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Why sending parcels could soon cost you more

·News Reporter
·4-min read
Australia Post box and money
The fuel surcharges mean it will cost you more to send parcels. (Source: Getty)

As Aussies continue to feel the sting of increased fuel prices, postal and courier services are applying their own record-high fuel surcharges, resulting in a jump in the cost of sending packages.

The Morrison government halved the fuel excise tax for six months as part of the 2022 Budget, which meant the tax on filling your tank was cut from 44 cents per litre to 22.1 cents per litre.

The change directly benefited Aussies at the pump, however, parts of the policy - along with skyrocketing international fuel prices - forced a price hike in the postal sector, which is being passed on to consumers sending parcels.

In response to these factors, individual postal and courier companies have calculated and set their own fuel surcharges for deliveries, which are subject to change on a monthly and/or bi-monthly basis.

So, how much will sending a package cost?

How do delivery companies compare?

Australia's biggest postal and courier services are significantly affected by rising fuel surcharges.

Our check of the six biggest delivery companies revealed a jump in prices across the board.

Australia Post

Between July 2020 and March 2021, Australia Post’s fuel surcharge was 0 per cent. Since then, it’s been steadily increasing.

The postal giant charged a 4.3 per cent fuel surcharge in May, which jumped up to 6.3 per cent in June.

Australia Post’s website states that July’s figure has jumped again, warning of a 7.9 per cent surcharge for the month.

StarTrack

Australia Post’s fuel surcharges apply to Parcel Contract, Domestic eParcel and StarTrack.

Star Track’s fuel surcharge is set to increase from 19.4 per cent to 21 per cent as of June 29.

Toll

As of Monday June 6, Toll Global Express is charging a 33.19 per cent surcharge for Toll Priority, up from the 31.22 per cent surcharge that was listed on Monday May 2.

Standard parcels jumped from 18.20 per cent to 19.60 per cent this month, with standard pallets jumping up from 28.02 per cent to 32.14 per cent this week.

Toll Air Express charged 7.49 per cent back in March 2021, with it steadily increasing since then. Between May and June, the fuel surcharge jumped from 11.51 per cent to 11.55 per cent.

Toll states on its website that the Australian Government’s fuel excise has been included in their fuel surcharges since May 1, 2022.

TNT

TNT Australia’s domestic fuel surcharge was listed as 26.4 per cent between May 1 and May 28, 2022.

From May 29 to July 2, 2022, the domestic fuel charge will jump to 28.6 per cent.

TNT’s international fuel surcharge is currently listed at 34.5 per cent, up from 33.5 per cent as listed last week.

International fuel charges with TNT are driven by the price of fuel per gallon. The international fuel surcharges fluctuate weekly along with fuel prices.

DHL

DHL’s fuel surcharge has been on an incline for the past few months. In April, a 25.5 per cent charge was listed on DHL’s website.

The surcharge jumped to 32.35 per cent in May, and again increased in June to 35.75 per cent.

DHL’s International Time Definite and Day Definite fuel surcharges are based on the monthly average spot prices for US Gulf Coast kerosene-type jet fuel, which is reported by the US Department of Energy.

Couriers Please

Couriers Please’s fuel surcharge for domestic services jumped from 20.5 per cent to 25.2 per cent between February and March this year. However, the domestic fuel surcharge has remained stable at 25.2 per cent.

“[The domestic surcharge] was calculated and applied at 30.7 per cent in April prior to the introduction of the Extra-Ordinary Fuel Charge on 11 April, 2022,” the courier service's website says.

"The Extra-Ordinary Fuel Charge is now being applied to all freight charges.”

The Extra-Ordinary Fuel Charge, which is advertised as a “temporary measure” by Couriers Please, is 4.5 per cent this June, jumping from May’s 2.3 per cent.

International Saver fuel surcharges have remained steady at 12 per cent for several months, while International Priority’s fuel surcharge jumped from 32.35 per cent to 35.75 per cent this month.

'Surcharge can rise'

As Australia’s biggest postal service, Australia Post has released a message to consumers, explaining the surcharges.

“With changes in fuel prices impacting the transport industry, the fuel surcharge can rise, fall, or not be applied, depending on the movement in fuel prices,” an Australia Post spokesperson told Yahoo Finance.

“The current surcharge is published three months in advance, based on current indices.”

Yahoo Finance also understands the Federal Government’s fuel excise did not apply to Australia Post, which further contributed to rising surcharge rates.

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