Welcome to the Technical Traffic Consultants Blog. For the past 43 years we have been providing the shipping public with preaudit, payment, and logistics support services, and have gained a great deal of experience in the process. The purpose of this blog is to provide you with a resource where we can share our knowledge and discuss best business practices within our industry.

From time to time we will be posting entries relative to industry hot topics, transportation law, and areas of our industry that are all too often overlooked. We hope you enjoy our posts, and we welcome your feedback regarding topics that you would like showcased.

Understanding the Impact of Annual Small Parcel Increases

As predictable as January following December, so too has become the annual rate increases published by the Small Parcel providers. These changes typically include what appear to be subtle modifications in base rates, surcharges, and dimensional weight provisions. Leaving many shippers wondering how do these increases affect me, my transportation spend, and my budget for the upcoming year?

With the understanding that annual increases cannot typically be fought or denied (see previous blog post “Incorporation by Rules Tariff”), the next step is to understand how the modifications will impact your spend so that you can budget appropriately.

Adjustments for the upcoming year are posted each Fall on the provider’s website and will outline the base rates, zones, service levels, service types, and dimensional weight provisions that will be affected. To accurately calculate how the projected increase will affect your business, we recommend downloading historical shipment detail from the TTC Small Parcel Adhoc, identifying the packages, service levels types, etc. utilized by your business in the past and applying the appropriate adjustments. This will provide a targeted understanding of the impact against your business model and distribution network. If assistance is needed the in this calculation or methodology, feel free to contact your TTC account representative and we would be happy to help.

Incorporation by Rules Tariff

So you implemented a Contract with your Transportation Service Providers, Great Job! And you made sure to strike or modify that little clause titled “Subject to Carrier Rules Tariff”, right? …Right? If not, here is what you need to know about what you just agreed to.

The majority of Transportation related contracts contain a clause noting “Subject to Carrier Rules Tariff”, which basically means the contract incorporates a secondary document that can be modified at the sole discretion of the transportation provider, without your consent. The incorporation of this unilateral document allows for the provider to assess accessorial increases and additions, and/or allows them to potentially make changes to contract provisions regarding things such as dimensional weight, cubic capacity, or linear foot rules.

With that in mind, be careful before signing that contract and know you do have the ability to modify or deny that often overlooked clause.