New FedEx Fulfillment Service Targets SMB Market

FedEx Supply Chain, rebranded from the company’s 2016 acquisition of Genco, is rolling out FedEx Fulfillment, a solution that provides a full suite of warehouse, inventory management and delivery services for small- to medium-sized businesses that is directly competitive with Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA).

FBA, launched in 2000, has sometimes been criticized for identifying customers’ bestselling items through analytics and offering them for sale at a discount on its marketplace, a scenario that would not be in play with FedEx Fulfillment.

Companies using FedEx Fulfillment store their products at FedEx warehouses in the U.S. and Canada. FedEx then packages and ships them directly to customers. To enhance the experience, companies can use their own branded boxes instead of ones with the FedEx logo.

FedEx Supply Chain has 130 fulfillment centers in North America, most of them in the U.S., with more currently in development. It will add new facilities as demand dictates, and pursue innovation and efficiency through things like adding automation and robotics.

The service includes use of Manhattan Associate’s Scope, a SaaS-based WMS that handles inventory and order management across multiple channels. FedEx Fulfillment also handles returns as well as international orders through FedEx Cross Border, the rebranded Bongo, to 220 countries. Between the network of facilities and FedEx logistics, products are shipped across the continental U.S. in two days via either FedEx Ground or SmartPost, its last-mile solution leveraging the U.S. Postal Service.

According to FedEx, customers will have complete visibility into products and tracking, inventory management and analytics to help them make more informed decisions by better understanding shoppers’ spending behaviors.

Dan Coll, Senior Manager of Ecommerce Fulfillment for FedEx Supply Chain, said the service has been in development for two years, driven by requests from customers for an SMB-focused fulfillment offering.

“While we’ve been concentrating on enterprise-level accounts, the requests never stopped coming in from SMB owners who wanted us to solve their ecommerce fulfillment needs,” Coll said. “So we listened to our customers and worked with them. It’s been an evolution of our service, providing ecommerce fulfillment for SMBs in a shared space.”

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