FedEx to hike shipping rates by almost 5%
FedEx will have new shipping rates starting January 1, 2018.
All subsidiaries, FedEx Express, FedEx Ground and FedEx Freight, will increase their shipping fees by an average of 4.9%. The company is also imparting additional surcharges across other services.
For example, FedEx Express shipping rates will spike by an average of 4.9% for U.S. domestic, U.S. export and U.S. import services. FedEx One Rate pricing will increase by an average of 3.5%.
In addition to an approximately 4.9% increase across FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery shipping rates, FedEx SmartPost rates will also change.
FedEx Freight’s 4.9% increase applies to eligible FedEx Freight shipments within the U.S., including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; between the U.S. and Canada, within Canada, and between the contiguous U.S. and Mexico. FedEx Freight rates within Mexico will also change.
As of January 22, 2018, other charges will also be applied:
• A Third Party Billing Surcharge will be added to FedEx Express and FedEx Ground shipments that are billed to a third party.
• Applicable criteria and pricing for packages that require additional handling, are oversized, or are unauthorized, will change.
• FedEx SmartPost will apply dimensional weight pricing, and the Non-Machinable Surcharge will change.
• FedEx Freight will implement an Over Length Surcharge of $85 per shipment. This fee will be applied to shipments with dimensions between 8 ft. or and 12 ft.
The fee increases come on the heels of FedEx’s plan to pull back additional surcharges on holiday season deliveries — unless packages require additional handling, are oversized or unauthorized. FedEx Express and FedEx Ground in the U.S. and Canada will increase handling by $3 per package. Oversized goods are subject to an additional $25 per package, and unauthorized shipments will be $300 per package.
The holiday season surcharge will launch Nov. 20, and run through Dec. 24.
UPS kicks off holiday hiring spree
UPS is ramping up its holiday workforce.
The company plans to hire approximately 95,000 seasonal employees to support an anticipated increase in package shipments during the 2017 holiday shopping season. UPS expects increased delivery volume to span between early November and January 2018.
This marks the fourth straight year that UPS is hiring this number of employees for the holiday season, according to Reuters.
Candidates will fill jobs such as package handlers, drivers and driver-helpers. All jobs are available as both full-time and part-time positions.
Over the last three years, 35% of the people UPS hired for seasonal package handler jobs were later hired in a permanent position when the holidays were over, according to the company.
Discount giant will rely on its own workforce for holiday rush
Walmart is bucking the holiday hiring trend again this year.
Unlike other competitors that are hiring thousands of temporary workers to service shoppers during the holiday season, the discount giant plans to offer extra hours to its current associates. These shifts will staff traditional roles like cashier and stocker, and newly created technology-empowered positions, such as personal shoppers and Pickup associates, according to Walmart.
“This is the same approach we took last year, and we heard great feedback from our customers and associates,” said Judith McKenna, executive VP and COO, Walmart U.S.
While this is the second year Walmart is pursuing this model, the program has been evolving for some time. In 2015, the discounter committed to hiring 60,000 seasonal workers for the holiday season, but there was a caveat. Before making any new hires, Walmart gave its current employees first dibs on working additional hours during the holiday season.
To ensure its existing workforce is prepared for the upcoming holiday rush, Walmart is offering new training, tools and technology.
“Thousands of associates have completed training in our Pathways and Academy programs, which prepares them to more effectively serve customers, especially during this busy season,” McKenna said.
Walmart also plans to revive its "Holiday Helper" initiative. Armed with candy canes and Santa hats, these employees help customers find the shortest line and open registers, and also quickly grab items customers might have forgotten.
Walmart will be increasing the number of Helpers available in stores this season, the retailer said.
The discounter’s decision to forego a holiday hiring spree contradicts efforts by other retailers. For example, Target plans to hire approximately 100,000 employees for the upcoming holiday season — a 40% increase from last year. Additionally, the retailer will hire 4,500 workers at its distribution and fulfillment centers to replenish products to stores and fulfill digital sales throughout the season.
Similarly, Macy’s plans to hire a total of 80,000 workers for the holiday rush. However, this is down slightly from about 83,000 last year.