United Parcel Service (UPS) today announced a general rate increase of 5. 9 percent for 2009. UPS, the world's largest package delivery...

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NEW YORK — United Parcel Service (UPS) today announced a general rate increase of 5.9 percent for 2009.

UPS, the world’s largest package delivery company, will raise ground shipment rates by an average of 5.9 percent and increase rates on air express and international shipments bound from the U.S. by an average of 4.9 percent.

The rate hikes take effect Jan. 5.

Last month FedEx said it will raise rates for its Express unit by an average of 6.9 percent for U.S. and U.S. export services, beginning Jan. 5. The company said the rate hike will be partially offset by a 2 percent reduction in the fuel surcharge.

Shares of UPS fell $1.10, or 2.1 percent, to close at $50.54. FedEx shares fell $3.69, or 5.6 percent, to close at $62.55.