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FedEx sets earlier cutoffs for accepting holiday shipments

Company designates Dec. 14 as deadline to receive most parcels, up 1 day from last year

U.S. shippers using FedEx Corp.’s surface transport offerings to move their peak-season shipments will have to comply with earlier cutoffs than last year if they expect them to arrive by Christmas.

FedEx (NYSE: FDX) has set a Dec. 14 deadline for shippers using its FedEx Ground and Home Delivery services. Last year’s cutoff date was Dec. 15.

The cutoff for shipments tendered this year under FedEx’s Ground Economy service is Dec. 8. Last year’s cutoff was set at Dec. 9. The Economy service is slower and less expensive than FedEx’s other ground offerings.

The cutoff dates apply to shipments moving within the lower 48 states and Alaska and Hawaii.

Two of FedEx’s LTL services, FedEx Freight Priority and FedEx Direct, where shipments are delivered straight to residences, also have Dec. 14 cutoff dates — one day earlier than last year. FedEx Freight’s Economy service, which has slower deliveries and is not priced at a premium, has a cutoff date of Dec. 8. Last year’s cutoff was Dec. 9.

Deliveries made through FedEx Express, the company’s air and expedited services, will have the same cutoffs as last year. Depending on the specific service, the cutoffs will range from Dec. 20 to Dec. 23.

This year’s earlier cutoffs are likely a function of the calendar. This year, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day fall on a weekend. Last year, Christmas Eve fell on a Friday. FedEx and rival UPS Inc. (NYSE: UPS) will set their deadlines for accepting ground packages so they can complete their deliveries before the holiday weekend.

FedEx, which provides nationwide coverage on Saturdays, is likely setting shipper expectations well in advance to avoid missed deliveries, according to Paul Yaussy, senior consultant, professional services at Shipware LLC, a consultancy.

The FREIGHTWAVES TOP 500 For-Hire Carriers list includes FedEx (No. 1) and UPS (No. 2).

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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.