If a parcel does not meet the shipping conditions or exceeds the set dimensions of a carrier, you run the risk of receiving a shipping surcharge on your next invoice. In this article we explain some of the reasons for which you may receive a surcharge from DHL so you can pay additional attention to these points and avoid receiving unwanted surcharges in the future.
Note: as of 11 May 2020, the manner in which DHL will invoice for return shipments will change. Read more.
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 might be slightly longer. Do you want to know if the destination of your shipment concerns a remote area? You can download this pdf to view the areas of DHL.
These surcharges may vary based on the area where you are shipping to. The price is calculated as follows:
- € 0.45 per KG, with a minimum of € 20.00 per shipment.
- € 0.25 per KG, with a minimum of € 10.00 per shipment.
Surcharge over size and oversize weight - € 45
These surcharges can be charged for the packages between 240 and 600 cm long with a maximum diameter of 30 cm and a maximum weight of 50 kg.
If your shipment is too heavy or too large, it can no longer be processed automatically. This means that your package needs to be processed manually.
- Between 180x100x60cm (lxwxh) and 200x120x80cm (lxwxh)
- Between 180x100x50cm (lxwxh) and 240x100x200cm (lxwxh)
- From 31,5 KG up to 50 KG
Packages weighing more than 50 KG are treated operationally and administratively as a pallet.
- 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.
How can I prevent this surcharge?
To avoid this surcharge, we advise you to stay broad within the dimensions and weights. Packages are measured and weighed by specially calibrated equipment, however measurement differences can occur.
You ship two identical packages with the following dimensions 179.5x100x59cm. Afterwards you 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 processing belt, so this has caused a deviation in the measurements.
Surcharge wrong shipping method - € 3.70
You receive this surcharge when you have chosen the wrong shipping method: DHL Europlus instead of a DHLForYou 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.
Your package is larger than 80x50x35 cm and needs to be delivered to a private address? If you ship it with DHLForYou you will receive a surcharge, so the advice is to include the surcharge in the shipping costs or ship the package with the help of another carrier. Do not select the Europlus network, because this is not suitable for private addresses so a surcharge can be charged as well or even be sent back to the sender.
Surcharge due to the nature of packaging - € 3.70
This surcharge is not only 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 as well.
- Larger than 120 x 60 x 50 cm (lxwxh)
- Smaller than 15 x 11 x 3,5 cm (lxwxh)
Characteristics of the package
- Indications on package such as 'Fragile' or 'Handle with care'
- Label: 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 boxes into one package / With tape or other binding material
- Content is not fixed in the packaging (slides back and forth).
How can I prevent this surcharge?
To avoid this surcharge, we advise you to pay close attention to the packaging.
- Do not use round tubes
- Avoid mentions on the package (such as 'fragile')
- Paste the label with the barcode in a horizontal way on the longest side of the box
- Do not attach packages to each other
- Make sure there is sufficient filling (inner packaging) so that the contents do not slide back and forth
This surcharge is one of the most difficult surcharges since you have to take into account several factors. Of course it is always possible to contact us for packaging advice.
Surcharge Envelope / Document - € 3.70
It is not possible to ship envelopes or documents through the DHLForYou network. If you use this shipping method for this type of shipment, a surcharge applies.
- Smaller than 15 x 11 x 3,5cm (LxWxH)
- Lighter than 0.5 KG.
If you want to ship 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 letterbox package outside specifications - € 1.00
If your package is larger or heavier than the maximum dimensions allowed by DHL for a letterbox shipment, your package will be processed as a regular package shipment. The costs for this are generally 1 euro higher than the costs for a letterbox shipment. For this reason, a surcharge of 1 euro will be charged on your invoice afterwards.
- Bigger than 38 x 26,5 x 3,2 CM (l x b x h)
- Heavier than 2 KG
Surcharge new label - € 0,60
This surcharge will be charged once a relabeling has occurred. Relabeling can have various reasons as well, 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)
Return package to sender surcharge
Carriers including DHL charge a fee for parcels which cannot be delivered and are, therefore, returned by the carrier to the sender. From 11 May 2020, the way DHL invoices for these return shipments will change. Previously, different reasons for return shipments resulted in different rates of surcharges.
As of 11 May onwards, a flat fee of €1.25 + the outbound rate will be applied to all return parcels, regardless of the return reason.
Note: The return rate is in addition to the already charged shipped fee for the outbound shipment. For example, if you paid €6.00 for the outbound shipment and the parcel is returned, DHL will charge an additional €7.25 on your invoice (outbound fee + €1.25).
Q: Does this also apply to shipments my customers choose to return?
A: No. This fee only applied to parcels which cannot be delivered due to reasons such as the below:
- Customer refuses the shipment
- Customer misses the delivery attempt
- Delivery address is incorrect
- Customer does not collect the package from the DHL pickup location on time
Have questions? Feel free to contact us by making a support ticket from your Sendcloud platform.
*If you ship a package 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€
If you ship goods on an Europallet, 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 shipped Europallets 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 if the pallet doesn't meet the maximum dimensions or when goods are positioned outside the pallet.
- Pallet between L120 x B100 x H200 and L240 x B100 x H200
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 costs can rise to several hundred euros, so make sure that you stay within the maximum dimensions for all international shipments.
From 6th January 2019, DHL has introduced a pickup fee of €4.50 per pickup when an average of less than 4 parcels are picked up. This fee will be calculated as follows at the end of each month:
If a month has 22 working days, you should allow at least 22 x 4 =88 parcels that month. So, for example, if you only hand in 62 parcels during that month then you have handed over (88-62 =) 26 parcels too little. This number will then be divided by 4 (average number of packages to be given per pickup) = 6.5. This means results in a total of 7 pickups that month where less than 4 packages were handed over. The total pickup fee for that month will then amount to 7 x €4.50 = €31.50.
Please be sure to carefully read the DHL shipping terms and conditions carefully to avoid the above surcharges. Make sure you stay well within the allowed dimensions and that your packages meet the shipping criteria to reduce the chance of reciving unwanted surcharges.
Feel free to contact us by email at email@example.com or use the contact form. Create a new ticket from the 'Support' section and select the right category.