SmartPost Targeting Smaller Shippers

Oct 08, 2009 8:15 PM  By

As the busy holiday season gears up, FedEx SmartPost announced it is extending its service to small- and medium-sized shippers.

FedEx SmartPost, a wholly owned subsidiary of FedEx Ground, specializes in delivering lightweight, business-to-consumer packages (typically less time-sensitive parcels), using the U.S. Postal Service for the final mile to residences.

Previously, the service was only available to high-volume customers that shipped several hundred packages a day. The maximum package weight is 70 lbs.

FedEx SmartPost shipments are picked up by and sorted through the FedEx network and then handed off to the USPS for delivery via its extensive network that reaches 149 million U.S. residences. By combining the expertise of two shipping networks, FedEx SmartPost can offer 100% U.S. coverage, including P.O. boxes; military APO (Army Post Office/Air Force Post Office) and FPO (Fleet Post Office) destinations, transit times from two to eight business days; and Monday through Saturday deliveries with no residential or Saturday surcharges.

Gerry Hempstead, president of Hempstead Consulting and a former vice president for DHL, applauds the news. In the past, he notes, SmartPost would for the most part only talk to shippers that could justify a truck.

“Now SmartPost is using pickup resources that it already has to allow shippers to use this low cost b-to-c service,” Hempstead says. It takes about a day longer than FedEx or UPS ground, he adds, “but it is much more economical.”