The UPS announcements on Saturday service, set to go into effect this month, represent a seismic shift in the carriers' perception of service delivery times and days of operations. Weekend service/delivery of packages has long been a "third rail" of sorts for parcel delivery; Saturday delivery generally only occurred with the major carriers under special circumstances, heavy surcharges, and Express service only. Yet FedEx Home Delivery (FHD) service has long operated with a Tuesday-Saturday schedule, and the USPS has always delivered on Saturdays. Additionally, the USPS has also amplified its Sunday delivery services in conjunction with Amazon.

So how does a shipper interpret the changes and plan accordingly? Some thoughts below:


  • There is no charge for this service for delivery; it will become the "new normal" for UPS Ground. Residential ground deliveries will be attempted on Saturday for packages that come through their network. Packages not delivered Saturday would be delivered Monday. This will enable UPS to compete with FedEx Home Delivery while offering an extra delivery day (Monday). It will be interesting to see if FedEx Home Delivery follows suit and adds an extra delivery day, as well.
  • UPS is rolling this out to 15 metropolitan areas this month in addition to several other cities that were part of a test program last year. The service will expand to more than 4,000 cities and towns by November (approximately 50% of the UPS Ground service area) with more in 2018. By holiday season, this in-transit improvement will be in place for customers in densely-populated areas.


There are some considerations for pickup to consider, including some new or increased surcharges.

  • Saturday Stop Charge – if already scheduled, the fee will increase from $3.00 to $9.00 per stop.
  • Saturday Stop Charge – UPS Smart Pickup request will increase from $3.00 to $6.00 per stop.
  • Saturday Stop Charge with UPS On-Call Pickup request will now be charged $3.20 per stop (in addition to any applicable UPS On-Call Pickup charge).

Saturday pickup will be available for UPS 3 Day Select, UPS Ground, and UPS Ground with freight pricing services in select areas. In such areas, a Saturday Stop Charge or the applicable UPS On-Call Pickup charge will apply any time a Saturday pickup is requested (in addition to any applicable Saturday Air Processing Fee/s for UPS Air Services; more on that below). In such areas, if a Saturday pickup is scheduled but nothing is shipped, the Saturday Stop Charge or applicable UPS On-Call Pickup charge will be assessed (in lieu of the Saturday Air Processing Fee; see below for more info on the Air Processing Fee).

Saturday Pickup is now called Saturday Air Processing Fee for UPS Air Services:

  • UPS Next Day Air packages will be delivered the next business day, and UPS 2nd Day Air Packages will be delivered within two business days.
  • This includes UPS Air Services and UPS Hundredweight Air Services packages tendered to UPS on Saturday, including packages dropped off at retail locations.
  • If a Saturday pickup is scheduled but nothing is shipped, the Saturday Air Processing Fee will be assessed.
  • Additional pickup fees will apply for UPS On-Call Pickup service

Some Points to Note

  • The Stop Charges will be for pickup, and on a per pickup basis, not per package at the present time.
  • Tendering a package to a retail drop off location could now result in a charge if tendered on Saturday (for air services, as part of the Air Processing Fee). This might have an effect on e-commerce and returns in the future.

What Does It Mean for You?

Saturday services have long been available, but only for Air Services and generally only for very critical shipments. Saturday delivery for Ground represents a paradigm shift for UPS operational philosophy. Understanding how the charges affect you for pickup purposes, however, becomes important to note in understanding your costs. Additionally, understanding how a shipment that might be delivered on a Saturday — and waiting until Monday for the recipient to receive it — will be critical to adapting to this "new normal" for parcel delivery.

Krish Iyer is Director, Strategic Partnerships & Business Development, ShipStation. He can be reached at 615.545.1542 (cell) or