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Freight Rates Rise at UPS and FedEx: Non-Contractual LTL Shipping up at Least 5.9%

11 Jul, 2012 By: Doug McPherson

If you’re shipping large items like couches and treadmills in non-contractual, less-than-truckload shipments (LTL) via United Parcel Service Inc., plan to pay an average increase of 5.9 percent beginning July 16. That was the word from UPS earlier this month.

And LTL rates will jump even more at other freight carriers. Average freight rate hikes of 6.9 percent became effective on July 9 at FedEx Corp., Con-Way Inc. and YRC Freight. At ABF Freight, an average rate hike of 6.9 percent started on June 25, according to Internet Retailer.

The rate hikes at all of these carriers except FedEx Freight apply to all LTL rates, including minimum charges and accessorial fees, which can include extra charges for services such as using a special lift-gate at a residence to compensate for not having a loading dock. At FedEx, separate rate changes will cover minimum charges and accessorial fees.

LTL shipments are often bulky, weighing 150 pounds or more and usually taking up only part of a truck trailer. Transportation companies usually combine loads from multiple shippers in a single LTL trailer.

UPS says its LTL rate hike follows an investment in its trucking infrastructure of $100 million during the past two years. A UPS spokesperson says that has allowed the company to deliver more quickly, for example reducing the transit times by as much as 48 hours between Miami and Vancouver.

UPS has also launched such services as giving retailer shippers and their customers the ability to track LTL shipments online.

FedEx reports it began offering improved transit times July 9, and last fall it began to let LTL as well as small-parcel shippers access its online ship manager service to manage shipments. YRC Freight says it, too, has improved shipping times and reliability throughout the United States.

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