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This week in parcel, FedEx and UPS release new Fuel Surcharge tables and gain volume from regional carriers, and returns increase.

FedEx and UPS win over volume during Black Friday

During the week of Black Friday, UPS and FedEx won volume from regional carriers. This year, 49% of shipping volume data on Shipium, a multi-carrier shipping software company, went to national carriers, compared to 31% last year on the same platform.

Although Shipium’s data isn’t necessarily representative of the entire market share, the increase does show the two carriers’ desire to stay competitive.

ProShip, another multi-carrier shipping software company, also saw an increase in national carrier usage, although the year-over-year comparison was a far less drastic 2% increase. The company is seeing nearly identical splits from last year between regional and national carrier usage.

Our take: FedEx and UPS are working hard to retain parcel volume and win what they can right now. We’ve said this a lot lately: There has never been a better time to renegotiate your parcel contracts. It is a buyer’s market.

Read more here.

Damaged returns are increasing

In a recent survey by Altman Solon, returns involving damaged items rose from 11% in 2022 to 25% in 2023. Returns involving deliveries that shipped the wrong product rose to 17% compared to 8% in 2022.

These are types of returns that businesses can reduce by investing in warehouse technology and visual packing aids.

Shippers should also look into different methods of returns. Loyal customers are much more likely to use a return locker. Home pickups are seldom used despite most general shoppers preferring this option. Optimizing the return process can yield significant cost savings.

Our take: With peak shipping season in full swing, we all know what’s to come: return season. Retailers need a reverse logistics process that controls costs while providing a positive customer experience.

Read more here.

UPS and FedEx update Fuel Surcharge tables

UPS and FedEx have recently updated several of their Fuel Surcharge tables.

UPS’s updates affect UPS Ground, Ground with Freight Pricing, Hundredweight Ground Service, SurePost, and Basic.

The International Ground Export Fuel Surcharge will apply to UPS Standard to and from Canada and Mexico.

FedEx’s updates affect Express and Ground.

Our take: Companies need to know how these updates will affect their costs heading into 2024. Review your carrier’s tables to see how much your costs could be increasing.

See FedEx’s Fuel Surcharge tables here.

See UPS’s Fuel Surcharge tables here.

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