DHL Express raises average rates for express, ground shipments

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DHL Express Inc. announced new list rates for 2007, including a 3.9 percent increase in the average shipping rate for DHL Domestic Air Express and International Express, and an average increase of 4.9 percent for DHL Ground shipments and DHL@home.

The carrier said the increase for air express and international shipments is comprised of a 5.9 percent average increase in the base rates, offset by a 2-percentage-point reduction in the air fuel surcharge index.

The new rates will be effective Jan. 1.

In the first quarter of 2007, DHL, Plantation, FL, will add a new dimensional weight system for oversized ground shipments. If the dimensional weight is greater than the actual weight, dimensional weight will apply to ground shipments that are 3 cubic feet (5,184 cubic inches) or greater. Packages less than 3 cubic feet will be billed based on actual weight.

Other changes effective Jan.1 include a 10-cent increase in the surcharge for Residential Delivery and for both residential and commercial Delivery Area Service. The Remote Area Service fee will increase by $2.

Additional details of the 2007 fee and rate changes will be available at www.dhl-usa.com as of Dec. 15.

Package delivery giants UPS Inc. and FedEx Corp. also recently raised prices for 2007.

DHL also said it recently began operating a new state-of-the-art automated sort facility at the DHL Air Park in Wilmington, OH, the principal DHL air and ground hub in the United States.

The project, part of a $160 million U.S. hub automation initiative by DHL, will enable more rapid processing of shipments, increase efficiency of letter - and parcel-processing operations, and enhance tracking capabilities across the U.S. network.

Similar auto sort system upgrades at the company's East Coast ground hub in Allentown, P A, and its West Coast facility in Riverside, CA, are set to follow the Wilmington hub's improvements early next year.

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