Shipping with or working for FedEx.
02-08-2006 06:55 PM
Shipping with or working for FedEx.
I was asked by another forum member to share my insight into this subject. I didn't want to hijack the thread this conversation started in so I am posting this one. Before I begin I would like to note that this is my personal experience and your results may vary.
I was once a contractor for Fed Ex Ground. Both the ground operation along with the Home Delivery division are serviced by independant contractors. My background is in the sales/sales management field and I was at a point in my life where I was getting burned out. I saw the opportunity to be a contractor for Fed Ex and decided to explore what they had to offer.
Upon meeting the Fed Ex management we talked about what a contractor was and what they had to offer someone like myself who was looking into this opportunity. The specific route they had available would gross $80,000 yearly so they said. They provided documents from "similar routes" and even produced a paycheck or two from other contractors showing what their paycheck looked like. Now I'm attempting to keep this post as short as possible and this courtship between FedEx and I went on for a few months.
I was doing my best to make sure this opportunity was realistic and would be profitable to me. In order for me to enter into this contract with FedEx I would have to purchase a $40,000+ delivery truck and purchase the route from the current owner for whatever dollar amount we agreed upon. Now the route I was looking at was vacant due to the former owner not properly servicing the route. FedEx pulled the plug on him and sent him packing (More about him later).
After looking over what FedEx was offering and them gaining my trust I invested $40,000+ in the truck and I got the route for free. Over the course of the next few months I started to learn this route I accepted wasn't capable of doing anywhere near $80,000 a year. I also learned how much the other contractors hated their routes and wanted to get the hell out but couldn't. The worst part is the two guys who brought me in did an about face once I was locked into the route and the treatment was that of a slave.
After doing calculations I found this supposed $80k route was only capable of doing $40-$45K. Now some would consider this good income but you don't take all that home. I had a truck payment of $750 per month, Insurance was around $120 per month, I was spending $50 a day in fuel, and don't forget about uncle sams cut at the end of the year. If you do the math on all of this it comes out to be $23,440. Now subtract that figure from $45,000 and your netting $21560 per year before taxes!!!!!!
Now I have a home and three cars to pay for among other things. This kind of income wasn't going to cut it! I was making more then three times this amount of money at the position I left to come over to FedEx based on the info they gave me. I expected things to be a bit tight for me in the first year but I was flat out lied to. My plan was to work this route myself for one year and learn everything there was to know. After the end of that first year I was going to purchase three additional routes for a total of four all togeather and hire four people to work for me. As you can see that wasn't going to happen.
My plan at this point was to get the hell out. I talked to other contractors about how to get out and they weren't muc help. They wanted to get out as well but they had delivery trucks that were getting up there in mileage and they owed allot of money on them still. Nobody wants an old beat up truck for a ton of money so unless they wanted to file bankruptcy and have a repo on thier credit then they were stuck. They hated every minute of being there and so did I. I also found out that the guy who used to own my route got worked over hard by FedEx. Now there's always two sides to every story and through some sort of luck this guy tuned out to be a mechanic who was working at a good friend on mine's car dealership. I spoke with him, FedEx, and the other contractors who knew him about how he was booted out. It seems to me he was partially at fault from the info provided but FedEx went about it in a bad way. Long story short is the guy has a family and was sent packing with his truck. He now has a FedEx truck sitting in his yard in which he can't sell to anyone along with a truck payment to go with that on top of his other bills. I felt pretty bad for the guy regardless of what happend to put him in the position.
I on the other hand decided to find a way out and called the company who sold me the truck to see if they could help. I was lucky enough to have a great salesperson who marketed my my now semi new truck to potential buyers. He was aware FedEx couldn't know about this for fear of them cutting me loose after finding this information out.
While this was taking place I came upon a day where I woke up with severe tooth pain one morning and had to call in and get someone to cover my route for the day as I was going to the dentist. The terminal manager blew a fuse and called me 5 times over the course of an hour cussing me and threatning to park my truck out on the road because he was going to pull my route. Now please understand I never missed a day, I was never late, I delivered all my packages every day, and I even worked on my days off on occasion to help the FedEx management clean up other routes where the driver having problems. Yes all this in spite of me being lied to. I had to do it for fear of losing my route and I needed the extra money. Anyway I never came to work that day and they got the situation handled but for god's sake it was an emergency and it was the first time I ever had one!
Getting back to the sale of my truck. The guy who was marketing the truck for me found a buyer who he hooked me up with. It was actually another FedEx contractor that wanted a new truck but there were none left and he needed it ASAP. He was from out of state and he and I worked out a deal to make it happen.
At this time I made FedEx aware of this and they were not happy about it. You see there was not another contractor who could handle the route I had on a daily basis and I could. They did not want me to leave and the only thing that keeps me stuck is that darn truck. I gave them two weeks to find another sucker and I was going to be out. I'll have you know that two days prior to me completing the deal on the sale of my truck they attempted to block it. You see in order for the new owner to drive the truck back to his state he must have FedEx approved insurance on it. They attempted to delay this process and it wasn't until I threatend a lawsuit that it was completed at the last minute.
Long story short here is, I don't recommend anyone look into doing business with this company. I depleted every dime I had saved, had to refinance my home, and lived in hell everyday I was a part of this. Again your results may vary and there may be members of this board who are contractors and are happy. I can only share my personal story.
