FedEx purchased the parcel consolidator Parcel Direct in September 2004 from Quad Graphics. This FedEx Ground subsidiary was re-branded as FedEx SmartPost in October 2004. FedEx SmartPost specializes in the consolidation and delivery of high volumes of low-weight, less time-sensitive business-to-consumer packages, using the US Postal Service for final delivery to residences. FedEx SmartPost's customers include e-tailers and catalog companies. Through its network of 26 distribution hubs, FedEx SmartPost provides delivery Monday through Saturday to all residential addresses in the U.S., including P.O. Boxes and military destinations.
Pickups are completed by two different groups within FedEx Ground based on expected volume:
FedEx Ground Contractors pick up packages for "Smart Post Small Shipper" clients and transfer these packages to SmartPost within the FedEx Ground Hubs
FedEx SmartPost trailers pick up packages for "Smart Post Large Shipper" clients and move the packages within the FedEx SmartPost network directly.
The resulting service is one that is less expensive than FedEx Ground, but more expensive than regular mail, and generally takes one to two days longer than standard FedEx ground shipping, with tracking information but without a guarantee of service.
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