As we approach the end of the year, it’s time for shippers to start prepping for the impending FedEx GRIs. Starting Jan. 4, 2021, shipping rates for FedEx Home Delivery, FedEx Express (Domestic, U.S. Export, and U.S. Import), and FedEx Ground will increase by about 4.9 percent. Meanwhile, FedEx Freight reports an even larger increase of about 5.9 percent; however, Ground Multiweight, International Premium, and FedEx SmartPost haven’t announced any specific increases in rates at this point in time.

Despite these announcements, it’s important for shippers and other logistics professionals to understand that the impact these GRIs will have on companies usually falls far from expectations. That being said, here are some of the most likely ways these changes will influence the average shipper throughout the next year:

  • Cracking down on additional handling

Most carriers are not a fan of hauling larger packages around because they take up a lot of room, make the conveyance process more difficult, and are a struggle for couriers to manage. Given these added complications, FedEx has classified a new standard dimension of 105 inches for additional handling that will officially go into effect on Jan. 18, 2021.

  • Heightening competition

Due to Amazon’s role in expediting the speed of today’s deliveries, shippers are having to work overtime just to keep up in the eyes of the consumer. No one understands this better than carriers like FedEx. This is why they’ve decided to further up the prices of their faster-than-ground express services for two-day and three-day shipments, so those looking to compete are going to have to shell out the cash.

  • Shifting ZIPs and rising surcharges

In comparison to this year’s DAS ZIP Codes, shippers should anticipate less extended and more standard DAS classifications in 2021. Also, most of the surcharges for high frequency items will increase by more than the average 4.9 percent that FedEx announced.

  • Changing late fees

Like UPS, FedEx now plans on charging shippers 6 percent late payment fees, so those that find it difficult to make payments within the allotted 15-day time span need to take this into account before heading into negotiations. If you’ve become accustomed to having that extra cushion of payment forgiveness, it might be time to begin leveraging freight auditing to avoid losing money.

  • Zoning services

Shippers that depend on distribution that takes place along one coast rather than two can expect to be hit hardest by new increases in longer zone shipping costs, whereas express services for shorter zones will experience very little difference in price.

  • Homing in on low weight ground packages

Similar to the carrier’s changes regarding larger packages, FedEx seems to also be especially homing in on smaller shipments ranging from 1 to 5 pounds. Overall, there will be a 6.44 percent increase in the ground minimum fee, but this shift will vary with each shipper’s individual negotiations.

If any of these points directly affect your business, then you’ll probably feel these GRIs a lot more than the average shipper, and that 4.9 percent is going to be a lot higher. So, make sure you and your budget are prepared to handle what’s in store.