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Old 09-10-2009, 10:40 AM   #1  
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Default FedEx, USPS team up for new returns service

Parcel shipping: FedEx, USPS team up for new returns service
FedEx SmartPost to leverage USPS Parcel Returns Service to give end-users more return shipping items
Jeff Berman, Group News Editor -- Logistics Management, 9/10/2009

PITTSBURGH and WASHINGTON—In an initiative geared towards holiday shopping, FedEx said today it is partnering with the United States Postal Service to roll out a returns service for consumers through its FedEx SmartPost offering. FedEx SmartPost is the company’s “last mile” delivery service partnership with the United States Postal Service (USPS).
FedEx officials said that this endeavor, dubbed FedEx SmartPost Returns Service, will be comprised of SmartPost and the USPS’s Parcel Return Service, an offering that provides shippers with a convenient and cost-effective method for returning merchandise through the mail.
Officials at FedEx and the USPS said this service will initially be made available for shippers with high volumes of returns.
USPS spokeman Dave Lewin told LM that through this partnership, FedEx will use the USPS Parcel Return Service for items shipped via FedEx SmartPost that are being returned to merchants and retailers.

“Parcel Return Service is an excellent, cost-effective and efficient service designed to meet the needs of consumers returning items to retailers, and the addition of return service for FedEx SmartPost broadens the relationship between the two organizations,” said Lewin. “The Postal Service has unmatched access to every household in the nation, a business advantage FedEx leverages as part of our last-mile residential delivery for small packages.”
FedEx said that adding Parcel Returns Service to SmartPost will provide retailers and customers with an intuitive way to return merchandise, with retailers including a pre-paid label in the original shipment as well as return instructions. When packages are picked up, FedEx explained they will be consolidated into larger shipments at local Post Offices, which will be picked up by FedEx to be shipped to the original retailer.
This collaboration also gives end-users visibility to the Postal Services’s access to every household in the U.S., coupled with its access points for return pickups, including collection boxes, post offices, and Free Package Pickup from home or business addresses.
With this service, shippers are giving customers that are doing returns an easy and convenient way to get product back to them when they need to, according to David Westrick, FedEx Ground spokesman.
FedEx and the USPS have been collaborating on SmartPost since 2004, shortly after FedEx acquired Parcel Direct, a parcel consolidator, and re-branded it as FedEx SmartPost.
“We have had a relationship for the last five years, where the USPS does the last-mile deliveries, and we induct as far into the USPS network as possible and they handle the final delivery to residences,” said Westrick.

An analyst perspective: With today’s news, FedEx is the third package carrier to use the USPS Parcel Returns Service along with UPS and Newgistics. The UPS offering, though, was more of a hybrid solution where a shipper could decide to send packages back through UPS directly or go through the USPS, explained Doug Caldwell, executive vice president of ParcelPool, a parcel and package delivery consultancy.
“This is a pure postal play and makes a lot of sense,” said Caldwell. “Smart Post is already going to several DDUs (delivery destination units) throughout the country every day and now will be picking up return packages [as well as delivering them]. This makes sense from a costs and a green standpoint to pick up packages and flow them back to customers. It is also simple for the consumer returning the merchandise to use. There are several ways to return merchandise and they are all pretty easy.”
Caldwell also pointed out SmartPost is growing substantially, with 66 percent year-over-year growth in the second quarter, as is UPS’s competitive offering, UPS Basic, which is also seeing positive growth. This highlights how business-to-consumer shipments are healthy during a rough economic period, he added.
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Old 09-10-2009, 02:48 PM   #2  
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Time to get a CDL. Obviously, trucking is where it's at.
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Old 09-10-2009, 03:10 PM   #3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MX727 View Post
Time to get a CDL. Obviously, trucking is where it's at.

Don't forget that the pilot's union contract is up for renegotiation soon which might REALLY make trucking where it's at! Get that CDL now ...
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