According to a Corporate Fact Sheet released by FedEx in May 2019, approximately 15 million packages are handled and shipped by FedEx all over the world, daily. There are also about 250 million packages being tracked by users each day.
FedEx has also recently made its way to the RepTrak list of the ‘100 most reputable companies in the world’ in 2019. It is definitely one of the most reliable and safest shipping companies in the world.
Here Is a Step by Step Guide on How You Can Ship an Item in the United States Using FedEx:
1. Before Shipping
A number of things need to be ticked off before you consider shipping an item using FedEx. Here is what you need to look out for:
a) Ensure It Is Legal To Ship The Item In The U.S
Whether or not FedEx chooses to handle a package depends on a number of things. Is the package dangerous, or could it be harmful to those handling it? Is it something that can’t be replaced? Will it lead to damage of other packages? All these are questions that need to be looked into when sending off an item with FedEx.
Some of the Items That Can’t Be Handled by FedEx Include:
- Drugs and medicine
- Items that may be flammable or corrosive
- Precious metals like silver and Gold in jewelry form or any other form such as residue, sulfides, and powder
- Cargo that is meant for important and high stakes projects
- Microchips, Central Processing Units (CPUs), and mobile telephones
- Medical Devices
- Fresh foodstuffs
- Artwork, antiquities and archeological material
- Biological and etiological agents and vectors of human disease
- Anything containing lithium
- Articles that are irreplaceable and valued between $250000 and $500000 each
- Tranquilized guns and ammunition
However, it is important to note that an item can still be shipped even though it is restricted as long as the necessary documentation is provided. You must also have a contract with regular and consistent volume before FedEx considers your package for delivery.
You can pack the item in a corrugated cardboard box, a mailing envelope or a shipping tube. Ensure you use bubble wrap for items that may be fragile. Close up the package and secure it using tape across all the seams (in the case of a cardboard box) or using the in-built glue strip found in envelopes.
Alternatively, you could visit a FedEx store for them to package it the way they prefer. You could also order packaging supplies online. For people who are shipping for the first time, it is advisable to get help from a FedEx store to avoid any additional issues such as wrong weight and incorrect packaging.
Once you have seen how FedEx official usually does it, then you can try it on your own the next time you’re shipping something.
c) Fill Out The Shipping Label
For a domestic shipment, you will need to give information on both the sender and recipient’s name, address, and phone number. You also need to provide information on the item being shipped and the approximate value and weight of the package.
All the information is provided by filling out a form that can be found on the FedEx website and then printed or can be filled out at any nearby FedEx store by hand. When filling out the form at home, you need to ensure that the details you provide are correct. This especially applies to the weight and value of the package.
d) Label The Package
Once you have completed the shipping label form, firmly attach the label on the largest and flattest side of the shipping container using either strong glue or tape. Ensure that all the details are visible and not covered up in any way.
Cover the label using plastic or place it in a plastic pouch and then tape it to the container, to protect the paper from and tears or tampering. If the package is too small for the whole shipping label to fit on one side, ensure that the recipient’s address is on one side and the barcode is on another side.
2. Paying For Delivery
a) Choose The Appropriate Delivery Plan
FedEx gives you delivery plans to choose from depending on what you are shipping and how fast you want it to get to its destination. Here is a list of some of the domestic shipping plans:
- FedEx First Overnight – Your package will be delivered on the next business day by latest, 9;30 a.m. For distant and remote areas, delivery is by 5 p.m. the next day. Saturday delivery is available at an additional cost. This service is available in all the 50 states except Alaska and Hawaii.
- FedEx Priority Overnight – Delivery is by 10:30 a.m. for most addresses and by noon for most rural addresses. Delivery on Saturdays is available at an extra fee.
- FedEx Standard Overnight – This option is for next day delivery by 3 pm to accessible areas and by 4;30 pm to rural areas and by 8 p.m. to residential areas. This service is available in all 50 states where FedEx priority overnight delivery is by 10:30 pm or by noon.
- FedEx 2-day a.m. – This is for second day delivery by 10:30 a.m. and is available in all the US states except Hawaii.
- FedEx 2 Day – Delivery by the second business day by 4:30 p.m. and is available throughout all 50 states
- FedEx Express Saver – Delivery by the 3rd business day by 4:30 p.m. This service is not available in Alaska and Hawaii.
