The demand for speedy and reliable shipping in the US has never been as high as it is right now. Online retailers in specific are dealing with an overwhelming and unprecedented amount of order flow, sending packages all over the country with no end in sight. All of the major shipping companies – FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc. – are totally swamped and overwhelmed trying to keep up with this demand, and are doing their very best while at the same time looking to leverage any help they can to speed things up and make their customers happy.
That’s where SmartPost comes into play. FedEx, recognizing that they could dramatically improve their deliverability rates, their speed, and their efficiency by partnering up with the USPS – especially when it came to “last mile” deliveries – now offers SmartPost shipping solutions to almost every address in the country. Customers have been raving about this service ever since it rolled out, allowing them to save money and get their packages a lot faster and more consistently than they would have been in the past. To learn a little bit more about everything that SmartPost has to offer (and the tracking that it provides) you’ll want to check out the inside information we highlight below.
What is FedEx SmartPost?
As we just mentioned a second ago, SmartPost is a partnership delivery service created between FedEx and the USPS. Now FedEx handles the bulk of the movement of that package as it moves through their own internal infrastructure – going from one FedEx warehouse to the next, transported all over along FedEx vehicles, and handled by FedEx employees and delivery workers – until it gets to the “last leg” of the journey. At that point in time, FedEx drops the package off at the local post office – however many packages need to be delivered in that area – and the USPS handles the rest of the delivery from there. This reduces the FedEx workload significantly, speeds things up quite a bit (at least from an end-user standpoint), and make sure that your package gets to you with the same consistency of delivery that you’d expect from the USPS.
Delivery windows when choosing SmartPost usually are scheduled for between two and seven business days after the package has been dropped off with a FedEx representative. SmartPost is available Monday through Saturday (the same delivery days the USPS works), and is available across 100% of the United States – including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, the US Virgin Islands, all US territories, and even APO/FPO/DVR destinations. Obviously, SmartPost deliveries to Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and other US territories are going to take a little bit longer than the standard two to seven business day window of time we mentioned above. Other than that, though, the FedEx SmartPost delivery service works exactly the same to every address in the United States. The only real limitation that customers looking to leverage SmartPost are going to come across is the fact that packages can only way up to seventy pounds to be transported via this service.
Anything heavier than that (even just a little bit heavier than that) will require the packages to be sent via standard FedEx or USPS delivery services. These packages also can’t measure any barge or than 130 inches when it comes to their overall length and girth combined. You also want to know that the following standard FedEx services are not available with SmartPost packages:
- Collect on Delivery instructions
- 100% Moneyback guarantees
- Declared value protections
- Signature proof of deliveries
- Scheduled evening or specific date deliveries
- Hazmat delivery
If you’re hoping to leverage any of those benefits when working with the FedEx shipping agency you’re going to need to choose a delivery method other than SmartPost. Finally, all packages sent via SmartPost are going to be moved through the FedEx infrastructure through the FedEx Ground service. They are going to be trucked all over the country and directly to the post office before getting handed off to the USPS, which may result in some delays as well. Thankfully though, with 25 strategically located hubs across the United States (and a number of hubs elsewhere in US territories) the FedEx Ground service is generally pretty quick and consistent.
Is FedEx SmartPost Tracking Included for Free?
You’ll be glad to know that FedEx SmartPost services include unified tracking 100% free of charge, without exception whatsoever. This is a huge bonus for those that want to send their package via this service, especially those that want to use FedEx Ground but also want to save a bit of money on delivery along the way (something we dig into deeper in just a moment). Unlike other USPS delivery services (and even some FedEx services), you get true end to end tracking available 100% free of charge included with your FedEx SmartPost package. This information will be provided the moment that you drop your package off at FedEx to have it sent through this company, not only prominently displayed on the packaging and shipping label itself but also on your FedEx receipt, too. You’ll want to use this information to track your package as it goes from your hands to its final destination.
How Does FedEx SmartPost Tracking Work?
The coolest thing about the FedEx unified SmartPost tracking system is that it gives you a single tracking code you’ll use to track their package as it moves through the FedEx infrastructure as well as the USPS system, too. This is a game changer. Instead of having to juggle two different tracking codes, remembering which one is which and when to use the right code depending on which services handling your package at that point in time, unified system streamlines things significantly.
Now all you have to do is punch in that code directly into your web browser or the FedEx and USPS tracking tools and you’ll get an immediate update about where your package is. It’s not a bad idea to use your web browser as a tracking code finder (or Google, if that helps) as opposed to using either the FedEx or USPS systems, though. The FedEx system will automatically update the second that you drop your package off but the USPS system may be a little bit slow to update, especially if information hasn’t been passed along the SmartPost database yet.
