2021 + GRI – what you need to know

Jan 20, 2021

January 4th, 2021 marked the day that most carriers implemented rate changes across the board. GRI or General Rate Increases happen every year. Even though 2020 was a year where information and rate surcharges changed depending on demand, restrictions, and holidays. 

What do you need to know about the changes in rates in 2021? We’ve got key points here:

  • A 4.9% increase doesn’t always mean 4.9%. Is usually an average and can be different depending on the shipment profile. 
  • Some minimum package charges have changed, so check with your carriers. 
  • Every year there is an increased focus on large packages or packages with unusual dimensions in the GRI.  However, in 2021, additional handling surcharges will have a threshold of 105 inches in combined length plus girth. 
  • Some carriers (notably FedEx) are instituting a late payment penalty for exceeding payment terms. 
  • Some surcharges are increasing by as much as 9%. Surcharges typically increase more than the normal increase of transportation cost. This seems extra this year as we have the COVID surcharge added in most rates as well. 

Changes in USPS – International Shipping: 

  • Priority Mail Express International will see an average rate increase of 3.6% in 2021. Commercial Base (online postage) rates will start at $42.85 (no change from 2020).
  • Priority Mail International will see an average rate increase of 5.1% in 2021. Commercial Base (online postage) rates will start at $35.72 (previously $34.53).
  • First-Class Package International Service will see an average rate increase of 4.8% in 2021. Commercial Base (online postage) rates will start at $13.54 (previously $11.64).
  • NEW: The number of country groups has increased for international shipping services. Priority Mail Express International goes from 17 to 20 country groups, Priority Mail International goes from 17 to 20 country groups, and First-Class Package International Service goes from 9 to 20 country groups.
  • You can read more about USPS’s changes here.

Changes in UPS – International Shipping: 

  • Effective January 10, 2021, an Additional Handling charge will be applied to any package with its length plus girth combined exceeding 105 inches
  • Effective April 11, 2021, Additional Handling and Large Package Surcharge rates for non-Hundredweight Service packages will differ by zone, and effective July 11, 2021, Additional Handling and Large Surcharge rates for Hundredweight Service packages will differ by zone.
  • UPS’s Money Back Guarantee has been halted until further notice due to COVID-19. 
  • Export and Import delivery rates will increase an average of 4.9%
  • You can read more about UPS’s changes here.

Changes in FedEx – International Shipping: 

  • FedEx has initiated a 6% late fee effective on January 21, 2021. The fee is for outstanding invoices not paid on time and based on the agreed-upon payment terms.
  • FedEx Smart Post, Ground Heavyweight, and International Premium service will also increase.
  • FedEx US Export and Import delivery list rates will increase an average of 4.9%.
  • FedEx’’s Money Back Guarantee has been halted until further notice due to COVID-19. 
  • You can read more about FedEx’s changes here.

Changes in DHL – International Shipping

  • An average rate increase of 4.9% effective January 1, 2021
  • Several surcharges will also increase. 
  • You can read more about DHL’s changes here.

What does this mean for you?

Do an audit of your shipping prices and policies. If you offer a flat rate for international orders, check your pricing to ensure it makes sense with the new rates increases. This is a good practice to get into as GRI are common and happen every year!

If you’re ready to rethink your international eCommerce process or think you’re paying too much, let eGlobalUSA help you! We specialize in international eCommerce and making your process easier! We make international eCommerce as easy as click, print, and ship!

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