Will UPS and FedEx Rate Hikes Doom Free Shipping? - NASDAQ The free shipping that consumers have come to expect when ordering online could be jeopardized by the latest rate hikes imposed by UPS (NYSE: UPS) and FedEx (NYSE: FDX) . The average rate hike of 4.9% is the same amount the two carriers have imposed every year since 2010. But the increases in ancillary fees and surcharges are what could wreak havoc with free shipping, because they're targeted at the residential customer -- and some rates will rise as much as 30% or more. Although UPS has couched the rate hikes as a way to improve customer service, John Haber, the CEO of supply chain consultancy Spend Management Experts, says the "rate increases are massive and are going to negatively impact shippers of all sizes."