Faced with weak demand, FedEx to raise rates

/ Source: The Associated Press

FedEx will raise shipping rates for its Ground and Home Delivery units by an average of 4.9 percent in January as it contends with weak freight demand.

The company, based in Memphis, Tenn., said Thursday that SmartPost rates also will change, but didn't specify how. SmartPost is FedEx's partnership with the U.S. Postal Service.

FedEx Corp. previously announced it will increase Express shipping rates for packages shipped within or from the U.S. by an average of 5.9 percent in January. That rate is partially offset by a lower fuel surcharge.

FedEx's larger rival UPS Inc. is hiking 2010 ground rates by an average of 4.9 percent. The base rate increase for air express and international shipments is 6.9 percent, also offset by a lower fuel surcharge.