FedEx to hike tariff rates, surcharges in January

FedEx Corp. (NYSE:FDX) said late Monday that it will raise its non-contract, or published, tariff rates by 4.9% to 5.9% on three of its four major product lines, effective Jan. 4.

The increases will apply to shipments tendered to the Memphis, Tennessee-based company’s FedEx Express air and international unit, the FedEx Ground and Home Delivery units, and its FedEx Freight less-than-truckload (LTL) operation. FedEx Freight’s increases will range between 4.9% and 5.9% on shipments between the U.S. and Canada, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Rates will increase by unspecified levels on the company’s SmartPost service, where bulk residential volumes are inducted into the U.S. Postal Service’s network for last-mile deliveries.

The rate changes will affect U.S. domestic, import and export services, as well as intra-Canadian, intra-Mexican and U.S-Mexico cross-border traffic, FedEx said.

Separately, the company will increase the “accessorial fees” on nearly 40 services, effective Jan. 4. FedEx’s accessorial charges, which are add-on fees separate from basic pickup and delivery service, have been increasing in number and cost over the years. UPS Inc. (NYSE:UPS), FedEx’s chief rival, has a similar history.

On Jan. 18, FedEx will introduce an additional-handling surcharge based on the dimensions of FedEx Express and FedEx Ground shipments. The surcharge will apply to all packages that measure more than 105 inches in length and girth, the company said. “Length and girth” is defined as the length of a package plus two times the height and two times the width.

Also in January, FedEx will implement a 6% late fee on domestic Express and Ground invoices not paid according to what the company called “approved payment terms.”

The announcements come a day before FedEx releases its fiscal 2021 first-quarter results. Shares closed Monday up $3.60 a share to $236.34 a share. Shares rose more an additional $2 in after-hours trading.

FedEx stock has been on a tear since mid-March when it traded around $90 a share. Much of the gains have been attributed to Wall Street’s confidence that, after a number of subpar quarters, the company is executing a sustainable plan to build per-package profitability.