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QuickBox Fulfillment Feb 7, 2024 6 min read

Tackling Shipping GRI Now and in the Future

Shipping GRI is more than just a line item in the budget. It represents the dynamic nature of the global economy. Just as businesses adapt to market trends and consumer demands, understanding GRIs is part of navigating the broader economic waters.

What is GRI? It stands for “General Rate Increase” and refers to the periodic adjustment of freight rates across all or a significant number of routes serviced by a carrier. This adjustment is typically announced by carriers and applies to shipping rates for cargo.

These rate adjustments by carriers reflect the interaction of operating costs and market conditions. Thus, businesses must take an agile approach to tackle the issue and thrive.

Key Aspects of Shipping GRI

GRIs are often implemented in response to various factors affecting the shipping industry. For instance, increases in operational costs can be due to changing fuel prices, increased labor costs, increased market demand, carrier mergers, or changing international trade policies.

When, how, and how much GRIs adjust can vary. They can be applied to specific trade routes. Or they may be global. GRI may be adjusted quarterly or annually or not at all, as market conditions dictate. Unlike surcharges, which are often temporary and tend to be linked to a specific cost factor (such as fuel), GRIs are broader in scope and reflect a general adjustment in base rates.

GRI affects everyone involved in the supply chain. The increased cost of transporting goods affects shipping budgets as well as logistic strategies. Fortunately, fulfillment companies may be able to help reduce the cost increases as they negotiate with carriers and use their partnerships, long-term contracts, and scale for more favorable terms, such as exemptions or reduced rates. They may also have greater notice, so they can help the companies they work with plan accordingly for expected increases.

What to Expect from Shipping GRIs in 2024

GRIs can serve as indicators of the health and trends within the shipping industry, reflecting the balance between supply and demand as well as operational costs. What are the indications for 2024? Get ready to adapt. This year is set to be a year of many changes as major carriers have already announced significant rate increases.

For example, major carriers like FedEx and UPS have already implemented a general rate increase of 5.9% as of January of this year. We can expect similar increases from the USPS later this year. This trend will impact a wide range of services and reflects ongoing labor, fuel, and technology cost increases. In response, carriers adjusted their pricing to cover these increased expenses. So, businesses that rely on logistic services should anticipate rate increases and plan strategies accordingly to optimize shipping costs.

In addition, the logistics market is also experiencing changes in other transportation modes. While less-than-truckload (LTL) rates are expected to remain relatively stable, full-truckload (FTL) rates are likely to see some changes due to economic growth, increased e-commerce sales, increased freight volumes, and other factors.

The need for adaptability in logistics strategies and the use of technology for optimizing operations are increasingly important in this evolving market scenario. The impacts of the GRIs extend beyond increased expenses. They are a catalyst for innovation in logistics and fulfillment. That is, each rate increase is a cue to reassess and improve operational efficiencies. For example, it’s a good time to reevaluate supply chain routes or invest in more efficient logistic solutions.

Managing Shipping GRI Increases

At QuickBox, we see GRIs as a challenge to excel. We seek continuous improvements and use this as an opportunity to evaluate and adjust strategies to absorb increases while ensuring our services remain top-notch. Our focus on strategic carrier relationships and operational agility can turn potential disruptions into seamless transitions for our clients.

It’s all about proactive adaptation. For instance, we recommend leveraging bulk shipping, exploring cost-effective transportation methods, and using advanced logistics technology to minimize the impact of GRIs. We provide an array of services, including inventory management, data-driven logistics planning, and shipping optimization, to help businesses stay resilient in the face of these types of changes.

Tackling Changes in Shipping GRI Takeaway

Change is an opportunity for growth. At QuickBox, we’re here to grow with you. Our comprehensive logistics solutions—from warehousing to order fulfillment—are tailored to help your business adapt to shipping GRIs and other market changes. We empower you and your team with the tools and support you need.

Are you ready to embrace change and thrive? Contact QuickBox today and explore how we can help you navigate shipping rate changes and optimize your logistics operations. Together, we can turn these industry shifts into opportunities for success.