New FedEx Ground and USPS Arrangement

This is a heads up to members involved in a sale where the goods are sent by FedEx Ground. FedEx and the USPS now have an arrangement whereby FedEx Ground delivers the package to the postal facility in the recipient’s zip code and the USPS completes the delivery to the recipient’s door. I’ve encountered this new arrangement twice in the last ten days, once as the shipper and once as the recipient (neither shipment was audio related).

Based on my experience, you can expect two changes from the former service by FedEx Ground. First, total delivery time can take another day because the USPS delivers the package as part of its once-a-day regular mail run. Whenever the package arrives at the postal facility after that day’s mail has already been sorted and given to the mail carriers, the package won't go out until the next day. Second, FedEx’s tracking number system now tracks the delivery of the package only to the postal facility. This can be disconcerting to the recipient who has not yet received his package but reads on FedEx’s tracking site that the package has been delivered.
This of course raises another more important question. In the event that the gear is damaged upon arrival, who accepts responsibility for the claim: FedEx or USPS? I have been saddled with this system on some non-audio shipments and it is a royal pain to track a shipment, all the more so since for FedEx delivery is considered to have been accomplished when the item arrives at a regional sorting center, and not necessarily at your local post office. Two and three day delays are more common than the aforementioned one-day delay.
Luckily and in addition to this, I found out about six months ago that FedEx Express (Red Truck) delivers the Express and Priority Mail.

I'm in Indianapolis, IN. What the Postal Service told me was that items are flown according to FedEx's flight schedules.

This means that from Indianapolis, anything going west normally gets there the next day because of the time zone difference and FedEx's set flight schedule.

Likewise, anything going east or is coming east to Indianapolis normally takes one extra day because of the time zone difference and FedEx's set flight schedule.

I've shipped and received quite a few items this way and have found this to be true.

To clarify my answer above: I didn't mean that FedEx Express (Red Truck) actually delivered the package, only that they fly the package for the USPS. The Postal Service actually delivers the package.

But like HiFiXpert brings up, who is ultimately responsible for any damages? It seems that everything should be on the USPS since the item was given to them to be delivered and the item was insured. How they choose to send it should not be our concern, it should be USPS' concern.

I have read that USPS will soon(in order to cut costs) stop Saturday deliveries.
This can't be happening. No way is this going to work. My postal carrier is about 5'2" and maybe 110 pounds. Sweet Asian lady with a great smile and always happy to see me. But she hasn't had to lug a pair of 65 pound monoblocks to my front door yet either. I bet she starts spitting on my mail real soon.

I have a FedEx Ground account and don't remember getting any notification. Of course I don't pay much attention to the junk they send me. I looked for a reference on the web but only found a 2001 agreement. Anybody have a link?
Krell_man, I think Fed Ex remains responsible to the shipper for any damage that occurs in transit. The shipper's contract is with Fed Ex, not the USPS. The USPS is only acting as an agent of Fed Ex., which remains liable. Fed Ex may be able to collect from the USPS for the amount Fed Ex ends up paying its customer for damage caused by the USPS, but the customer is not required to deal with the USPS.

My reasoning assumes that Fed Ex doesn't insert a clause in the terms printed on its shipping slip that shifts liability to the USPS for damage the USPS causes. That would be a disaster for the customer, because each carrier would point the finger at the other one, and the customer would have no way to determine which one caused the damage. If dealing with either one of these carriers alone is brutal, imagine what a three-party merry-go-round would be like. However, I think the customer backlash would be so bad that Fed Ex wouldn't try such a maneuver.
I believe that the same thing is going on with DHL / USPS also.

I ordered something recently and DHL handled the package only so far and then the Post Office delivered it.

Because it went Media Mail, would that be the reason for this ( 2 carrier )?
I would be happy if this arrangement were extended to my region. This is because it will be easier to take delivery when I'm not home. I'm assuming that if I'm out the carrier will return the item to my local post office and leave me a delivery notice. The local p.o. is a lot closer than the FedEx depot.

Actually I'm pretty sure the postperson doesn't even try to deliver the heavy stuff. They just leave the delivery notice for those. Maybe Don_s's little mail carrier can save her back.
I thought that DHL had folded their tent in the US. (They are big in Europe).

My son is a pilot who flies a small plane for Fed EX out of Phoenix to nearby cities like Flagstaff. He used to do the same route for DHL, but went to Fed Ex when DHL quit.

