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FedEx charging more for some holiday packages

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — FedEx will charge more for holiday packages that are oversized, unauthorized or require special handling, the shipper said on Thursday.

In its announcement, FedEx Corp. emphasized that it was foregoing special charges for most packages shipped to residences during the chaotic holiday season this year as it squares off against rival UPS in a fight for a larger share of the millions of items now bought online.

Between Nov. 20 through Dec. 24, FedEx will raise its surcharge for additional handling by $3 per package, for oversize goods by $25 per package and for unauthorized shipments by $300 per package. An unauthorized shipment is defined as one weighing more than 150 pounds or measuring more than 9 feet long or more than 165 inches (just under 4 feet) in combined length and width.

Oversized holiday-season deliveries have more than tripled in the past 10 years and now make up one-tenth of all FedEx Ground's volume, the shipper said. 

Two months earlier, UPS announced new surcharges that will effect shipments near Black Friday and the holidays. United Parcel Service Inc. said that it would add 27 cents for residential deliveries from Nov. 19 to Dec. 2 and Dec. 17-23. It will add a fee of between 81 and 97 cents to overnight, second- or third-day deliveries for residential deliveries Dec. 17-23. There are other charges for oversized packages. UPS will also charge a peak surcharge on some international air-shipping routes.

Looming over both companies is the prospect that internet giant Amazon, currently a partner with both UPS and FedEx, is developing its own delivery service. It currently spends $11.5 billion on shipping, and supplements outside services by delivering its own packages from 70 facilities in 21 states.