FedEx has been making some significant investments into its infrastructure. Today we'll examine how those investments will (or won't) create a “FedEx weekend advantage” over the competition.
What is the FedEx Weekend Advantage?
A lot of those investments have been in automated regional sortation facilities. And they've expanded the facilities that handle their large packages to better sort things like TVs and furniture, which has been huge because of the increase in online shipping.
Customers are ordering those types of products online and having them delivered to their homes. And having that capacity helps FedEx better support what is going to be a crazy and unprecedented shipping season.
Since March or April, the carriers have really been in what they would consider peak-season mode. And in the holiday season, with more and more customers at home and working from home, this holiday season is going to be crazy.
With all of those investments, FedEx can support those customers and possibly get a leg up on UPS. That's not to say, however, that UPS doesn't have the same service offerings.
Comparing UPS and FedEx Weekend Services
Last year, when FedEx started touting their Saturday and Sunday deliveries by ground, UPS added pickups to their Sunday services. UPS offered seven-day deliveries, so FedEx added seven-day deliveries, but then UPS moved to seven-day pickup and delivery.
At this point, they have both expanded their networks to increase capacity and better serve their customers. Based on the fact that FedEx is actually announcing it, however, their network is most likely ready to all seven days now. And that will help and better support all of their customers across the board.
FedEx is also expanding its Sunday residential delivery coverage, and industries and shippers across the board will benefit from this service.
Fields ranging from medical to real estate will see benefits. Retail and eCommerce, however, will probably benefit the most from a time and transit and delivery standpoint.
Packages will be delivered on Sunday. Also, from a time and transit standpoint, they will consider that as a day in transit. So as soon as the guarantees are back up, those packages will be guaranteed as well.
Residential delivery has undergone a pretty massive shift this year. And FedEx is now offering ‘freight-direct,’ which delivers heavy or bulky shipments to customers at home. And while this doesn’t give them a tremendous advantage over UPS, there is a slight advantage from a freight standpoint.
It’s worth considering because one, the service has been offered by FedEx for a while and they're just expanding it. And on September 14th they announced that it will reach at least 90% of the population, which is great.
So if you're comparing FedEx Freight to UPS Freight, for example, they would probably have a pretty good advantage over UPS freight, just because UPS Freight would consider that a white-glove service.
Clarifying the Comparison
The fact that FedEx Weekend Advantage expands the service, and that it’s included in that portfolio of services for freight, is great for shippers. But there are other services to consider as well.
If you want to use UPS Hundredweight, for example, you can have those packages delivered to a home too. They won't necessarily be delivered in the home, which FedEx Freight and Freight Direct actually will do -- as far as the first floor inside of your house, which is an advantage over UPS.
If you really want to compare the services, you'd really have to look at UPS Freight versus FedEx Freight, and then look at Freight Direct and what UPS offers. Which, again, would be a white-glove service under the UPS portfolio.
Given all of these conditions, the FedEx weekend advantage might not seem so clear. But there are still benefits that shippers can leverage with the right insights.