Amazon informed its third-party sellers Wednesday that it will soon implement a 5% "fuel and inflation" surcharge on top of existing Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) fees, saying the move was in lieu of making a permanent fee increase.
While fuel surcharges are common for shipping firms, this is the first time Amazon has added such a fee amid the persistence of soaring inflation driven by high gas prices.
"Like many, we have experienced significant cost increases and absorbed them, wherever possible, to reduce the impact on our selling partners," the e-commerce giant wrote in an email shared with FOX Business, announcing the fee to merchants. "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."
"In 2022, we expected a return to normalcy as COVID-19 restrictions around the world eased, but fuel and inflation have presented further challenges," the email continued, adding, "It is still unclear if these inflationary costs will go up or down, or for how long they will persist."
Amazon said the new surcharge will be implemented April 28. Once it goes into effect, the added cost for inflation and fuel will come out to $0.24 per unit, making total fees to sellers (covering services such as storage and managing orders) $2.52 per unit. The company said that as of March 21, UPS and FedEx's fuel surcharges were at $0.42 and $0.49 per unit, respectively.
The retail behemoth followed Uber and Lyft in adding a fuel surcharge for the first time ever in 2022. The rideshare competitors both added fuel surcharges in an effort to provide some relief to their drivers, but have received pushback from customers who complain the costs have risen too high.
Inflation in the U.S. is currently the highest it's been in four decades, at 8.5% year-over-year.