UPS Raises Ground Rates 3.9%, Air Rates 5.5% in 2006

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UPS announced new 2006 rates Friday for most U.S. small package services, including a 3.9 percent increase in commercial ground services and a 5.5 percent rise in UPS air and international services.

The rates take effect Jan. 2. The Atlanta-based carrier said UPS Internet Shipping and UPS shipping applications integrated into customer systems will automatically reflect the new information when the changes take effect. The new rates will be posted on Dec. 1.

UPS also will reduce by 2 percent the index used to determine its air fuel surcharge, a move that directly benefits customers as fuel prices moderate and the index pushes the air fuel surcharge below the current 12.5 percent cap, the company said. UPS said it is maintaining this cap despite drastic jet fuel price increases.

The air fuel surcharge applies to UPS Next Day Air, UPS 2nd Day Air and UPS 3 Day Select and international services. The surcharge index calculation for UPS Ground remains unchanged and is pegged to fluctuations in the U.S. Energy Department's On-Highway Diesel price.

Also beginning in January, UPS will enhance its premium air services to take advantage of recent improvements for speed and greater reach. For example, UPS 2nd Day Air A.M. guarantees will be accelerated from noon to 10:30 a.m., and Saturday deliveries now can be shipped via 2nd Day Air on Thursday. More ZIP codes will be available for UPS Next Day Air Early A.M. delivery on top of this year's July expansion, extending early delivery to nearly 20,000 ZIP codes.

Other pricing changes include: An increase of 25 and 35 cents, respectively, for the residential surcharge on UPS ground and air services; UPS now will charge for undeliverable packages after three delivery attempts; and proof of delivery features for Delivery Confirmation and Signature Required each will increase by 25 cents per package, and Adult Signature Required will rise by 50 cents.

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