FedEx Announces 2019 Parcel Rate Hikes, Holiday Peak Charges

FedEx has announced its general rate increase (GRI) for 2019, bumping up its ground, express and home delivery services by an average of 4.9% as of Jan. 7, while also adding some holiday season surcharges and increasing others next year. Rival UPS has yet to announce its 2019 rates.

Between Nov. 19 and Dec. 24, FedEx is adding a $3.20 additional handling surcharge on U.S. express and ground services and international ground services. It is also adding a $150 unauthorized package charge during the same period for U.S. and international ground, and a $27.50 oversized charge on U.S. and international ground and U.S. express services.

FedEx Freight, the company’s less-than-truckload (LTL) division, is increasing its rates an average of 5.9% as of Jan. 7. UPS has advised customers to make other plans for LTL shipments as of last week in the event of a potential Teamsters strike.

The company said FedEx SmartPost, its last-mile service handled by the U.S. Postal Service, will be increasing in 2019 as well, although a figure was not given.

These increases are in addition to an increase in FedEx’s additional handling surcharge on packages weighing more than 70 lbs. from $12 to $20 as of Sept. 3, for U.S. and international ground and express services, and increases in its fuel surcharges as of Sept. 10. More FedEx surcharge increases as of Jan. 7, including for same-day service, are detailed here.

Tim Sailor, owner of Navigo Consulting Group, said the FedEx GRI was in line with past years, but added most shippers don’t understand the impact to their year-over-year costs as the increases vary by service level, weight and zone.

“What has been an increasing trend is for the carriers to implement surcharge increases during the year and not wait for the January GRI,” Sailor said. “2017 was rough as the carriers increased additional handling, added peak season surcharges, and a new third-party surcharge, just to name a few.”

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