1) What is FedEx eCommerce Shipping?
FedEx eCommerce shipping is a globally renowned transportation and logistics service. It assists eCommerce businesses in delivering their products to customers in over 200 countries.
FedEx's comprehensive tools for eCommerce business and fulfillment solutions make shipping a cost-effective and speed-optimal process.
FedEx eCommerce shipping includes a cluster of delivery methods, shipping rates, packaging options, and reverse logistics for returns.
2) How does FedEx Shipping Work
FedEx eCommerce shipping works as a series of processes beginning from order creation. Once an order is placed, the next step is to determine the packaging for your product available on FedEx Office sites. Packaging options depend on your product, including perishables and hazardous items.
After packaging is selected, you have to choose the preferred shipping method and calculate the shipping costs. You print the shipping labels after paying with a credit card or PayPal from the FedEx website or their mobile app.
After the packaging is ready with the shipping label, you can attach the FedEx shipping label and drop it off at the nearby office or FedEx drop box. Alternately, you can also schedule a paick-up service from your home or office.
While the process seems simple, more intricacies are involved with shipping methods, fulfillment solutions, and eCommerce tools. This is why we have curated all the information you need to understand FedEx eCommerce Shipping starting with the most popular shipping methods in the next section.
3) FedEx Shipping Options
Here is a detailed overview of FedEx’s popular shipping options:
3.1) Overnight Shipping
Overnight shipping is one of the fastest next-day shipping methods FedEx provides that primarily services domestic eCommerce businesses in the US.
As long as your parcel is dropped off at FedEx drop-off locations before the cutoff time, your parcel is eligible for next-day delivery. The shipping option is available for five days of the week and, in certain circumstances, operates on Saturdays too.
However, there is a parcel weight limit of 150 lbs and 119 inches in length. The delivery time (early morning, mid-morning, and afternoon), delivery distance based on shipping zones, and package DIM weight determines the overnight shipping cost.
Overnight shipping has three subsidiaries. You can choose the First Overnight option to get the early morning delivery between 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. For mid-morning deliveries between 11:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., you can choose Priority Overnight; for afternoon deliveries from 12:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. or 8 p.m., you can choose the Standard Overnight option.
3.2) Same Day Delivery
The Same Day Delivery is separated into two services, one available within the home city and the other for the country.
Ship FedEx Same City has standard and economy options for destinations covering 45 miles, while Direct and Priority choices are available for any destination within the service zone.
Moreover, this option is available only for select metropolitan cities and some ZIP codes within it. The delivery time can vary between 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on all days of the week.
For same-day deliveries within the 50 states of the country, FedEx offers Ship Sameday U.S. service. Though it is available around the clock seven days a week, the delivery time may vary according to the ZIP codes covered in each state. You can deliver your parcels weighing up to 2,200 lbs.
The international counterpart of the same-day delivery is the FedEx International Next Flight option. With this, you can deliver your shipment to more than 220 countries.
3.3) Ground Shipping
FedEx Ground Shipping is a popular choice for eCommerce companies to deliver their parcels at a low cost. It has three offshoots: FedEx Ground for businesses, FedEx Home Delivery for residential addresses, and FedEx express for time-sensitive deliveries.
The estimated transit time is between 1 to 5 days, and parcels usually reach customers by the end of the day. Your packages can weigh up to 150 lbs and 165 inches in length and girth.
The FedEx International Ground Shipping operates between U.S. and Canada. It also offers ground shipping to residential and commercial addresses within Canada.
3.4) International Shipping
FedEx international shipping comprises multiple shipping services based on shipping times and LTL freight. The express air freight delivering parcels within 24 hours is the hallmark of FedEx International Next Flight.
FedEx offers two air freight options for deliveries between one and three business days: International First and International Priority. While you can avail of unlimited total shipment weight, each parcel should not exceed 150 lbs. Included in this package is the door to door delivery service and customs clearance.
For cost-effective shipping with delivery time between two and five days, you can choose FedEx International Economy. This service is ideal for exporting to Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico from the USA.
eCommerce businesses wanting LTL freight service can avail the of FedEx Freight Priority, FedEx Freight Economy, FedEx International Priority Freight, and FedEx International Economy Freight. FedEx International Premium is another service catered to ship hazardous goods.
