In a move that could help it capitalize on the potential avalanche of holiday returns and back orders, UPS Inc. will raise its tariff rates, effective the day after Christmas, by 4.9 percent on its U.S. ground parcel services, and on all air shipments that serve or touch the U.S. market.
The Atlanta-based giant's actions are interesting because it could have easily imposed a start date in very early January, according to Rob Martinez, CEO of parcel consultancy Shipware LLC. Martinez said UPS wants a window to capture higher rates on the immediate post-holiday shipping rush.
Over the years, the average rate adjustments announced by UPS and its arch-rival, Memphis-based FedEx Corp., masked higher increases applied to shipments moving within the lower weight-breaks, where most of their parcels move. Martinez said UPS usually announces its changes in mid- to late-October.
In addition, UPS Freight, the company's LTL unit, will impose a 4.9-percent tariff rate increase, which will take effect Sept. 19.
All of the increases will apply to customers that receive daily pickup service from UPS.