Shipping last-minute presents is going to be a little more expensive this coming holiday season. In a recent announcement, UPS noted that it would raise its shipping rates for packages shipped during the last two weeks of November, as well as for the week prior to Christmas. These dates coincide with prime shopping season, such as the day after Thanksgiving, or Black Friday. Retailers that encourage consumers to purchase on that date, or else at the last minute before the big gift-giving occasion, may find that their profits are reduced somewhat by the greater expenses they must incur to be able to get their products to consumers on time. But UPS notes that during this busy season, it needs to nearly double its workforce and logistics capabilities, so the price increase simply reflects the greater demands on it. It also asserts that these bumps in the prices for its critical services—an additional 27 cents per package for ground shipping and 81 cents for next-day air—are not overly burdensome. For larger retailers, this assessment is likely true. But particularly for small, niche, online retailers that heavily depend on holiday sales, such cost increases might make the difference between happy holidays and an unprofitable lump of coal.
Source: George Anderson, Retail Wire, June 20, 2017