3.5) Freight Shipping
Freight Shipping transports parcels weighing over 150 lbs and is usually done in bulk by either a ship, aircraft, or truck. FedEx offers domestic and international freight shipping for the USA, Canada, and Mexico.
With FedEx freight shipping, you can track multi-pallet shipments and use the extensive network of couriers with refrigerated vehicles. It also supports hazmat shipping and shipping with domestic freight labels created online from FedEx
For on-ground shipping in the USA, Canada, and Mexico, you have three options: Freight Priority for 1-3 days deliveries, Freight Economy for 3-6 days deliveries, and Freight Direct for fast deliveries with added services.
For domestic air freight within the USA, including Alaska and Hawaii, you have FedEx 1Day, 2Day, and 3Day Freight services.
3.6) Flat Rate Shipping
FedEx offers flat rate shipping for parcels weighing below 50 lbs. It has 12 flat rate boxes and shipping services for deliveries from one to three days.
After you select your flat rate box, you can easily schedule a pick-up with FedEx courier agents or drop off your shipment at any FedEx convenient location.
The twelve flat rate boxes include envelopes, small pak, small box, medium box, large box, extra large box, and tube. The flat rate starts from 10 USD for envelopes to 39.10 USD for extra large boxes. The starting shipping charge for the tube box is 39.10 USD.
4) FedEx eCommerce shipping tools
FedEx is more than a cluster of shipping methods. It offers a range of eCommerce tools and solutions to alleviate shipping convenience and automate day-to-day shipping tasks.
4.1) FedEx Web Services
FedEx Web Services is a website integration solution that enables you to connect your eCommerce channels like your website, warehouse management, and other shipping software. It is a cloud-based solution where you can create your customized user interface.
Web services automate your daily business operations. This includes calculating shipping rates, selecting shipping methods, estimating transit times, generating the shipping and FedEx labels, and tracking shipment statuses.
You can also access FedEx’s Developer Resource Center to get detailed instructions and guidance on product planning, sample codes, etc.
4.2) FedEx Compatible
Like the web services, FedEx Compatible is a business software that connects you with multiple third-party software partnering with FedEx.
You can get solutions for transportation management like ShipStation; enterprise resource planning like Oracle Net suite; warehouse management like EasyPost; and eCommerce solutions like Shippo, etc.
With FedEx Compatible, you can automate eCommerce carts in Magento, OSCommerce, Zencart, and marketplace shipments on eBay, Amazon.com, etc.
4.3) Delivery Manager
FedEx’s Delivery Manager is an efficient tool that empowers customers to dictate where and when they receive their orders with free registration.
They can track their shipments and receive notifications via email or text messages. Moreover, customers who aren’t home can request order delivery at any retail store associated with the FedEx network.
4.4) Parcel Tracking
FedEx offers its tracking portal and mobile app that offer intelligent insights and information on all your shipments. You can avail a wide variety of notification options and a customized filter view.
This tracking feature is available for FedEx Express, Ground, and Freight shipments traveling within the countries or internationally. You can also get proof of deliveries via email or fax.
If you are someone who ships more than 20,000 shipments every month, you can use FedEx Insight for added visibility of inbound, outbound, and third-party shipments.
4.5) Delivery Signature
eCommerce businesses seek customers’ signatures for high-value orders, and FedEx has the right tool for it- FedEx Delivery Signature Options. There are multiple options available in this feature where an eCommerce business can direct FedEx agents according to their business needs.
The FedEx agent can safely deposit the order when no one is available to offer a signature or take a signature from a neighbor or building manager. In other cases, if customers are not available, they can reattempt another delivery on a later date.
FedEx has eliminated the need for paper invoices with its eInvoicing service that you can access on the FedEx Billing Online portal. The invoices are digitally signed.
You are notified as soon as invoices and credit notes are available and save data in PDF or XML format for 180 days. You also get multiple payment options with debit and credit cards and Electronic Bank Transfers.
4.7) Global business expansion
Most eCommerce businesses aspire to reach a global audience and expand their business worldwide. Facilities such as FedEx Checkout helps merchants to have a secure transaction at current conversion rates.
Merchants can activate the “Remember Me” feature on FedEx’s payment page for interested customers to save their shipping preferences and addresses. FedEx Monitor is another feature that allows merchants to offer different tracking for multiple brand portfolios.
