UPS raises freight unit shipping rates

March 14 Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:38pm EDT

March 14 (Reuters) - United Parcel Service Inc said it will raise shipping rates at its freight unit by 4.4 percent, more than rival FedEx Corp did earlier this month.

The new rates apply to non-contractual less-than-truckload shipments rated on the current UPS tariffs, the company said, and will come into effect March 31.

Less than truckload is the shipping of relatively small loads of freight, and customers use this method because it costs less than hiring an entire truck for an exclusive shipment.

On March 3 FedEx said it will raise shipping rates at its freight business by 3.9 percent, effective March 31.

While FedEx and UPS revise their shipping rates every year, rate increases this time come while both companies have been trying to adjust to changes in shipping patterns, as many customers move towards cheaper shipping services, especially internationally.

UPS shares were trading at $96.35 after the bell. They closed at $96.27 Friday on the New York Stock Exchange.

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