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FedEx Freight adds returns to home delivery portfolio

Last-mile delivery business to provide returns of large-format items

FedEx Freight business begins returns program for big and bulky items. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

FedEx Freight, FedEx Corp.’s less-than-truckload unit, said Friday that it has added returns to the services offered by its FedEx Freight Direct business, which handles residential and commercial deliveries of big and bulky items ordered online.

The returns service will be available for pickups that don’t require appointments, or have two-hour appointment windows, the FedEx (NYSE: FDX) unit said. Pickups can be made outside of a location, inside a garage, and inside the first ground-level room of a home or business, the unit said. Shipments can weigh up 2,000 pounds, and no individual item can weigh more than 150 pounds.

Freight Direct’s returns service covers nearly 100% of the U.S. population with its Basic Pickup service, where a pickup can be made from a ground-level front or back door either with or without an appointment.

The returns operation’s Standard Pickup service covers 90% of the population, FedEx Freight said. With that service, items are picked up with a two-hour appointment window from the location’s first ground-level room. 

Freight Direct launched in 2019 on a limited geographic scale. It began testing returns last year with its Basic Pickup Service, according to Maranda Yarbro, a FedEx Freight spokesperson.

Online demand for big and bulky goods is growing rapidly. As the segment expands, so does demand for returns of large-format items that, for a variety of reasons, consumers don’t want. All returns programs are costly, but large-format items have unique burdens due to the shipments’ size and weight, which usually requires more labor and specialized freight capabilities.


  1. Dude Mycar

    If this idea was a stand alone idea would it make money?
    #1 carrier should not be focused on #2 quality freight, (returns right?).
    2 hour windows for pick-ups plus making all other deliveries on the same routed
    truck, (returns unpacked fully assembled).
    What a nightmare for the driver trying to make all customer needs met.

  2. Dick Bischoff

    talk about a money loser and garbage business, I can hear the FedEx Freight drivers talking right now about how this will make injuries ( back and other) skyrocket. I’d of thought you’d see the bottom feeding LTL carriers offer this kind of service, not the largest LTL carrier in the industry. Business must really be tanking, no?

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Mark Solomon

Formerly the Executive Editor at DC Velocity, Mark Solomon joined FreightWaves as Managing Editor of Freight Markets. Solomon began his journalistic career in 1982 at Traffic World magazine, ran his own public relations firm (Media Based Solutions) from 1994 to 2008, and has been at DC Velocity since then. Over the course of his career, Solomon has covered nearly the whole gamut of the transportation and logistics industry, including trucking, railroads, maritime, 3PLs, and regulatory issues. Solomon witnessed and narrated the rise of Amazon and XPO Logistics and the shift of the U.S. Postal Service from a mail-focused service to parcel, as well as the exponential, e-commerce-driven growth of warehouse square footage and omnichannel fulfillment.