• Package-delivery giants plan differing approaches to pricing
  • Jump in online shopping fuels shipment of more oversized goods

FedEx Corp. will forgo most holiday surcharges on home deliveries this year, drawing a contrast with plans for stepped-up fees at United Parcel Service Inc. amid a surge in online shopping.

Additional holiday charges will only be applied to packages that are big or bulky enough to require special handling, FedEx said in a statement Thursday. UPS’s extra levies will bump up the cost of residential deliveries by about 3 percent.

The divergent fee structures represent sharply different approaches at the couriers, which have been contending with a rush of home deliveries as e-commerce continues to expand. FedEx may be able to woo small businesses or individual shippers away from UPS, where they’d have to pay the extra fee, said Kevin Sterling, a Seaport Global Holdings analyst.

“FedEx is smaller on the ground side than UPS and they can probably take a little more volume during peak,” he said. “They’re going to let UPS be Scrooge at Christmas.”

Large customers with contracts won’t be affected by the additional fees, Sterling said.

Surcharges Needed

UPS said the surcharges were needed to pay for the ramped-up operations over the crucial holiday period.

“UPS’s peak season pricing positions the company to be appropriately compensated for the high value we provide at a time when the company must double daily delivery…