By all means check FedEx tracking with your code as soon as you get an opportunity to do so, but understand that any USPS tracking information may take a day or two (or more) to update – and it might even update only after your package is dropped off at the local post office or distribution center to go out for delivery.
Why Is My SmartPost Delivery Delayed?
While FedEx SmartPost has a fantastic record for speedy delivery and consistent results (exactly what you expect from the folks at FedEx in the first place), they aren’t perfect. You need to realize and remember that this is basically a cheaper version of FedEx Ground, too. This means that your packages aren’t going to be loaded onto FedEx airplanes anytime soon, and you aren’t (probably) going to be able to enjoy overnight delivery – or even next day delivery – most of the time. No, you’re going to have to expect the same kind of delivery speed that FedEx Ground would have brought to the table – or maybe even a little bit slower, simply because your package is inevitably going to be handed off to the USPS to do that “last mile” of delivery themselves.
Sometimes these packages arrive from FedEx to your local post office or USPS distribution center in the middle of the day. That means that they likely won’t go out until the next day, though you always have the opportunity to pop down to your local post office and pick them up yourselves (if you are so inclined).
If you do end up getting a SmartPost package that is delayed (scheduled for delivery one day but then postponed) it could be happening for a variety of reasons – all of them related to either the FedEx Ground delivery service being delayed or delays at the local USPS distribution/post office network.
Modifying or Adjusting Your FedEx SmartPost Delivery
Like every other package you’re having sent via FedEx Ground you have the opportunity to modify and adjust your delivery time, address, and a whole host of other details – so long as it remains within the FedEx delivery network. The second that your package is handed off to the USPS for that last mile of delivery you are no longer able to make these kinds of adjustments.
This is why it’s so important to pay attention to your tracking information as your package through these two unified systems. If you’re going to make any changes, be sure to make them before the USPS is given your package. At that point there’s just nothing left that can be done other than calling your local post office and hoping that they can somehow redirect things for you (or even hold your package at the post office).
Is SmartPost a Good Way to Save Money Shipping Things Through FedEx?
SmartPost is a great way to save a bunch of money, often times representing a shipping cost-saving of 20% or more compared to standard FedEx Ground delivery costs. FedEx is continuing to apply what they call “dimensional pricing” to all of their SmartPost shipments, which help you save quite a bit of money compared to the standard FedEx Ground rates that you are probably used to.
You should also know that FedEx regularly updates the prices for their SmartPost deliveries, but does so always in line with the same pricing increases they do across the board. If the prices of FedEx Ground delivery goes up the chances are good that SmartPost will go off (and usually mirror the increases on a percentage base, too).
The cost savings of SmartPost is a big part of why so many businesses across the state like to take advantage of SmartPost whenever possible. These businesses are able to offer the same kind of delivery consistency and speed that FedEx Ground provides, capitalize on the USPS handling the rest of the “heavy lifting” when it comes time to actually get your package to you, and pass shipping savings along to you as the customer, too.
Volume deals and discounts can be taken advantage of with high-volume shipping partners through FedEx as well, though businesses are going to want to speak to their account representative at FedEx to learn more about what those savings would look like and how to best move forward with them. All in all, there are a lot of advantages to leveraging the SmartPost unified delivery system provided by FedEx – and lower prices is just one of them!
Get Instant Updates About All of Your Packages with US Global Mail
Traditionally, the USPS does not like to accept packages on behalf of major shipping companies – FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc.) – for customers that have a PO Box. In fact, some post offices around the country will flat-out deny the delivery and either force them to be rerouted back to the retailer or individual that sent them or give the FedEx/UPS/DHL driver your home address to make sure the packages go there instead.
With US Global Mail operating as more modern mailbox, though, that’s no longer a problem. Not only are you able to receive packages from all of the major shipping companies (including packages sent via FedEx SmartPost) but you’re also going to be able to enjoy all whole host of other benefits by becoming a US Global Mail customer, too.
We are talking about:
- Get getting instant updates and notifications every time a new piece of mail arrives at your new mailbox
- Receiving digital scans of the outside of those envelopes and boxes, as well as scans and photographs of the contents (upon your express request)
- Effortless and secure check depositing services
- Domestic and international mail forwarding to almost any address on the planet
… And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
For more information about everything US Global Mail has to offer, check out their website or contact customer service directly.