With the increasing demand for e-commerce delivery and the holidays fast approaching, FedEx Corp. has expanded its FedEx Ground U.S. operations to six days per week year-round. That marks a shift for FedEx, which has previously run six- and seven-day ground operations throughout the holiday seasons. Competitor UPS Inc. added year-round Saturday delivery last year. FedEx did not respond to a request for comment on whether the extra day of delivery will include a surcharge.
FedEx delivers more than 14 million shipments on average per day, but expects that number to climb in the coming months. To support the higher volume, FedEx will increase hours for some of its 425,000 existing employees, and hire about 55,000 seasonal workers.
“The rise in demand for e-commerce goes beyond peak. It’s a year-round phenomenon, and we are ready to meet that demand,” says Raj Subramaniam, executive vice president, chief marketing and communications officer at FedEx. “Thanks to strategic investments in our network, we are now well-positioned to operate six days a week in the U.S. all year to best serve the rapidly growing demand.”
Some of those investments are in automation, logistics, analytics and robotics. Additionally, in the last five years, FedEx has opened nine new hubs and 58 automated stations, or “autostations,” to handle the higher volume of packages. Other investments include:
- Robotic trailer unloading systems that use sensing and movement robotic technology to help FedEx better unload bulk items.
- FedEx Ground yard management and GPS systems, which automatically notify the control center when a trailer arrives and departs.
- Enhanced visions systems on FedEx Express cargo planes that allows for better visibility when the weather may deter shipments. Also, since 2007, FedEx Express has been working to modernize its fleet of 210 aircraft.
“These significant facility and automation investments have been taking place for many years, but are now largely complete,” Subramaniam says. “We underwent a transformation by opening new facilities and investing in highly advanced technology and innovations that have resulted in the most automated network in the industry, delivering the speed and reliability our customers value highly.”
FedEx is a primary delivery carrier for 190 Top 1000 retailers. UPS, which began rolling out year-round Saturday ground delivery during 2017, is a primary carrier for 272 Top 1000 retailers. The U.S. Postal Service offers home delivery of parcels seven days a week, with most Sunday deliveries being for Amazon packages. Amazon.com Inc., the largest e-retailer in the United States and No. 1 in the Internet Retailer 2018 Top 500, uses all three delivery services in addition to operating its own delivery network, which makes deliveries seven days a week.