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How the USPS and FedEx Cooperate to Deliver Packages

While it may seem that competition and collaboration are mutually exclusive, this isn’t always the case. Shipping carriers often collaborate to provide their customers with high-quality and affordable service for the benefit of everyone involved. For example, the USPS and FedEx have a partnership agreement and provide hybrid shipping services, such as FedEx SmartPost and USPS Global Express Guaranteed (GXG).

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

The main difference between the United States Postal Service (USPS) and FedEx is that the USPS is a government agency and FedEx is a private courier company. Both provide shipping services and, naturally, directly compete with one another and with other carriers, such as UPS (United Postal Service). However, they also have agreements that enable them to provide hybrid postal services. In this case, carriers benefit from each other’s strengths, as well as both get their share of revenue.

FedEx SmartPost

FedEx SmartPost is a hybrid shipping service that uses the USPS for the final leg of delivery of lightweight, non-urgent packages to all of the contiguous United States, Alaska, Hawaii, and all U.S. territories. As a result, the delivery is faster than regular mail but cheaper than FedEx Ground. The service allows FedEx to offer shippers a cost-saving option and reduces the carrier’s workload.

When a package is shipped via FedEx SmartPost, FedEx delivers it through a system of warehouses and fulfillment centers to its hub closest to the destination. The USPS takes over from there and delivers the package to the customer’s doorstep. Delivery usually takes 2 to 7 business days within the contiguous U.S.

By the way, UPS has a similar service named UPS SurePost where shipments are delivered via the UPS Ground network to a post office, and then the USPS provides the final delivery to customers. This service is available only to UPS customers who have a contract for it.

Image by John R Perry from Pixabay

Global Express Guaranteed

While FedEx takes advantage of the United States Postal Service coverage of every residential address in the U.S., the USPS benefits from fast international shipping provided by FedEx. Its Global Express Guaranteed (GXG) service uses international transportation and delivery provided by FedEx Express, delivering packages in 1 to 3 business days, depending on the destination.

The USPS collects and processes GXG shipments, and then delivers them to a FedEx location for shipment abroad. FedEx handles customs clearance and delivers GXG shipments to their destination in the foreign country.

Image by F. Muhammad from Pixabay

Hybrid services are beneficial for carriers because they allow them to provide good service for a lower price, as well as reduce their workload. Of course, customers benefit from them too because FedEx Smart Post and Global Express Guaranteed try to offer a balance between the speed and cost of delivery. While it might not be perfect (there are people who think that FedEx SmartPost is too slow or that Global Express Guaranteed is too expensive), this is still an option worth considering.

And this is what the true spirit of competition is about. It’s not about destroying your competitor, it’s about offering customers enough options to choose from. And if this means working together with your competitor to provide better service, it is for the best because it is joint efforts that help the market grow and thrive.



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