UPS and FedEx raise fuel surcharges

From USPS News Link:

UPS and FedEx have increased the fees they charge customers for fuel, prompting some businesses to take a fresh look at the Postal Service, news reports say.

FedEx has raised its fuel charge from 5.5 percent to 6 percent, while UPS has changed how it calculates the fee for ground shipments, the public radio series “Marketplace” reported this week.

According to the trade publication DC Velocity, UPS’s ground fuel surcharges will rise from 5 percent to 5.5 percent if diesel prices stay within a range of $2.91 to $3.05 a gallon. If prices rise, so will UPS’s fee.

“Marketplace” reported some customers are now considering the Postal Service, which doesn’t charge fuel surcharges and lowered Priority Mail rates last year.

“[It’s] a pretty good product,” shipping consult Rob Martinez said.

In addition to hiking fuel surcharges, UPS and FedEx recently raised dimensional (DIM) weight prices. The companies now charge based on the size of some packages, regardless of their weight.

In a recent survey of businesses, 80 percent said they’ll use the Postal Service for larger, lightweight shipments now that DIM weight pricing has come into play.

FedEx investing $41 million on new NC SmartPost plant- 89% of jobs to be part time

Just a hint of what privatization of the USPS would mean- a town in North Carolina is apparently thrilled to have attracted a new FedEx sorting facility, even though 89% of the new “jobs” will be part time:

Fedex logoCONCORD, N.C. – The announcement Thursday that FedEx SmartPost plans to move jobs from Charlotte to Concord includes the addition of a new 330,780-square-foot distribution center in the Phase III portion of the International Business Park in Concord.

SunCap Property Group LLC is building the $27 million facility for FedEx SmartPost, which has said it plans to employ 59 full-time employees and 462 part-time employees at the Concord location by 2019. The new facility will triple the size of the operation, which currently is located at 8910 Pioneer Ave., Charlotte.

Read more: FedEx investing $41 million to move SmartPost facility to Concord – The Independent Tribune: News.

Murkowski Gets FedEx to Rethink its Rural P.O. Box Policies

Waiting for days to get prescription drugs. Trips to the post office to find an empty box where your business-critical supplies should be. After hearing these and other rural Alaskans’ frustrations about FedEx delivery problems that occur when FedEx hands packages over to the United States Postal Service in Anchorage for the final miles of delivery, Senator Lisa Murkowski’s efforts led FedEx CEO to reconsider its protocols. Continue reading

FedEx reports drop in SmartPost volume

FedEx yesterday announced a jump in fourth quarter profits, but it also noted that its SmartPost product, a partnership with the USPS, had lost volume:

FedEx SmartPost average daily volume decreased 8% while net revenue per package was up 8% due to rate increases and improved customer mix, partially offset by higher postage costs.

While it wasn’t enough to significantly damage FedEx Ground’s profitability, the news is a reversal from past reports crediting growth in SmartPost with boosting the company’s overall success. Just a year ago, SmartPost daily volumes had jumped 25% thanks to increased ecommerce shipments. That may be a worrying trend for the USPS as it tries to capture “last mile” package delivery volumes to help offset letter mail losses.

Read more: FedEx – News Release.