If you’re not one of those rare birds who finishes their holiday shopping in summer, you might want to consider becoming one. As the Wall Street Journal reports, shoppers might see an increase in prices or shipping fees when the holiday rush comes around. Why? UPS announced Monday that it will increase shipping costs for retailers during certain weeks before Christmas—including on Black Friday and Cyber Monday—and analysts suggest FedEx may do the same. That means retailers may be forced to increase prices or shipping fees, though they might also promote a ship-to-store option since the new fees only apply to residential deliveries.
From Nov. 19 to Dec. 2, UPS will add a 27-cent charge to ground packages for residential deliveries. That's an increase of about 3.4% over last year, per Bloomberg. That fee will also apply from Dec. 17 to Dec. 23, along with an extra 81-cent charge for next-day air delivery and a 97-cent charge for two- or three-day delivery, per the Journal. UPS says the fees will offset the costs of thousands of seasonal workers, plus the extra planes and trucks needed to deliver more than 30 million packages a day, almost double its average for the rest of the year, per NPR. UPS stands to add $50 million in revenue and profit with the change, according to Citi Research. (Read more UPS stories.)