FedEx Express/Ground collaboration will improve last-mile delivery

THE GLOBAL e-commerce industry is booming, and unsurprisingly so.

The benefits of bringing the shopper online have multiple advantages over brick and mortar stores: it’s fast, effective, and above all, offers unsurpassed convenience to the shopper.

For shipping companies, growth in the industry undoubtedly opens up many business opportunities. However, costs of the supply chain are heavy, especially in the last mile, which is the door-to-door residential package delivery.

FedEx, the US-based shipping giant, recently announced that it can change this through a collaboration between two of its delivery lines: FedEx Ground and FedEx Express.

If FedEx Express has a day-definite residential shipment that can be delivered by FedEx Ground, FedEx Ground will do the delivery — that’s the arrangement. This initiative will commence in March, and will be piloted in the Greensboro market.

“Often, an Express van comes to your house the same day a Ground van for e-commerce residential deliveries [eliminating that duplication] increases efficiency, and drives down costs,” said FedEx Senior VP Patrick Fitzgerald.

“As e-commerce is growing, there is a very good opportunity to maximize the efficiency […] we can dilute delivery density if we have two separate operating companies delivering to the same address.”

Fitzgerald also noted that this collaboration is made possible by a few things, including a heavy investment in technology and FedEx Ground’s ‘seven-day-delivery’ initiative, which was specifically tailored to serve the growing needs of the e-commerce market.

The company is also getting creative in leveraging technology. Package labels with codes will allow ‘qualified’ packages to go from the FedEx Express Ramp into the FedEx Ground network without requiring manual work.

Great strides have been made in improving the efficiency of last-mile delivery, regardless of industry.

FedEx wasn’t born digital. Yet, it is still able to thrive, and stay competitive in an industry that is facing constant disruptions.

The US-based logistics giant’s biggest competitor UPS, however, seems a little further ahead of the curve, trialing UAVs and drones to increase delivery efficiency and customer experience.

Ultimately, the key is agility and openness to adopting new technology. Such a mentality is commendable, and ought to be emulated by those who wish to win in the digital era.

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