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Sellers who ship through Amazon will see a new 5% fuel and inflation surcharge

An Amazon worker walks past his Amazon Prime delivery truck in Washington, DC, on February 19, 2022.
Stefani Reynolds
/
AFP via Getty Images

Amazon sellers who use the company's packaging and delivery service will see a 5% surcharge on shipping due to rising fuel prices and growing inflation.

In a memo to sellers, the retail giant said it was applying the temporary fee for the first time in its history.

"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 memo said.

"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."

Inflation in the U.S. is at its highest point in the last 40 years, with consumer prices surging and supply chains continuing to face disruptions. Gas prices have also hit record highs, driven up in part by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Now, Amazon is responding with a new charge on merchants.

Starting on April 28, Amazon sellers who ship their products through the company's "Fulfillment by Amazon" program will see the 5% surcharge. That's in addition to the fees sellers pay Amazon per unit to fulfill orders.

Sellers who use third party delivery services or who ship orders themselves will not be affected by the surcharge, an Amazon spokesperson said.

The company added that, even with the addition of the surcharge, its fulfillment rates will remain lower than other carriers.

In 2021, sellers paid Amazon about $103 billion in fees, according to The Associated Press, which made up about 22% of Amazon's revenue.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Joe Hernandez
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