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  #1  
Old 12-15-2019, 09:07 AM
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Veloo Veloo is offline
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Little OT: Didn't Bike Flights switch to FedEx?

Don't ship a 100 pound bike and you're fine.

https://beta.ctvnews.ca/national/wor...27048.amp.html

Last edited by Veloo; 12-15-2019 at 09:11 AM.
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  #2  
Old 12-15-2019, 09:44 AM
nesteel nesteel is offline
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BikeFlights switched to UPS.
ShipBikes still uses FedEx.
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Old 12-15-2019, 09:46 AM
NYCfixie NYCfixie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Veloo View Post
Don't ship a 100 pound bike and you're fine.

https://beta.ctvnews.ca/national/wor...27048.amp.html
As shared in the original thread...

My issue with FedEx, specifically FedEX Ground and FedEx Home Delivery is that those drivers are not FedEx employees but rather independent contractors. Only FedEx Express drivers are FedEx employees.

All UPS drivers are UPS employees.

This should not make a difference but when you consider that independent contractors (also like most Amazon delivery drivers) are paid very low wages and do not get health benefits like their fully employed counterparts, one can understand why sometimes they might be frustrated doing the same work for so much less overall compensation.
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Old 12-15-2019, 09:59 AM
dpdan93 dpdan93 is offline
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FedEx was more convenient in my opinion. The hours of FedEx office is much better vs UPS Store and give you as a recipient more delivery options. I had a frame come via bike flights with UPS and my only pick up option was to drive 40 mins to a hub vs being able to just go to a FedEx office and pick up my package.
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  #5  
Old 12-15-2019, 10:13 AM
sitzmark sitzmark is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCfixie View Post
As shared in the original thread...

My issue with FedEx, specifically FedEX Ground and FedEx Home Delivery is that those drivers are not FedEx employees but rather independent contractors. Only FedEx Express drivers are FedEx employees.

All UPS drivers are UPS employees.

This should not make a difference but when you consider that independent contractors (also like most Amazon delivery drivers) are paid very low wages and do not get health benefits like their fully employed counterparts, one can understand why sometimes they might be frustrated doing the same work for so much less overall compensation.
Not really independent contractors. More like a franchise model. FedEx handles all marketing and business procurement. The routes are purchased and run as independent businesses. Route owner(s) hire the drivers or operate the routes as owner/operators and are responsible for all delivery operations - buying/servicing equipment, scheduling to meet delivery commitments, staffing, etc. Has been a very lucrative business for the owners for many years. High producing routes sell for $300k-$500k each and rarely turned over in the past. Amazon delivery has changed the landscape and more route owners have been turning over routes recently (past couple of years). Amazon was only about 8-10% of all FedEx volume but the threat is shaking confidence. I looked at investing in a few key routes but changes in commerce/distribution do make it a risky investment.

Last edited by sitzmark; 12-15-2019 at 10:33 AM.
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  #6  
Old 12-15-2019, 10:32 AM
unterhausen unterhausen is offline
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I didn't know about buying routes, that seems even worse than independent contractors. I know people are starting businesses to deliver for Amazon, seems very risky. Competing with the Post Office, mostly on price, just doesn't seem like a good way to make money

My wife somehow got obsessed with sending her deceased brother's gun rack to his son in Montana. It wasn't his best work, so I offered to cut it into easy to pack pieces. This suggestion was not well received, so I cut up a bike box and packed it as well as I could. I tested my packing job by doing pretty much what that driver is doing in the video. Seems to be pretty solid packing job.

Last edited by unterhausen; 12-15-2019 at 10:37 AM.
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  #7  
Old 12-15-2019, 10:32 AM
NYCfixie NYCfixie is offline
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You are splitting hairs over the phrases "independent contractor" and "independent businesses" and who actually owns the truck/route versus if the employee/driver is the owner or just a paid hourly driver. Too many combinations to list so I oversimplified and made the point that the drivers are not employees and do not get compensated like employees.

As you may or may not know, FedEx purchased Roadway Package Systems years ago and re-branded as FedEx Ground and Home Delivery. They kept the contractor structure as a cost management measure. Why have more employees which cost more when you can have contractors which cost less because the cost can be managed and you do not have to deal with employee unions.