Now here's a short story on shipping with the company. When I was a contractor I saw things you wouldn't believe. When packages were sorted out the handlers would throw them on trucks, crush them with heavier packages and play games with them. Certian contractors would get a package on their truck that didn't belong there and it would go flying out the back of the truck like a football without a thought as to what's inside. Some trucks would be so stuffed the driver would have to step on the packages sometimes crushing the contents to get to other packages.
I bought a set of wheels for my truck some months ago and when they arrived it looked as if the boxes went through a paper shredder. I inspected every wheels and all was well until I had the tires on them mounted and balanced. It turns out one wheel was bent. Not surprising to me considering the shape of the packaging they arrived in. I checked with the company who I purchased them from and they test every wheel before shipping it to avoid these problems. I filed a claim with FedEx and they denied the claim due to what they called insufficiant packaging. To my defense these wheels were packaged and sealed in the factory packaging which are the proper standard considering what was inside. I wnet back and fourth with them for about two weeks and finally had to lay the law down. I let them know I was a former contractor and that once they accept the package regardless of what it is they take responsability for it and that it's stated in a memo to contractors. I also once again threatend a lawsuit if it wasn't resolved right away. They realized at this point I knew what I was talking about and I had a check in the mail within three days. I wasn't so much mad about buying another wheel as I was about them not accpeting the blame for damaging the package. I might also add that I never ship with FedEx and I have a UPS shipping account for myself.
Lastly please remember to never take advantage of your FedEx driver (Ground and Home Delivery). They are contractors and are responsable for what they handle. If you ever claim to have not got your package then the cost of said package that FedEx pays you for will come out of the contractors pocket. I'm not saying to just say oh well when a package comes up missing. By all means you should claim that. Just don't ever try to get over on FedEx on a package you did recieve becuase in the end it comes right out of the drivers pocket.
Side Note: Those loyal to FedEx please do not flame me for my story. These are actual events that took place in my life and I was asked to share them. If you have a good story then by all means post it up.
02-08-2006 07:04 PM
Holy long post batman, give me a little time on this one. I do have an opinion too, I just need to read it again.
02-08-2006 07:27 PM
eGhost, thanks for taking the time to post all that information! Very informative and helpful.
02-08-2006 07:36 PM
Just skimmed it and holy ****e what a crappy biz
02-08-2006 08:00 PM
thank you for your insight, it was very much appreciated, from now on i will suggest or pick ups.
02-08-2006 11:41 PM
I just wanted to say your welcome. My apologies for such a long post, but that is the short version of it. My hope was for the post to be an informative look on this inside of this operation rather then a bitter rant. It's been nearly two years since the above story took place and I am over it now. I was lucky enough to have a company I delivered to offer me a great position within thier company in which I still remain. This is the best job I have ever had so there was something positive that came out of it. I also consider it a good learning experience, an expensive one but good. I am curious to hear of others opinions who have worked for FedEx as I know there has to be a better side to it then what I went through.
02-09-2006 12:19 AM
:::6'4 240lbs EndoMorph:::
Great Insight indeed. It's amazing what the outside person doesn't know about what is going on with some of these companies. Good thing you got out E. Have they ever asked you to come back to work or anything?
02-09-2006 12:45 AM
They have never contacted me since I left.This was definitely a situation where the parties involved not having contact with eachother was a good thing. I'm certian after I threatend a lawsuit when they attempted to block the sale of my truck they were instructed by the higher ups in the company not to have any further contact with myself.
Originally Posted by Achilles13
02-09-2006 12:59 AM
Anabolic Innovations Owner
Great info thanks.
What a differance between Fed Ex and UPS for the drivers. My guy has been there for 21 years and makes over 70k a year.
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02-09-2006 03:45 AM
Thanks for sharing your story eGhost.
I'll bet there are profitable/lucrative routes but that they are given to someone "connected" (i.e. someone's brother-in-law). That's why this guy needed another truck ASAP.
Originally Posted by eGhost
I've also heard bad stories about damaged goods by UPS employees. For instance when they get what appears to be a TV they toss it until they hear it "pop". Oh the joy!
Originally Posted by eGhost
02-10-2006 04:28 PM
I work for UPS and can say that the difference in the ways the two work internally is incredible. I've never heard of a driver having to buy their own truck! That's ridiculous. And I know for a fact that starting salary driving full time for UPS starts at about 60k a year. Every company will have it's share of employees that dont take their work seriously and could care less about the package theyre handling. But it's a union job so you can't just fire them for it. My advice is if you are shipping something expensive to get the insurance, you can never be too careful. Buy a truck AND a route?!? Sweet Jebus.
02-10-2006 05:09 PM
Yes FedEx Ground and Home Delivery are contractors. FedEx Express however are employee's. Next time you cross path's with one of those drivers on your route ask them about it. I'm sure you will get an earfull.
Originally Posted by LuckyBoy
02-11-2006 11:28 AM
I worked for Fedex Ground while in college. It was about 6-7 years ago. It was RPS then. I couldn't believe the way we treated packages. If a box looked interesting it got opened up and played with. Stuff was thrown around and broke, but then still shipped out. I can remember loaders having a bad night and just breaking stuff on purpose to blow off steam. The hours were ****ty and the pay was 8.50 and hour. People rarely stayed long. I was there 1.5 years and was an old timer by 6 months. We didn't even call people by name till they were there 2 months. Names were "new guy" then "new, new, guy" Most people never lasted a week. I can remember this one guy stacking about 7 DVD players on top of each other then running and jumping on the stack for kicks. The worst job I ever had!
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