UPS Brokerage Fees: Definition & Tips to Avoid Them

Learn what UPS brokerage fees are, how they can increase the cost of your purchase, and tips to help you avoid them.

UPS Brokerage Fees: Definition & Tips to Avoid Them

UPS, or the United Parcel Service, is one of the most significant shipping and logistics companies in the world right now. As of 2022, UPS has almost 1800 operating facilities worldwide and a global workforce of 500,000. However, UPS's massive network of operations does not relieve the concerns of UPS brokerage fees for businesses and individuals. What brokerage fees are charged by UPS, and where does it apply? The following post helps you find the answer alongside some exciting pointers on avoiding brokerage fees.  

What are UPS Brokerage Fees, and What Do They Cover?

The first thing you need to understand about UPS brokerage fees would be its definition. It is a customs duty tax imposed by UPS for international shipments from the US to Mexico and Canada. The brokerage fees are essential to the shipping costs for UPS customers choosing the UPS Standard service. As a matter of fact, UPS Standard is one of the favorable options for faster and cost-effective delivery of international shipments to Mexico and Canada.

While you can find an answer to 'does UPS ship to Mexico' with UPS Standard, you will likely encounter brokerage fees. Why does UPS charge brokerage fees for shipments to Mexico and Canada? UPS has to use ground transportation to deliver freight to the northern and southern neighbors of the United States. Therefore, UPS must clear the shipments manually through the customs departments of Mexico and Canada, thereby calling for brokerage fees.    

Related: Overnight Shipping: How Does Next Day Shipping Work

How to Avoid UPS Brokerage Fees when Shipping Packages Internationally?

The brokerage fees for Canada or Mexico customs are the notable reasons UPS imposes the same for customers. Interestingly, you can avoid UPS brokerage fees with international shipments by understanding precisely what is involved in the prices. The essential components included in brokerage fees, such as entry preparation fees and bond fees, can increase shipping costs. 

The entry preparation fees are the basic charges by UPS for moving a particular package through customs. A significant portion of the UPS Canada broker fees depends on the entry preparation fee for a specific shipment. You can avoid the entry preparation fee in UPS brokerage charges by processing a package through customs on your own. 

The bond fees are another significant part of the brokerage fees charged by UPS for shipments to Mexico and Canada. Bond fees are the charges imposed for collecting tax and duty obligations of the customer. As UPS would pay the duties and taxes for clearing your shipments, it would charge an additional fee to save you the trouble. You can avoid the bond fees in UPS customs broker fees by pre-paying the taxes and duties.       

UPS brokerage fees can add a high cost to your international shipping, but there are ways to avoid them. When shipping packages internationally, be sure to use a service that offers tracking and insurance.

There are ways to avoid UPS brokerage fees when shipping packages internationally.

Related: What Is UPS SurePost? How Businesses Can Benefit From It

Use A Service That Offers Tracking And Insurance

If you're using UPS to ship packages internationally, use a tracking and insurance service. This will help ensure that your package arrives safely and on time and protect you in case of any problems with the shipment.

Choose A Shipping Company That Doesn't Charge Brokerage Fees

There are a few different shipping companies that don't charge brokerage fees, so if you're looking to avoid these charges, be sure to research your options before choosing a shipping company.

Use An International Shipping Service That Includes Brokerage Fees In The Price

Using an international shipping service that includes brokerage fees, you won't have to worry about being charged extra for UPS brokerage fees. Before you ship, check with the company to ensure their prices include all necessary payments.

Related: What is FedEx Ground Economy (FedEx Smartpost) For Businesses?

Try Shipping During UPS's Off-Peak Times

UPS charges lower rates for shipments that are sent during their off-peak times. So, if you're able to ship during these times, you may be able to save money on your shipment.

Avoid Shipping Packages That Are Over A Certain Value

UPS will charge you a brokerage fee if you're shipping a package valued at over $200. To avoid this fee, try splitting up your shipment into multiple packages, each with a value of less than $200.

These are just a few ways to avoid UPS brokerage fees when shipping packages internationally. Be sure to research your options and choose the best shipping method to ensure that you don't incur unnecessary charges.

Related: UPS Shipping Rules: Restrictions & Prohibited Items

Tips for Shipping Packages with UPS to Avoid Paying Brokerage Fees

The costs of UPS Standard international shipments can present significant challenges for businesses and individual users. Many people would think of an immediate solution that can help them avoid the additional brokerage fees. 

Review the UPS Brokerage Charges

One of the trusted solutions to avoid the brokerage fees charged by UPS would refer to a detailed assessment of the brokerage charges. Since the brokerage charge depends on the value of the shipment, you can identify the labels which offer freedom from the brokerage. 

Try the Services of Different Carriers

You can also try the services of another international carrier, postal or hybrid services for accessing low-cost delivery solutions. UPS is the only carrier charging brokerage fees on shipments transported to Mexico and Canada. The ideal competitors for UPS to avoid brokerage fees would refer to DHL or USPS. 

You can rely on USPS for the most affordable international shipment costs without the trouble of brokerage fees. Some examples of cheap international shipping services by USPS include Priority Mail International and First Class Package International.   

Related: Why Did My UPS Package Get Rescheduled?

Alternatives to Using UPS for International Shipping

The tips for shipping packages with UPS to avoid brokerage fees focus on finding alternatives to UPS for international shipping. However, you can also have lower UPS shipping costs with other international services of UPS. Remember that UPS Standard is not the only preferred choice in using UPS for international shipping. Here are some of the notable alternatives to UPS Standard for international shipping. 

UPS Worldwide Expedited

This is an excellent option for those who need their shipment delivered quickly. It offers guaranteed 2-day delivery to most locations around the world. However, this service can be pretty expensive.

UPS Worldwide Express Plus

UPS offers another rapid shipping method. It provides guaranteed 1-day delivery to most major cities worldwide. Like Expedited shipping, this service can also be pricey.

UPS Worldwide Express

UPS Worldwide Express is an excellent middle ground between Expedited and Express Plus. It offers 3-day delivery to most locations worldwide. This service is less expensive than the two previous options but provides reliable shipping.

UPS Worldwide Express Saver

This is the most economical option offered by UPS. It has a delivery time of 5-7 days to most locations worldwide. This service is a good choice for those who don't need their shipment delivered urgently.

UPS Worldwide Express Freight is UPS's shipping service for more oversized items. It offers 2-day delivery to most major cities worldwide. This service is more expensive than other UPS shipping options but is necessary for items that are too large to ship via standard methods.

Related: A Detailed Guide on UPS Next Day Air Saver

All the alternatives to UPS Standard provide the advantages of better speed for international shipping. However, it is essential to check the shipment cost in each option and compare them with the brokerage fee breakdown for the shipment. Ultimately, you can find the ideal UPS service for your requirements.


UPS brokerage fees can quickly add up and eat into your profits, but there are ways to avoid them. In this blog post, we’ve defined what these fees are and provided tips to help you steer clear of them. If you need help fulfilling orders, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Simpl. We provide order fulfillment services that will take the hassle out of shipping products around the globe.

Recommended: How to Get Free Shipping Supplies from USPS, UPS, FedEx, and DHL

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