While I am no expert on this subject, within the past 12 months I had to write a 25 page paper comparing the enterprise risk management plans/policies of UPS and FedEx. One of the major points was how FedEx better controls human resource costs by using independent contractors but that also creates risk because these people do not feel connected to the company as much as full time employees and thus may not treat the packages with as much care.

As to Amazon, there are so many YouTube videos and articles stating how being an Amazon contracted driver is a miserable job and often you make less than minimum wage.

IMHO, the drivers who are not direct employees of Amazon or FedEx are treated poorly and get paid very very low wages compared to their full time employee colleagues.



Quote:
Originally Posted by sitzmark View Post
Not really independent contractors. The routes are purchased and run as independent businesses. Route owner(s) hire the drivers or operate the routes as owner/operators. Has been a very lucrative business for the owners for many years. High producing routes sell for $300k-$500k each and rarely turned over in the past. Amazon delivery has changed the landscape and more route owners have been turning over routes recently (past couple of years). Amazon was only about 8-10% of all FedEx volume but the threat is shaking confidence. I looked at investing in a few key routes but changes in commerce/distribution do make it a risky investment.

Last edited by NYCfixie; 12-15-2019 at 10:35 AM.
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  #8  
Old 12-15-2019, 10:51 AM
sitzmark sitzmark is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCfixie View Post
You are splitting hairs over the phrases "independent contractor" and "independent businesses" and who actually owns the truck/route versus if the employee/driver is the owner or just a paid hourly driver. Too many combinations to list so I oversimplified and made the point that the drivers are not employees and do not get compensated like employees.

As you may or may not know, FedEx purchased Roadway Package Systems years ago and re-branded as FedEx Ground and Home Delivery. They kept the contractor structure as a cost management measure. Why have more employees which cost more when you can have contractors which cost less because the cost can be managed and you do not have to deal with employee unions.

While I am no expert on this subject, within the past 12 months I had to write a 25 page paper comparing the enterprise risk management plans/policies of UPS and FedEx. One of the major points was how FedEx better controls human resource costs by using independent contractors but that also creates risk because these people do not feel connected to the company as much as full time employees and thus may not treat the packages with as much care.

As to Amazon, there are so many YouTube videos and articles stating how being an Amazon contracted driver is a miserable job and often you make less than minimum wage.

IMHO, the drivers who are not direct employees of Amazon or FedEx are treated poorly and get paid very very low wages compared to their full time employee colleagues.
No expert either, although my father worked in distribution/trucking for 50 years in the Rocky Mountain region. Mostly sales and business development for companies that were ultimately gobbled up by national companies. Early in his career he was sent to UT to expand business for a CO company he worked for. He ran into Mormons who wouldn’t do business with him and a growing regional service that would take small shipments and not full trailer loads. Was revolutionary at the time. That business grew to be the UPS we know today. The last 20 years my father started his own freight and warehouse services and ran it soup to nuts - much the same as FedEx route owners but he had to secure the business in addition to running operations, staffing drivers, etc. Tough competitive business.

Pressure on cost cutting will eventually hit UPS as well. Everyone wants cheaper and it usually comes from cutting the middleman.
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Old 12-15-2019, 11:12 AM
cash05458 cash05458 is offline
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I will chip in on this and altho it's been about 5 years since I left the post office...fed ex is pretty messed up...the worst really of the big three...sure, some folks bought into the fed ex buy your own truck franchise thing...but mostly it's just folks they hire to run their routes...not a big deal when seen that way...but they pay such crap to these folks...like just over minimum wage...their turnover rate is incredible...fed ex used to drop off packages for their "last mile" thing at our office and they would have a different person at least once a month...nowadays, here at my place, I use chewy which fed ex delivers...different new folks constantly...they are pretty much the McDonald's of carriers via their people...pay low, use 'em up and screw 'em and get another person who needs a short term low paying job...the deal is having an experienced guy who knows his area and actually cares about his own job and carreer does wonders for your service in all aspects...Fed ex ain't that...
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Old 12-15-2019, 11:13 AM
NYCfixie NYCfixie is offline
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Yes, most people do not know that UPS started just after the turn of the century (1900s) as a small local delivery company in Seattle delivering mostly for local department stores. FedEx got its start in the early 70s as an overnight delivery service and while many people think they are about the same size today, UPS is still a much larger company.

