October 15, 2019 4:00 PM, EDT

FedEx Freight to Expand Home, Business Deliveries in US

FedEx Freight truckJohn Sommers II for Transport Topics

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FedEx Freight is expanding its FedEx Freight Direct e-commerce pilot to more than 80% of the contiguous population of the United States, following expansion of the program to additional markets earlier this year.

The service from the less-than-truckload subsidiary of FedEx Corp. offers delivery of bulky items such as furniture, TVs and exercise equipment, with delivery into residences and businesses, the Memphis, Tenn.-based company said in an Oct. 15 press release. It is the first standardized FedEx service to make deliveries through the door and into homes, the company said.

For now, FedEx Freight is declining to name any retail companies with whom it may partner. The delivery zone covers most of the United States, with the exceptions of Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota. Clients can access an online ZIP code map on to see the areas where FedEx Freight Direct will make deliveries.

The move is another sign e-commerce is altering the services of freight companies. FedEx Freight officials said e-commerce is changing customer expectations and creating new opportunities for the LTL market.

“Today’s consumers are just as comfortable purchasing a television or sofa online as they are groceries or books,” said Brie Carere, FedEx executive vice president and chief marketing and communications officer, in the release. “We’re seeing more oversized items move through our global network. FedEx Freight Direct is critical to addressing these challenges as part of our growing e-commerce portfolio.”

The service will also enhance delivery into businesses with new options, the company said.

FedEx Freight has, since 2001, offered both fast-transit delivery of time-sensitive freight or cost-effective delivery when customers can trade time for savings. FedEx Freight has more than 370 service centers and 25,000 motorized vehicles, moving more than 115,000 LTL shipments each day through the U.S., Canada and Mexico, according to the company news release. FedEx Freight has 45,000 employees.

FedEx Freight Direct Services

• Standard: Currently available to over 80% of the contiguous U.S. population through 173 service centers using the FedEx Freight Priority LTL network, Standard offers delivery into the first room of convenience in a residence or business. This includes a two-hour delivery window and the ability for customers to select delivery times and receive proactive notifications.

• Premium: Includes the same features as Standard along with delivery to room of choice and optional packaging removal. Premium deliveries will be conducted by two FedEx Freight team members to ensure safety and quality service.

• Basic: To-the-door service, currently offered as residential delivery.

The FedEx Freight Direct delivery equipment, including trucks, was designed with significant input from FedEx Freight drivers — specifically regarding operations in limited-access areas like residential neighborhoods. Employees who conduct these deliveries have undergone customer service training tailored to these destinations, the company said.

FedEx Freight CEO John A. Smith discussed the potential the company sees in e-commerce during an August interview with Transport Topics.

At the time, FedEx Freight Direct had recently expanded into Memphis and Nashville.

“Three or four years ago, we knew we would have to eventually address that growing industry,” he said. “The heavy, hard-to-handle segment — as we call it — is over a $10 billion industry right now, and growing at double-digit margins. In the foreseeable future, we do not see that ending.”

Smith added, “We’re going to take a rifle approach to that $10 billion market. We’ve got a real good business plan developed in order to take advantage of that market, and to offer a service that really differentiates us from the existing market. We’re really excited about entering this piece of the e-commerce business in freight.”

FedEx Corp. ranks No. 2 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America. FedEx has annual revenues of about $70 billion and 450,000 employees.

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