- FedEx Ground – This is delivery in 1-5 business days in 48 states and 3-7 business days in Alaska and Hawaii
- FedEx Same Day – This service is available to clients who need their time-sensitive packages to be shipped within the same 24 hours. It is a door to door service that is available in all the 50 states throughout the year.
b) Invest In Insurance
In case the item is lost or damaged, you want to be able to get it replaced or get a full refund. For items that have a value of less than U.S $100 you only need to have declared the value of the item on the shipping label and FedEx will refund you to have the item replaced.
For items that have a value of over U.S $100 you need to pay U.S $0.90 per extra U.S $100 for the item to insured. However, before FedEx gives you a refund, you must provide proof of the value of the item and then fill out a claim form that is available on the FedEx website.
FedEx will then follow up with you by inspecting if necessary. Ensure you maintain the item’s original packaging until your claim is fully dealt with.
c) Pay The Total Shipping Costs
Cost of shipping will depend on the weight of the package, size, and the delivery plan that you choose. If you choose to label your package at a FedEx store then you can pay using cash, credit/debit card or a cheque. If you choose to fill out the form online then you can only use credit/debit card or electronic funds transfer before you print out the label.
3. The Actual Shipping
a) Drop Off The Package
If you can get to a FedEx store, you can simply drop off the package once you have labeled it and paid for all the costs. You can also go to a FedEx store and just hand it over for delivery once you pay the costs at the store.
Some stores have also partnered with FedEx so that clients can drop off their packages for FedEx to pick them up for delivery. Such stores include Walgreens and other select grocery stores. FedEx also has multiple drop off locations which operate 24/7.
b) Arrange To Have The Package Picked Up By A Courier
If it's more convenient for you, you can arrange to have the item picked from your home or office. To arrange for it to be picked up, call 1-800-463-3339 and say ‘Schedule a pickup.’ You could also schedule a pickup on the FedEx website by creating a customer account and then filling out the pick request form.
If you need FedEx to regularly pick up packages from your home or office, you are allowed to plan ahead for recurring delivery which also includes free express shipping service. This is better compared to continually going to a FedEx store to drop off items.
c) Track The Package
The receipt provided contains the tracking ID or reference number, which can be used to track the location of the item. You simply need to input the number on the FedEx website. Tracking information provided shows the current location of the package and the past locations
Ever since being launched in the year 1971, FedEx has managed to consistently provide its customers with efficient and fast services. Most companies and organizations that provide their services internationally and within specific time frames, trust FedEx to handle and deliver their goods and services.
Despite a large number of packages handled by FedEx, it has still ensured the packaging and shipment of items is easy and convenient for all its customers.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
1. What Is Dimensional Weight, and How Do I Calculate It?
Dimensional weight is the weight of a shipment based on dimensions provided by the actual mass. Dimensional weight is calculated using the following formula: (Length x Width x height)/5.000. Dimensional weight determines the rate charged on a package except for items in FedEx-provided packaging.
2. Can I Set My Own Tracking Number?
You can determine your own tracking number as long as it’s a FedEx Express shipment. The tracking number you set can be the items billing number, invoice number, or any other code that you select. The reference number provided will be displayed on the invoice
3. Can I Track a Package Without an Account?
You can track your shipments without a tracking number using the Alternate Reference Tracking. You may also use FedEx Insight which is a free service that allows you to added visibility on your package. It gives information on the current status of your shipments, notifications on delays, attempted deliveries and proof of delivery
4. Can I Change the Address of the Package Destination?
Rerouting of the package destination is allowed only once per package and can only be authorized by the sender. Rerouting includes the change from one street to another within the same city or state, from request for delivery to hold at the FedEx location and From Hold at the current FedEx location to delivery.
To request for rerouting, contact FedEx customer service with your tracking number and the new address. Rerouting may lead to extra costs being incurred and delays in shipment. No additional charges are incurred for Hold at current FedEx location requests.
5. What Happens If No One Is Available at the Time of Delivery?
The courier will leave the information on when the next delivery attempt will be made. You are also allowed to change the delivery date and time by completing a form available on the FedEx website.
You can also track your package to see the expected delivery time and make plans for someone to receive it for you. The person receiving the package must provide proof of identification using a valid ID and provide a signature.
FedEx continues to evolve with technology playing a critical role in its growth. Smart sensors that are embedded in delivery packages connected to the Internet of Things enable both the company and its customers to have real time insight into a shipments entire journey.
The end-to-end visibility offered to senders through the embedded sensors is crucial when shipping sensitive products like fresh produce. the real time analytics on data such as location and temperature enable users to make smart real time decisions.