If there ever was proof that the entire industry's structure of fuel surcharges is just a bunch of smoke and mirrors, this event proves it. Recently, both FEDEX and UPS announced they are raising the fuel surcharges even though their fuel costs are down by over 30%. They offer this absolutely absurd argument that it is this way because of the increase of heavier packages going to more retail locations. Both they claim increase fuel consumption.
Of course, they do not give you a reduction when the new engines provide better fuel consumption or they use CNG vehicles or any of the other many things that reduce fuel costs.
The bottom line is that the shipper should know that even in the truckload and intermodal space industry fuel surcharges in no way have anything to do with fuel. They are built on false indices, with bad data and the shipper has just had to accept it (unless you use Breakthrough Fuel in which case you are one of the leading shippers who are really taking ownership of your fuel costs).
The argument that FEDEX uses is really laughable. Watch out as these companies are going to continue to add charges, adjust tables and overall just obfuscate what you pay in packages to justify what appears to be a pretty bloated cost structure.
We will keep an eye on this and report as it continues to develop.
Full Disclosure: I was an employee and customer of Breakthrough Fuel. I bring them up because still to this day they are the only company (literally the only one) that appropriately deals with these ridiculous charges.