I find the industry fascinating especially with the growth of eCommerce, GPS tracking, and autonomy driving trucks. I have thought of pivoting my technology systems career to one focused more on transportation distribution management.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sitzmark View Post
...a growing regional service that would take small shipments and not full trailer loads. Was revolutionary at the time. That business grew to be the UPS we know today...
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  #11  
Old 12-15-2019, 11:39 AM
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jtbadge jtbadge is online now
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My favorite way to ship anything big is with ShipBikes, selecting delivery to a FedEx store. You save a few bucks by skipping home delivery, and you don't have to deal with "missed delivery attempts" or anxiety about package theft.

UPS is a nightmare.
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  #12  
Old 12-15-2019, 11:42 AM
NYCfixie NYCfixie is offline
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Originally Posted by jtbadge View Post
My favorite way to ship anything big is with ShipBikes, selecting delivery to a FedEx store. You save a few bucks by skipping home delivery, and you don't have to deal with "missed delivery attempts" or anxiety about package theft.

UPS is a nightmare.
Does UPS not offer ship to a store?
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  #13  
Old 12-15-2019, 12:28 PM
sitzmark sitzmark is offline
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I didn't know about buying routes, that seems even worse than independent contractors. I know people are starting businesses to deliver for Amazon, seems very risky. Competing with the Post Office, mostly on price, just doesn't seem like a good way to make money
Has been a pretty good gig for FedEx (Home/Ground) route owners. FedEx Express is all company owned/staffed. Don't recall exact numbers but think there are close to 2,000 Home/ground routes in USA between local and long haul. Owners can own both local and long haul but they are separate operations.

Routes generate $700k-$1mil+ revenue/year and clear about $3k-$5k/week to the owner after covering equipment and operations/employee expenses. Was a pretty secure opportunity before Amazon delivery entered the picture.

**Should say still is a good gig, but not as secure as before. Volume through FE Ground is being impacted by Amazon.

Also as an aside - there's big competition for CDL drivers the past couple of years. Have a friend who owns a food company in Maine and had 3 drivers quit to take jobs at other companies. He thought he had recruited drivers to replace them, but on the day they were to start their former employers matched and added to what my friend was paying, so they returned to their previous employers. Have heard similar stories from a number of business owners who need to truck product locally.

Last edited by sitzmark; 12-15-2019 at 01:00 PM.
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  #14  
Old 12-15-2019, 01:07 PM
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zmudshark zmudshark is online now
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As a point of reference, I just priced out shipping a frame from PHX to Seattle, BikeFlights was considerably less expensive using UPS than ShipBikes using FDX.
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  #15  
Old 12-15-2019, 01:13 PM
Clean39T Clean39T is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCfixie View Post
Does UPS not offer ship to a store?
tl;dr - both offer pickup, FedEx is (in my experience) much easier to deal with and so I use them whenever possible..

It is much easier to "ship to store" with FedEx, in my experience. In the Portland, OR region there is only one UPS pick-up location for oversized packages and it is not convenient to get to whatsoever and has very limited hours. In contrast, there are dozens of FedEx stores throughout the city, including multiple that are open 24x7 due to their tie-in with their printing and copy services. FedEx's online portal is much easier to use and redirecting packages to one of their stores is very easy. The employees at the FedEx stores are also friendly and go the extra mile in terms of checking that outbound packages are sufficiently taped, providing receipts, etc. Dropping off pre-paid returns at the "UPS Store" closest to me is a nightmare in comparison - they act like they are doing you a favor by taking your package and are downright hostile if you don't have it properly taped or ready to go (not something I do, just witnessing how they treat others). These stores appear to be independently owned/managed and this particular one may just be particularly awful - there is one down in the city more that has friendly people behind the counter, so I generally drive past the one closest to me to take my UPS packages there. I've been using ShipBikes almost exclusively since BikeFlights switched to UPS. The customer-service and portal for BikeFlights was always great, but the friction for me of having to use UPS just doesn't make the juice worth the squeeze. As with everything, YMMV.
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