To get packages here to there, millions of customers turn to FedEx, a leading global logistics service provider. FedEx operates a system of big regional distribution centers, where sorters direct thousands of packages every night. Ground service provides delivery via over-the-road trucks and local delivery vans.
Delivery Times Via Ground
Sending packages via FedEx ground transportation means placing them on vans and trucks for delivery. No air transport is involved, and the rates are generally lower than for air delivery. FedEx uses a series of zones to determine its rates; the higher the zone number, the farther the destination location from the sender. According to rate schedules published in 2015, a 1-pound package going to a zone 5 destination (601 - 1,000 miles away) costs $7.67 via ground. The company adds a surcharge of $3.10 for residential service. The cheapest air delivery to the same zone is a FedEx Express Saver, with delivery guaranteed by 4:30 p.m. on the third day. Using this service, delivery of a 1-pound package runs $14.10.
Routing Through the Hubs
The FedEx "Hub Network" is a system of 25 distribution centers located in or near major cities. All packages designated for ground shipment go through one. When a package enters the hub, the shipping address is scanned and entered into the FedEx system. The package eventually reaches a truck heading to one or more destination hubs. Packages scheduled for local service go straight to a delivery vehicle. The delivery time is one to five days in the continental United States.
Limits on Ground Services
Ground transport delivery is for packages up to 150 pounds and is available Monday through Friday. The company makes deliveries by the end of the business day. It allows senders to request a specific delivery date as long as that date is not a Monday, a holiday, or a date earlier than the one set by the company's own system. If the delivery is not made by the date scheduled, the company provides a refund or a credit.
Home Delivery and Tracking
Although FedEx ground delivery is a business service, FedEx also offers Home Delivery services via ground transportation within one to seven business days. Either service allows you to track the packages through the FedEx website or with Delivery Manager software that can be downloaded and used in your own logistics system.