Purpose: learn how to avoid unwanted PostNL surcharges when your package does not meet the carrier shipping conditions.
What are peak surcharges?
Black Friday and the Christmas season are right around the corner, resulting in a radical increase in shipping volumes.
Shipping carriers charge peak season surcharges to ensure that service levels and the delivery experience are still maintained despite this influx of increased shipments during this period. These additional fees compensate for the additional costs shopping carriers face, including increased staffing and longer service hours. They are applied in addition to other, regular surcharges.
- PostNL Virtual
During the period 20.11.2022 - 31.12.2022 PostNL charges a surcharge of €0.25 per parcel. This surcharge applies to all PostNL shipments. (With the exception of Collection methods. You'll find those surcharges below.)
- PostNL Collectie
During the period 20.11.2022 - 31.12.2022 PostNL charges a surcharge of €0.25 per parcel. This applies to the 'Collection' shipping methods.
PostNL charges a surcharge if the announcement of a parcel has not been done correctly. The surcharge is €0.82.
There are several reasons why a parcel cannot be announced correctly. Some examples are:
- The parcel has not been handed over to PostNL within 7 days after the pre-notification
- The label is damaged
- The label is not easily readable
- The label is too close to one side
- Pre-notification does not match the data in the barcode
Surcharge nature of packaging/not suitable for machine / manual processing - See table*
When a shipment meets one of the following criteria, PostNL will have to process the package manually. A surcharge is charged for this, with the designation NMG (Not Machine Suitable). The amount depends on the country you're shipping to. See the table below for pricing. You may also receive this surcharge if tape or a plastic sleeve is covering the shipping label, as this can cause glare, which prevents the label from being scanned properly.
- Bigger than 100 x 70 x 58 cm but less than 175 x 78 x 58 cm
- Smaller than 10 x 10 x 1 cm
- From 23 KG up to 31.5 KG
Characteristics of the package
- Glassware, including bottles of wine (if not packaged in machine-suitable packaging) etc. or flowers.
- Laboratory samples or X-rays.
- Indications on the package mentioning 'fragile'.
- All tubes and other forms of packaging in which the label can not be processed horizontally.
- Addresses and bar codes not on the largest side of the package.
- Wood and metal, sealed packages and films (e.g. bubble wrap) or polystyrene foam.
- Two or more packages were combined 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 (e.g. '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
|Country of destination:||Germany||France||Rest of the world|
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.
Exceeding maximum package dimensions - 73.22 EUR
If a parcel was too big and/or too heavy to be transported with the delivery van of the driver, it will be delivered through the Extra@Home network from PostNL.
A surcharge will be charged for this with the indication Surcharge for exceeding maximum dimensions.
- Bigger than 175 x 78 x 58 cm
- Heavier than 31,5 KG
How can I prevent this surcharge?
Make sure you stay well within the maximum dimensions of the carrier. A part of the box may sometimes protrude or the box may expand during transport. You can already receive a surcharge for your shipment if it is just outside the maximum dimensions.
Research by carriers shows that half of the parcels sent consists of air. As a result, unnecessary empty space is transported. That is why they are introducing a volumetric surcharge for packages larger than 50dm³. With this, PostNL wants to reduce the empty space and thus create extra logistics capacity and at the same time reduce CO2 emissions.
|< 50 dm³||€ 0|
|50 - 100 dm³||€ 0,55|
|100 - 200 dm³||€ 1,55|
|200+ dm³||€ 3,06|
Return to Sender
When a shipment is returned to sender, the costs are for the account of the sender. These costs will only be charged if this concerns a refusal at the door, undeliverable, incorrect address details or when a package is not picked up at the depot/service point.
The return costs are the same amount as the initial shipping costs.
PostNL Standard Collection
In the Sendcloud platform you can choose from two shipping methods for PostNL Standard:
- PostNL Standard
This is the correct method to select when you intend to hand your parcels over to a service point for delivery.
- PostNL Standard Collection
This is the shipping method that is selected when PostNL will collect parcels directly from you via a Sendcloud pickup.
PostNL have implemented this new surcharge due to the increasing number of PostNL standard Collection shipments which are incorrectly being handed in at service points or at PostNL depots.
Additional costs weight Globalpack
- Length (cm) x Width (cm) x Height (cm) /12000
Example: If the package weighs 10 kg and is 80 x 60 x 40 cm, the volumetric weight would be (80 x 60 x 40 / 12000) 16 kg. In that case the weight you use for the shipment should be 16 kg.
PostNL Corona Surcharges
The world wide Corona measures have had a big impact on the international logistic branches; PostNL included. Because of this, PostNL has been charging a temporary kilo surcharge for shipments outside of the EU, as of April 2020.
The past year we haven't forwarded this surcharge to our users. Of course we hoped that these measures wouldn't take as long as the have so far. Unfortunately the pandemic, measures and the impact of this are still an ongoing issue. Because of this, we have reached the point where we need to start charging our users this surcharge. As of August 16th 2021, you will start receiving a kilo surcharge for shipments outside of the EU on your invoice.
Example: You send a package of 5kg to Australia. For this shipment you will receive an extra charge of (5 kg x 2.10 EUR) = 10.50 EUR
See the overview with the Corona surcharges below (prices are per kilogram):
Temporary kilo surcharge
|Hong Kong||€ 1.30|
|New Zealand||€ 2.20|
|Rest of Europe||€ 0|
|United States||€ 1.20|
|South Africa||€ 1.30|
|Rest of the world||€ 1.30|
Please note: the surcharge will be dropped as soon as the regular service van PostNL resumes. We don't know yet when this will happen but of course we'll stop charging this surcharge for shipments sent with PostNL after they withdraw it.
Please carefully read the shipping conditions to avoid the above surcharges. Make sure that you stay well within the permitted dimensions and ensure that the packaging meets the correct criteria.