4.8) Reusable Packaging
Keeping in mind the need for sustainability, FedEx has reusable packaging boxes made of recycled contents. The reusable packaging is suitable for parcels weighing up to 2.5 kgs and is available in the three standard packing sizes.
5) FedEx eCommerce Shipping Costs
FedEx has standard shipping rates, and surcharges levied on businesses as shipping costs.
5.1) Shipping Rates
The shipping rates for FedEx depend on a host of factors: the origin and destination of parcels, residential or commercial delivery, package size, time of delivery, and type of packaging. FedEx can either consider the DIM weight or the parcel's actual weight, depending on which is greater of the two.
The low-cost shipping option for domestic deliveries is FedEx Home Delivery, followed by Ground, Express Saver, and Two-Day delivery. For international packaging, the low-cost option includes International Ground followed by International Economy.
You can estimate the shipping costs by using FedEx shipping calculator. It is also essential to regularly check the FedEx website to note shipping rate changes.
5.2) Surcharge Rates
Surcharges are a standard in all shipping courier companies. FedEx, too, levies surcharges on certain factors. Some of them include fluctuating fuel costs, special shipment handling (perishables, fragile, valuable, and hazardous items), special conditions like COVID-19, and holiday season charges.
6) FedEx eCommerce Shipping Fulfillment Solutions
Here are some in-house FedEx eCommerce fulfillment features:
6.1) Direct Distribution Facility
FedEx’s International Priority Direct Distributions is a fulfillment center solution for eCommerce businesses to ship directly from manufacturing facilities to the hands of the delivery carrier for the final delivery.
This is a novel way for any eCommerce merchant to reduce the cost of warehousing and maintaining inventory, bypass handling costs, and reduce overall logistics costs.
With FedEx, your shipments would take around two to four days for final delivery. You can avail of end-to-end visibility of each package with customs clearance.
6.2) Pick-up options
FedEx offers seamless pick-up options, maintaining eCommerce businesses' convenience and shipping routine. As such, an eCommerce merchant can either drop off their packages at drop box locations across the country or schedule pick-ups online.
Regular pick-up is ideal for businesses that have a fixed monthly delivery schedule. You can benefit from free express service too. A customizable option is the FedEx Express and FedEx Ground Automated Pickup, which regularly regularises pick-up schedules according to business needs.
6.3) Handle Returns
Many eCommerce businesses face the threat of continuous returns. This is where FedEx has developed technologies for handling returns, like offering QR codes as an alternative to generating returns labels.
FedEx has enabled the ‘no-box’ returns facility where customers can bypass printing a return label or storing the same packaging.
As an eCommerce business, you can get the returns tracking service to estimate when your customers drop off their parcels and issue them credits sooner. Tracking returns also emboldens businesses to make informed decisions about inventory.
7) Other eCommerce shipping benefits from FedEx
With FedEx, you get a range of shipping supply options, from boxes to mailers. In fact, you get free shipping of packaging materials for FedEx Express supplies like envelopes, boxes, poly mailers etc. The FedEx packaging supplies are standard and specialty boxes, tubes, mailers, cushioning, and packing materials. There are more specifications and customizations available for each packaging option.
7.2) Customs Clearance
Customs Clearance is an indispensable service provided by FedEx. FedEx has a bunch of tools and people to assist eCommerce businesses in clearing customs documentation and verification and calculating duties and taxes. Starting with the International Shipping Assist portal, you can get the HS codes for your products and estimate duties and taxes. FedEx also has global trade managers and document preparation centers for added assistance.
You can avoid customs delays by uploading all your customs documents electronically ahead of your shipments reaching the port or airport via Fed.
7.3) Cross Border Shipping
FedEx streamlines cross-border shipping for any eCommerce business by giving transportation options to eCommerce tools like Direct Export and Merchant Control. These services secure the transaction environment, fulfill orders for international customers, and prepare documentaions for international shipments.
FedEx is a renowned shipping company that many eCommerce brands trusts. FedEx has an efficient shipping system in place to handle vast amounts of domestic and international shipments every single day. It offers competitive shipping rates, packaging, fast delivery, and international shipping services. With its eCommerce retail solutions, customer-centric focus, shipping tools and services, FedEx is a one-in-all shipping solution in existence today.