He has remarked that Fed Ex people handle packages with care, whereas DHL would simply toss them into the plane. I don't know about UPS.
I was recently notified that a package was shipped DHL and it showed up in my mail box. Not sure how this all works. I was also under the impression that DHL was folding up in the USA.
BTW: I think DHL is owned by the German post office.
The USPS is on track to lose $7 billion this year so big changes are definitely coming. Only time will tell what those changes will be.
REALLY wondering about FedX Ground anymore? Used to use them occassionally with no trouble at all...
In late May I ordered an industrial grade water pump (65 pounds) from a northern Chicago suburb; for home delivery to my rural address ~60 miles south of Chicago.
The thing took forever to show up. Note there is a local FedX office 1/2 mile west of here on the outskirts of town; their drivers have been here often enough to recognize me &/or wife on the street (it's a midsize community).
Eventually I received a call from a northwest Indiana FedX office (HUH?) requesting directions to the house for delivery. This has happened before; apparently they don't understand how to route via shortest path, but crossing state lines twice enroute seems insane. No response re: my query "why is my pump in Indiana when your local office is 1/2 mile away?".
I satirically asked if they knew how to search an address on Mapquest (more silence) apparently these Pet Rocks dunno about that either? Following my lengthy delivery instructions they finally got it here a couple of days later. Sheesh!!!
So now it has to go through the post office as well? May as well go through USPS Parcel Post; it'll probably be faster! Or resign myself back to risking the United Package Smashers. And we all know their infamous reputation for blaming the victim when they destroy something. Catch 22 all over again...
This comes as no surprise to me. Years ago FedEx & USPS started working together with Priority & Express mail.

I used to work for a postal contractor & would take a trailer full of Priority & Express directly to the airport once a day. This was in 2002/03. I'm pretty sure that particular contract was fairly new but they may have worked together before that too. I understand they move some First Class mail also. A lot of this came to be after 9/11, which restricted a lot of the mail which used to be carried by commercial airliner.

It'll prob. get to the point it's all the same company. Some of you might remember the rumored merger w/FedEx & UPS, which was going to be called FedUp.
This is nothing new. Shippers use it to cut costs in shipping to rural and super-rural areas where the post office is going anyway but it is not cost effective to send a Fedex truck 60 miles out of the metro area for a single package. My company used FedEx Smartpost for the last three years which is FedEx delivering packages to the USPS DDU (direct distribution unit - the local postal hub) for final delivery.

UPS does the same thing with UPS basic service which is the brown truck dropping packages at the local PO for final delivery.
I sure hate to say anything positive about a carrier, as they provide the most concerns in this hobby, BUT the last few times a package has been sent to me, it came inside the Fed ex truch… on time. Today I missed it by not being home at 9.45 A.. saw the tag upon my return an hour later.

Hopefully good luck will bare out.

The contracted carrier has the burden of safe conduct, provided the packaging meets or exceeds the shipping criteria set forth by said carrier.

…and there’s always Pilot, UPS, and others.

so far around here the mailman hasnt delivered me anything Fed Ex shuold have brought.
Aside from the additional delivery time, the issue of insurance should tell all that Fedex Ground should never be used. While UPS ground is never perfect, the claims processing of UPS is far better. If you have damage, the receiver can go online and file the claim the same day with the item picked up at your door the very next day. Tracking the claim is also easier.
No thanks! If I wanted government employees to touch my valuable shipments I would though it out my car going 70 MPH at the road workers. I end up with the same results as using USPS - lost or damaged.

USPS is a joke, just like Amtrak. They should be privatized and charge more for specific area codes and less for others. In rural areas or low density locations, deliveries should be reduced to twice weekly. This approach allows for 1/3 the equipment and employees to cover three times the territory (terr. A = Mon/Thu, terr. B = Tue/Fri, Terr. C = Wed/Sat). But since we are talking about the government, combined with a union, nothing logical will ever result.
Did you know that at one time the post office only handled packages. The private Pony Express shipped packages. But they didn't deliver to sparsely populated areas.
It was the Socialist political party which proposed that the Post Office should handle packages, and should deliver everywhere. This was bitterly opposed by many people. "Socialist" they cried...just like today's health care issue. The success of catalog stores like Sears Robuck and Montgomery Ward was made possible by the Postal Service and contributed greatly to modernization of rural America.
Any links to actual news realeases about what is going to happen? So far this thread is mostly speculation. the scrawny usps peeps are going to deliver audiophile amps...speakers and the like?


I cant wait to see this. On second thought, I can wait. GOD help us all.
I think the change has more to do with the UPS effort to cause Fedex to have to unionize. You can type into google "ups tried to make fedex unionize" and you'll see articles about this. I originally read the article in the WSJ. The first link that comes up describes the situation:
Leaving aside all the conjecture, I can't see any change. Got two FedEx ground packages yesterday -- delivered by FedEx -- and one package in the afternoon USPS delivery. All was well but for very minor issues, and has been for years, with both of them. Nothing scrawny about my USPS people either. Guess I'll wait before panicking. Dave
If you have shipped a package over 75 pounds through USPS, it was UPS that moved it to the recipients post office, not USPS. They are phasing out their handling of overweight items.