The latest FedEx rate increase is definitely not a surprise. We’ve been aware of it since last year, but sadly that does not reduce the impact of the blow.
Sure, the average increase was announced at 4.9%. On taking a closer look at all the surcharges though, you can see how there’s been a hike of up to 8% in certain cases. Gone are the good old days when rate increase announcements came at the end of every year. Once.
Let’s take a look at what the current increase entails.
Effective since January 7, 2019, the FedEx rate increase will affect
- Smart post
- One rate
- And additional surcharges
Oversize charges and additional handling charges have undergone quite a high percentage of increase, so retailers who are shipping them out in bulk need to watch out. Additional handling costs have gone up $1.50 per package for those packages that exceed the specified limit. Oversized packages will cost you $90, a $10 increase from last year!
FedEx seems to follow on UPS’ heels in increasing the oversized surcharge, albeit a few months later.
You can read more on the UPS oversized package hike here.
Shipping hazardous materials will also become more expensive this year, as the surcharge per package has increased from $33 to $35.
Listed below are the classifications of hazardous materials by FedEx.
Other notable increases include the hike on return shipping labels. Printing a return label will now cost you $1 per label. Offering free returns might not be quite so easy anymore even with discounted rates from the carrier.
After the FedEx rate increase, the highest percentage of difference in rates can be seen in the following service types when compared to last year.
Priority Overnight and Priority Overnight Letter face the highest percentage of rate increase at 5.4%
Considering the increase across all surcharges and service types, you’re probably wondering how to optimize shipping costs to cover your shipping budget.
Here are a few ways that will ensure the price hike does not affect your business drastically.
- Stick to freight if you’re shipping oversized packages more than regular sized ones. Anything that requires additional handling will put a dent in your pocket for sure otherwise.
- Generate shipping labels online. There are sites like Shopify that give you great discounts. As of this year, printing a return label will be twice as expensive. Negotiate discounts on returns as well with your carrier.
- How good is your packaging technique? Trust me when I say you could save a lot of money if you package your products right. The larger your box, the more you pay, despite the size of the object inside. Even odd sized objects won’t cost you additional handling charges if you package them right. You can read more on packaging odd shaped objects here if you’d like.
- Try shipping with multiple carriers after negotiating rates for different service types. Carriers tend to offer better discounts during such situations to ensure a shipper stays on.
- Claim refunds for all the eligible service failures. There are over 50 of them that can get you a refund!
Want to read more? Check out other ways to reduce shipping costs here.
Hope this helps chart out your shipping strategy for this year if you’re shipping with FedEx. We’ll be back with rate comparisons between all the major carriers for 2019! Stay tuned!