Palletized freight? FedEx will handle it

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (March 2) — Federal Express wants to apply its expertise for moving small packages and envelopes to handling freight.

The world’s largest air express carrier announced plans to restructure its freight services and lift the 150-pound weight restrictions on some U.S. services starting March 15.

FedEx currently offers domestic heavy-freight service for U.S. customers under the name Express Saver Freight. FedEx is abandoning the Express Saver name and replacing it with three tiers of service: FedEx 1Day Freight, FedEx 2Day Freight and FedEx 3Day Freight.

FedEx will use its own vehicles to move the freight, as well as outside truck carriers in coordination with FedEx’s air network, the company said.

One key difference in the realignment of its freight operation is a $570-million US investment in equipment and facilities that can handle palletized freight. In order for FedEx to take freight under the program, the shipment must be palletized or unitized by the customer before pickup.

The services will be priced based on a simple distance-based plan, and freight customers will have access to the same FedEx electronic shipment status tracking that small-package customers have.

FedEx sees this new service as an alternative to the air freight services offered by the likes of Emery Worldwide, as well as trucking companies that haul high-end, time-definite freight.

“This represents a very dramatic, very aggressive move into the freight business for FedEx,” Carl Asmus, FedEx vice president of freight marketing, said in an interview. “We are taking the gloves off and opening the doors.”

The new system allows FedEx to compete better in the short-haul market, while still being able to offer the time-sensitive long-haul service the trucking companies cannot provide, he said.

“FedEx is the only company which offers express freight customers in the United States time-definite freight services backed by two money-back guarantees,” said Asmus.

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