On Friday, just in time for the holiday season, UPS (NYSE:UPS) announced a Christmas gift for next year's shoppers: higher shipping rates.

Effective December 31, 2012, UPS plans to institute an average net increase of 4.5% on the rates charged for UPS Air and U.S.-originating International Services shipments. UPS breaks the rate increases down into two parts: a 6.5% base rate on UPS Air and International Services, minus a two percentage point reduction in fuel surcharges on such shipments.

UPS Ground is also raising rates. The base rate there will rise 5.9%, mitigated by a single percentage point reduction in the fuel surcharge, resulting in an average 4.9% price hike. UPS Next Day Air Freight, Second Day Air Freight, and Three-Day Freight rates for shipments among U.S., Canadian, and Puerto Rican locations will also rise 4.9%.

UPS advises that precise rate and service information will be posted on www.ups.com/rates beginning Friday. The new 2013 Rate and Service Guide will be available for download on UPS's site on December 31, 2012.

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