April 23, 2013, 2:31 PM

FedEx gives consumers more control over deliveries

Its “Delivery Manager” service mirrors a program from rival UPS.

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FedEx Corp. today launched a service that enables residential customers willing to pay extra fees to better control when FedEx will deliver packages to them.

Dubbed “FedEx Delivery Manager,” the service follows the October 2011 launch of a similar program from UPS called “MyChoice.” FedEx officials say the growing popularity of online shopping led to the program’s launch. E-commerce spending increased 16% year over year in 2012, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.

FedEx charges customers $5 to reschedule the delivery day, $5 to deliver to another address, and $10 to request a two-hour delivery window. FedEx will enable, without charge, customers to put a two-week vacation hold on deliveries, and to leave instructions such as delivering the package to a certain door. FedEx also will send delivery alerts for free via the web or mobile devices. Consumers can sign up for the service for free.

The prices generally mirror those charged by UPS, though it also offers those services through a “premium” plan with an annual charge of $40. UPS says its service has attracted more than 1 million consumers.

FedEx serves 124 retailers in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide, while UPS serves 146. In the Second 500 Guide, which lists smaller retailers, FedEx serves 184 retailers, while UPS serves 249.

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