When shipping costs increase due to General Rate Increases (GRI), businesses decide whether to absorb the cost or pass it on to customers. To ensure importers do not suffer losses, businesses may need to raise their product prices or adjust their shipping thresholds. However, partnering with a third-party logistics provider (3PL) like ShipCustomerDirect.com can offer better protection against the effects of General Rate Increases. 3PLs can use their large parcel volumes to negotiate discounts with parcel carriers, which can help mitigate the impact. Despite the challenges, managing increased shipping costs effectively to maintain profitability and meet customer expectations is possible. By following the tips in our blog post, businesses can avoid the negative impact of GRIs on their bottom line in 2024.
General Rate Increases (GRIs)
The start of a new year is a time for reflection and resolutions – and in logistics, when General Rate Increases (GRIs) make their presence known. The annual GRI is one of the most challenging parts of planning a successful shipping strategy. These hotly anticipated announcements from shipping carriers mean that brands and 3PLs must grapple with what this means for managing freight costs in the year ahead.
Given that shipping rates are one of the biggest costs for importers, it’s essential that businesses understand how to manage the General Rate Increase effectively and avoid losing revenue or disappointing customers with a lower standard of service.
In 2024, FedEx has announced an average rate increase of 6.7%, while UPS has announced an average rate increase of 6.9% for their shipping services, effective January 2024. This is a significant jump from last year’s increase. The rate increase will apply to all FedEx, UPS and DHL shipping services.
Businesses will be affected by GRIs in different ways, depending on their shipping strategy and which trade routes they use. Although the average GRI for a specific carrier might be 6-7%, the increase for specific services will be significantly higher than that. Therefore, it’s important to stay informed on how price increases affect your shipments – and make adjustments accordingly.
If you regularly ship large packages, more expensive shipping costs could be in store as more carriers penalize packages with a high DIM weight. You may need to optimize your carton sizes to streamline your shipments further.
When auditing the 2024 General Rate Increases, businesses should consider the following areas to ensure they optimize their chosen shipping rates for both cost and speed: • Do I need to use priority service levels? • Is DIM weight a continual issue? • Are there additional delivery fees to be aware of?
As highlighted in our rundown of GRIs for major carriers, not everyone takes the same approach to rate increases. By taking advantage of multiple parcel carriers, your brand has increased flexibility to leverage different shipping methods and service levels to take the sting out of additional surcharges.
General Rate Increases raise the age-old question: Should importers absorb shipping costs or pass them on to their customers? As shipping costs creep up, businesses need to increase their product prices or recalculate shipping thresholds to ensure they aren’t losing on orders.
Importers that partner with a third-party logistics provider (3PL), like ShipCustomerDirect.com, are much better insulated against the effects of General Rate Increases. This is because 3PLs can leverage their large parcel volumes to negotiate discounts with parcel carriers, helping to alleviate some of the impact of GRIs.
The annual General Rate Increase can put a damper on the New Year shipping, but knowing how to manage increased shipping costs effectively is the key to keeping your business profitable and maintaining the experience that your customers expect. Following the tips above, you can prevent GRIs from taking a bite out of your bottom line in 2024.