Less than three weeks before the prices take effect the day after Christmas, UPS announced its 2019 rate schedule, including an overall rate increase of 4.9% for its ground, air and international services, leaving shippers scrambling to adapt at the busiest time of year.
Last year UPS announced its general rate increase (GRI) in October, and in September the year before that. FedEx announced its 4.9% GRI for 2019 in early November. While the new FedEx rate schedule takes effect Jan. 7, UPS’s hike happens as of Dec.26, meaning it will hit the first massive wave of Christmas returns.
“This year (UPS) announced it three weeks before the effective date and in the heat of the fourth quarter peak shipping,” said parcel consultant Jerry Hempstead. “Large shippers will have little time nor the IT resources to sift through the nuances of this year’s announced changes.”