FedEx Ground vans will soon be a Sunday fixture in neighborhoods across the U.S.
The delivery company, part of Memphis, Tennessee-based logistics giant FedEx, will begin delivering seven days a week for most of the country starting January 2020.
FedEx said in a statement Thursday the move will help “further serve the fast-growing e-commerce market.”
“Expanding our operations to include Sunday residential deliveries further increases our ability to meet the demands of e-commerce shippers and online shoppers,” said Raj Subramaniam, FedEx president and chief operating officer, in the statement.
FedEx expects the average U.S. daily volume for small packages to double by 2026, Subramaniam said, fueled by the growth in online shopping. He added that FedEx should continue to gain ground market share as it expands its operations.
FedEx Ground already delivers seven days a week during its peak season, around holiday shopping time.
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Last mile of delivery
FedEx also announced it will begin relying less on the U.S. Postal Service for the last mile of residential delivery.
Almost 2 million FedEx SmartPost packages, a service in which FedEx ferries the package until giving it to the U.S. Postal Service for the final stretch, “will be increasingly integrated into FedEx Ground operations” and delivered by those already handling residential packages for Ground.
Most of SmartPost package volume should be integrated into Ground operations for the last mile by the end of 2020, FedEx said. This means all home deliveries will be sorted and delivered within the same network, providing better density, efficiency and savings, Subramaniam explained in a FedEx blog post.
The last mile of a home delivery can be time-consuming and costly for couriers like FedEx. Couriers may drive a long way just to deliver one small package.
“Delivery density has consistently been a challenge with e-commerce,” Subramaniam said. “We anticipate substantial density improvement and efficiency opportunities when all residential packages are sorted and delivered within the same ground network.”
About 20% of SmartPost packages have integrated into the FedEx Ground network to date, FedEx said. The company credits that to technology that moves SmartPost packages into the Ground network when another parcel is going to the same address, or one nearby.
This fall, package integration “will be significantly accelerated,” FedEx said.
FedEx said it’s meeting demand for larger items ordered online, too, in part by designing new facilities and implementing equipment to existing facilities to better handle those orders. Over-sized and heavy items make up more than 10% of FedEx Ground volume, and that number is expected to grow, FedEx said.
“These transformational steps demonstrate how the size, scope and technology of the FedEx network enable us to be nimble and responsive to the changing needs of e-commerce,” Subramaniam said. “Each one advances the company’s commitment to continued superior service and increased efficiency in handling all e-commerce packages – small and large – within one ground network, seven days a week, year-round.”
It was less than a year ago when FedEx Ground brought Saturdays into the regular delivery fold. In September, the company announced it would deliver six days a week year-round thanks to facility and automation investments.
The service expansion is the latest in a line of FedEx announcements citing e-commerce as the reason for a new company offering. The FedEx SameDay Bot, which will begin tests in Memphis later this year, FedEx Extra Hours and FedEx’s next-day prescription delivery service with Walgreens are among those recently revealed services.
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