May 26, 2004--While already being hit with soaring gas prices at the pump, businesses took another lump on Monday when FedEx Freight announced a 5.9% general rate increase effective June 14.

The increase will apply to interstate and intrastate shipments, as well as selected shipments between the United States, Mexico, and Canada.

The company, which specializes in next-day and second-day less-than-truckload services, cited increased costs related to EPA-compliance, health care, insurance premiums, and security as the reasons for the hike. An identical 5.9 percent rate increase was implemented last June for similar reasons.

FedEx Freight handles an average of 58,000 shipments daily.