Amazon announced on April 13 that it will add a five percent “fuel and inflation surcharge” to seller fees in the United States in an effort to offset its rising costs as inflation levels soar across the country.
The e-commerce giant said the new surcharge will go into effect on April 28 and will apply to sellers who use its “Fulfillment by Amazon” service, which includes storing, packing, and shipping products.
That is in addition to the fees sellers already pay Amazon per unit to fulfill orders.
The surcharge is not a new 5 percent fee but a 5 percent increase in fulfillment fee rates
Once in effect it will make the total fees to sellers $2.52 per unit for “the slowest standard shipping options” and $14.08 per unit for two-day shipping options, an Amazon spokesperson told The Epoch Times.
Currently, UPS and FedEx’s fuel surcharges were at $0.42 and $0.49 per unit, respectively.
The move marks the first time in history that the Seattle-based company will charge sellers such a fee as inflation levels reach the highest level in four decades across the United States accelerating to an 8.5 percent annual rate in March.
Meanwhile, gas prices have soared, leaving Americans paying on average $4.074 at the pump, according to the latest data from the American Automobile Association.
Amazon said the decision was based on rising inflation and fuel costs, which it said has left the company facing further challenges after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company also said it had significantly invested in Amazon’s store and fulfillment operations to better support sellers and customers since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly doubling its fulfillment capacity, adding over 750,000 full- and part-time roles, and boosting its hourly wage in the United States from $15 to $18.
“These investments enabled tremendous growth for sellers, who have increased sales in our store by more than 70 percent during this time,” the company said in a message to third-party sellers that the company shared with The Epoch Times.
“Like many, we have experienced significant cost increases and absorbed them, wherever possible, to reduce the impact on our selling partners. When we did increase fees, we were focused on addressing permanent costs and ensuring our fees were competitive with those charged by other service providers,” the company said.
“In 2022, we expected a return to normalcy as COVID-19 restrictions around the world eased, but fuel and inflation have presented further challenges. It is still unclear if these inflationary costs will go up or down, or for how long they will persist, so rather than a permanent fee change, we will be employing a fuel and inflation surcharge for the first time—a mechanism broadly used across supply chain providers.”
Sellers who use third-party delivery services or who ship orders themselves will not be affected by the surcharge, an Amazon spokesperson told NPR.
Amazon follows in the footsteps of Uber and Lyft in adding a fuel surcharge as both companies did so for the first time ever in 2022, citing rising fuel costs.