Blog Post

UPS announced an additional General Rate Increase (GRI) update on November 18, 2016. While there was a minor flurry of changes, the big news appears to be the change in the dimensional division from 166 to 139 for packages over 1,728 cubic inches (1 cubic foot). While this move appears to mirror the change FedEx announced a few weeks ago, it’s important to note that the old divisor (166) is maintained for packages under 1,728 cubic inches. Why does this matter?...

The recent focus of the fulfillment and logistics staff at e-commerce retailers has undoubtedly been on preparing for the coming holiday peak season.  Hiring seasonal labor, providing adequate inventory and confirming carrier capability and developing contingency plans are required to ensure a successful holiday season.  Along with the shipping peaks of November and December comes another peak – Returns. Handling Returns efficiently is not only essential in managing costs but meeting or exceeding customer expectation has a demonstrated positive impact...

The big carriers’ annual General Rate Increase (GRI) is like the hardy perennial of logistics – you know that, whatever else might be happening (like, for example, minimal inflation in most goods and services), it’s going to pop up every year. This year is no exception. Both UPS and FedEx are raising their prices by more than the (subdued) inflation rate – for some services and surcharges, a lot more. Interestingly, unlike last year where both carriers announced very similar increases, this...

Last week, I had the privilege to attend the 2016 3PL Value Creation Summit in Chicago, IL. The 4th annual show was hosted by Armstrong & Associates and brings together 3PL professionals from across the globe to assess the future outlook for 3PLs and to explore business and technical strategies for value creation. No one can predict the future; however, it is clear that several forces are impacting 3PLs and their businesses – both negatively and positively. In an attempt to...

Last month I authored a post on the FedEx 2017 rate increase, FEDEX 2017 GENERAL RATE INCREASE (GRI) IS NO “ME TOO” INCREASE,  wherein I cited that the increases in freight rates were only part of the story.  Increases in surcharges and the change in FedEx’s dimensional divisor were sure to raise shipping cost more than the announced 3.9%-4.9% average increases. I included a hypothetical example of how the billable weight of a dimmed shipment could be as much as...

Among the myriad of supply chain articles, posts and blogs regarding the UPS and FedEx rate increases for 2017 is the fact that residential and delivery area surcharges, as well as large package surcharges, are increasing more than the freight rates. Of particular impact is the recently announced change in FedEx’s dimensional weight divisor which has the potential impact of increasing billable weight by as much as 19% or more and the change in oversize rules. Large, low density packages, residential and...

As you know, CSCMP is dedicated to the advancement and dissemination of research and knowledge on supply chain management. This was my first CSCMP Annual Conference, so I was extremely excited to learn from the over 3,000 attendees from corporations, suppliers, and academia. However, not everyone had the luxury of attending the conference in Orlando this year (not even with the temptation of a family vacation at Disneyworld), so for those of you who missed it, here are my key...

In this episode of 5 Questions with a Supply Chain Innovator, we talk with James Kellso, an ex-Intel supply chain leader and a professor of supply chain management at Arizona State University. GCS: For our readers who may not know you, what is your background in supply chain management? JK: For 25 years I managed various aspects of supply chain and logistics strategy and systems for the Intel Corporation. I have been a professor of practice in supply chain management at the...

On September 19, FedEx announced their widely expected rate increases for 2017.  As is the industry practice from the 2 duopoly competitors, their general rate increases are typically announced in the September time frame.  In a break from the traditionally “lock-step” increase amounts, FedEx’s increase is an average of 3.9% for Express package and freight rates for the U.S. U.S. export and U.S. import services are 1% less than UPS rates announced several weeks ago. However, the FedEx Ground and...

As nearly everyone with a stake in logistics knows, UPS announced its 2017 General Rate Increase (GRI) of 4.9%.  This September 1 announcement was earlier than usual and noted that additional information and rate changes would be announced on November 18, 2016. In addition, UPS announced that UPS freight rates would increase by an average of 4.9% on September 19, 2016. Although the announcement indicated additional information about other 2017 UPS rate changes and additional charges will be made available on...