‘TWAS THE SEASON not only for gift-giving but also for rate-raising by parcel carriers

On Nov. 17, Atlanta-based United Parcel Service (UPS) announced that it would hike its ground and air shipping rates effective Jan. 1. Prices are increasing an average 4.9% (a 6.9% average increase in standard list rates offset by a 2% reduction in the fuel surcharge) for ground shipments and 6.9% (an 8.9% rise in list rates with a 2% cut of the fuel surcharge) for air express and U.S.-origin international shipments. The parcel carrier will also charge an additional $0.10 for each residential delivery.

Last year UPS had increased its commercial ground services rates an average of 3.9% and its air and international service rates an average of 5.5%.

Memphis-based FedEx also announced rate increases effective Jan. 1. The courier is raising the net average shipping rate for FedEx Express by 3.5% (a 5.5% average increase in standard list rates offset by a 2% reduction in its fuel surcharge) and increasing FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery rates by an average of 4.9%. These changes include an adjustment to the fuel surcharge for FedEx Ground shipments, which will be assessed on additional transportation-related surcharges.

FedEx will add a dimensional weight system for oversize ground shipments effective Feb. 5. For more on the dimensional weight charges, which UPS has already implemented, see “A new dimension in packaging, page 42.