October 6, 2009, 12:00 AM

FedEx extends home delivery service via the Postal Service to all retailers

Any retailer now can use the FedEx SmartPost system, in which the U.S. Postal Service completes the delivery of small packages to consumers’ homes. Previously, the program was only open to retailers shipping several hundred packages a day.

FedEx announced yesterday it is opening up its SmartPost delivery deal with the U.S. Postal Service to smaller retailers.

Previously, the program was only open to high-volume retailers that shipped several hundred packages a day. Now there is no minimum order requirement, and any retailer can request SmartPost service when they schedule a FedEx Ground pickup.

Packages sent via the SmartPost program are picked up and sorted by FedEx, then handed off to the U.S.P.S. for delivery to consumers’ homes. No residential or Saturday delivery surcharges apply with SmartPost, FedEx says.

“FedEx SmartPost has been well-received by catalogers and e-tailers as an economical option for residential deliveries,” says Ward B. Strang, president of FedEx SmartPost. “Extending the service to commercial shippers of all sizes will provide them the opportunity to serve their customers with a cost-effective and consistent delivery experience.”

FedEx announced a SmartPost returns service last month, in which consumers can give packages to the U.S. Postal Service, which turns them over to FedEx for delivery to retailers. UPS and the U.S.P.S. launched a test of a similar returns service earlier in the year.

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