Retailers who participate in the service will be able to fulfill e-commerce orders later into the evening and have FedEx Express pickup as late as 1 a.m.

FedEx Corp. has rolled out a new pick up option for online retailers called Extra Hours.

Retailers who use the Extra Hours service will be able to hand off packages to FedEx later into the evening. FedEx Express, which provides next-day local delivery and two-day shipping in the U.S., will pick up packages as late as 1 a.m.—or later in some instances, depending on the retailer and location, a spokesman for FedEx says. Before Extra Hours was launched, FedEx-scheduled pickup times varied based on location, volume and other factors, he says, without revealing specifics.

Extra Hours will be available year-round, the spokesman says.

At launch, Extra Hours is available in more than 100 U.S. markets where retailers have requested this service, with additional markets to be added based on interest, the spokesman says, without revealing specifics. Best Buy Co. Inc. (No. 8 in the Internet Retailer 2018 Top 1000) and AutoZone Inc. (No. 122) are two of the retailers using this service, FedEx says. FedEx does not charge a fee for Extra Hours.

The later pick up times offered by FedEx means packages are injected into the FedEx network sooner, potentially shaving hours off the time elapsed from order to delivery. In addition, FedEx says it can pick up trailer load volumes from distribution centers or smaller volumes from retail stores, all for next-day local delivery.

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“The majority of online orders are placed after 4 p.m., and 64% of online shoppers expect orders placed by 5 p.m. to qualify for next-day shipping. FedEx Extra Hours aligns with the needs of online shoppers, while offering retailers a way to balance inventory and reduce transportation costs,” says Brie Carere, senior vice president and incoming chief marketing officer for FedEx.

Besides Extra Hours, FedEx has been working with retailers to add new services for e-commerce delivery.

Customers of consumer electronics e-retailer Newegg Inc. (No. 22) can now have their packages held at 12,000 FedEx locations for up to five business days, including FedEx office retail stores, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. stores (No. 38) and some The Kroger Co. (No. 86) stores and Albertsons Inc. (No. 178) locations. Many Kroger and Albertsons locations also will extend their operating hours in December to accommodate the busy holiday shopping season.

Walmart Inc. (No. 3) also plans to roll out 500 in-store FedEx pickup and drop-off locations in the next two years, FedEx says.

FedEx 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 only throughout the holiday seasons.

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FedEx is a shipping carrier for 190 retailers in the Internet Retailer Top 1000.

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