How Does FedEx Ship Packages?

by Gigi Starr; Updated September 26, 2017
How Does FedEx Ship Packages?

Varieties of FedEx Shipping

Federal Express (FedEx for short) has a wide range of shipping options geared for both home and commercial clientele. Although many know FedEx for its overnight express service, it also offers ground delivery services. Other shipping options include medical product handling, freight and same-day international and domestic air. To take care of this wide range of shipping choices, FedEx uses planes, delivery trucks and trains. Custom-critical service allows for precise scheduling and climate control, as well as air charter service, if necessary.

FedEx Package Processing

FedEx runs several processing sites around the world that receive, sort and route freight to its destination. Throughout the process, the package is scanned and tracked by a unique bar code; this enables parties to monitor and record the whereabouts of the parcel at all times. While the process is partly mechanized, human labor handles much of the heavy lifting and sorting. The larger processing centers run almost 24 hours a day, with several shifts of workers. These facilities handle a large amount of work; a large hub based in Hagerstown, Maryland can process up to 45,000 packages an hour at full capacity.

Shipment of a Package

FedEx Ships its packages using a standardized system of bar codes and procedures. With the company's proprietary shipping management software, a client prepares the package by printing a shipping label and requesting a pickup. FedEx then has the package, and its dimensions, in its system, and a driver picks it up for processing. Once it gets to the center, it is routed according to its shipping method---to the airport and air security screening for express service, or a truck for ground delivery. The package goes to the nearest processing plant to the delivery address and is checked in. After that, delivery drivers take the package to the recipient. Constant location scans show up on the FedEx website, so the customer can track the package's progress.

About the Author

Gigi Starr is a freelance fashion writer. She previously served as the blog editor for a major online fashion blog and has more than a decade of backstage experience in the beauty and high fashion industries. She has worked for businesses like an internationally renowned theatrical touring company and events such as the Mercedes-Benz N.Y.C. Fashion Week.

Photo Credits

  • 2009 tiarescott / Creative Commons
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