a shipment to a business address with DHLForYou, it will be returned with Europlus, this involves other costs.

For a shipment in the business network (Europlus) the calculation is as follows:

Shipping rate + € 8.50

Europallet exchange service € 3.50

When you send goods on a euro pallet, DHL will exchange them for you.
This standard service is only available within the Benelux.
DHL takes care of the balance registration and ensures that the sent euro pallets are returned in good condition within four weeks. A surcharge applies for this service.

Surcharge Pallet outside maximum dimensions

This surcharge applies to pallet shipments when the pallet falls outside the maximum dimensions or when goods are placed outside the pallet.

  • Pallet between L120 x B100 x H200 and L240 x B100

A 100% surcharge per pallet applies for pallets in the Benelux.
Outside the Benelux the average pallet rate of the shipment is the basis for the surcharge. These can amount to several hundred euros, so make sure that you stay within the maximum dimensions for all international shipments.

To avoid the above surcharges, please carefully read the shipping conditions, make sure you stay well within the permitted dimensions and of course select the right network for your package. Click on the button below for the shipping conditions of DHL:

If you have any further questions about surcharges in this article, please feel free to contact us.

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