Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


FedEx Freight announces GRI to take effect at end of March

Industry analyst said these types of rate hikes do not materially improve bottom line for carriers
By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
March 03, 2014

FedEx Freight, the less-than-truckload (LTL) subsidiary of transportation and logistics bellwether FedEx, announced today that it will implement a General Rate Increase (GRI) of 3.9 percent for non-contractual freight, effective March 31.

The company said the GRI will apply to eligible shipments within the United States, including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and between the contiguous U.S. and Canada, within Canada, and between the contiguous U.S. and Mexico, and within Mexico.

And it added that the GRI applies to shipments covered by the FXF 1000, FXF 501 and related series base rates, with additional charges including absolute minimum charges and accessorial rates and charges, while the company’s fuel surcharge will not change.

Many LTL executives have told LM they view the current rate environment as “rational,” especially when compared to 2009-2010, when they were doing whatever they could to hold onto business while sacrificing price for volume to keep freight moving in their costly fixed network operations.

A recent research note from Stifel Nicolaus suggested that LTL pricing should rise 1 percent to 3 percent in 2014. But the firm added that if the economy were to decelerate, these expectations would likely prove too aggressive.

“On the other hand, if the economy were to truly accelerate and/or if the onslaught of federally mandated safety rules sufficiently shrinks effective capacity, these pricing estimates could easily prove too conservative,” according to a Stifel research note. “Again, we side with the more cautious view, which would lean toward expecting low single digit y/y pricing expansion in 2014.”

Regardless of which way the economy goes, LTL GRI’s have seemingly gone the way of a “broken record,” according to Satish Jindel, president of Pittsburgh-based SJ Consulting.

“LTL carriers announce these every year, but they are clearly becoming meaningless because they cannot seem to show it on the bottom line,” explained Jindel. “FedEx Freight, UPS Freight, and Con-way are three of the largest LTL carriers and operate at an operating ratio of 96 or worse, and GRIs are not going to correct the problem for them. And then smaller companies like Saia and Old Dominion Freight Line (ODFL) are operating with better OR’s in the high 80s or low 90s, and private carriers smaller than them also around there.”

The larger LTLs need to do some soul searching, Jindel said, and figure out how even with such large networks and density, why they are underperforming, as the three LTLs that should be the most profitable are actually the least profitable.

And even with healthy amounts of density and scale, Jindel observed that quarter after quarter the big three LTL carriers still have not been able to perform at the level of Saia and ODFL.

“GRIs simply are not correcting the problems some of these carriers have,” said Jindel.

LTL executives have told LM that their primary focus is on the recovery of rates in the market and that is limiting capacity

There was a time, some said, when everyone was after growth and expansion, with the thought that if you got the density the margins would come through efficiencies and then you find that at a certain price that does not work. And in recent years there was bad period in which LTLs learned and realized price cannot be cut to chase volume, because LTLs end up running a lot of miles and burning out equipment for no return.

Industry analysts have frequently stated that LTL GRIs typically impact 20-40 percent of LTL business.

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
Jeff Berman
Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

While the economy has seen more than its fair share of ups and downs in recent years, 2014 is different in that it could be the best year from an economic output perspective in the last several years. That outlook was offered up by Rosalyn Wilson, senior business analyst at Parsons, and author of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) Annual State of Logistics Report at last week’s CSCMP Annual Conference in San Antonio.

Matching last week, the average price per gallon of diesel gasoline dropped 2.3 cents, bringing the average price per gallon to $3.755 per gallon, according to the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA).

A number of key topics impacting the freight transportation and logistics marketplace were front and center at a panel at the Council of Supply Chain Management Annual Conference in San Antonio last week.

The relationships between third-party logistics (3PL) service providers and shippers are seeing ongoing developments due in large part to the continuing emergence and sophistication of omni-channel retailing. That was one of the key findings of The 19th Annual Third-Party Logistics Study, which was released by consultancy Capgemini Group, Penn State University, and Korn/Ferry International, a global talent advisory firm.

Optimism in the form of increasing profits was a key takeaway in the Annual Survey of Third-Party Logistics (3PL) CEOs, released earlier this week at the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) Annual Conference in San Antonio.

Article Topics

News · LTL · FedEx Freight · All topics

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA