According to AP News, FedEx went on a hiring spree of 70,000 seasonal workers in 2000, a big jump from 55,000 in 2019. To keep up with high demand, FedEx branches are already desperately looking for workers for the 2021 holiday season, and are posting wages up to $19.50 per hour for all shifts: morning, noon day, evening, and overnight, with premium pay for full-time workers. As the pandemic wreaks havoc on employment, those without college degrees are hurting for work, and it’s not looking any better as talk increases of further employment layoffs and office closures. In fact, according to the World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2021 report, pandemic-induced global shortfall in jobs, relative to 2019 are projected to be in a shortfall of 75 million (down from 144 million in 2020). The job shortfall isn’t looking any better. Employment scarcity is projected to continue through 2022 as well. But to be a FedEx driver, you don’t need a college degree or a home computer. All you need is to be motivated and able to work.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, online shopping and delivery has broken all existing records. In fact, ordering packages has essentially replaced shopping the aisles of retail stores. According to FedEx.com the pandemic didn’t stop people from shopping for the holidays in 2020, but it changed the way they shopped. Jingle bells are ringing as US ecommerce holiday sales reach nearly $188 billion in 2020, an acceleration of growth that is shifting previous ecommerce projections forward by nearly two years. The year of the pandemic proved to be a record year for shipping, with three billion packages delivered during peak the holiday season.
The trends for ecommerce in 2021 look just as busy as 2020, and consumers have upped their expectations. Studies show consumers expect their packages to arrive within 2.3 days of ordering on average, and surprisingly, FedEx came through. Memphis Commercial Appeal reports 94 to 97 percent of FedEx packages were delivered on time from peak holiday dates of November 22 to December 26—which is impressive (and kind of insane)—but can FedEx sustain their great reputation for the upcoming holiday delivery rush? Perhaps, but they’ll need to hire more drivers. Employment opportunities are pretty bleak in every other sector of the job market, but delivery work is looking strong. Choose delivery and enjoy the job security.
How to land the dream holiday job
Believe it or not, FedEx holiday delivery drivers are so in-demand, branches across the nation started looking for part-time and full-time couriers at the beginning of summer! You can apply online at FedEx.com or on a job recruiting site such as indeed.com. Those who have a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent can apply. FedEx Express is a great choice for a career, recognized as one of the best employers to work for, and is the world’s largest express transportation company, providing services to more than 220 countries and territories. That means a lot of open jobs for you!
For FedEx courier applicants you need to meet the following criteria:
- Eligible to work in the US
- At least 21 years of age
- Clean Motor Vehicle Record (Driver’s license not always required)
- Clean Criminal History/Background Check (If you were naughty within the last 10 years, you can’t apply)
- Previous work-related driving history (at least one year within the last three years, must be able to verify). Pizza delivery, Uber, Lyft, Doordash, all qualify as experience.
- Able to pass a pre-employment drug screen
- Have a current Department of Transportation (DOT) Medical Examiner's Certificate or be able to pass a DOT physical
- Capable of delivering to 100-150 stops and 150-200 packages daily
- Professional and courteous
- Capable of understanding driving directions and have the ability to find or identify addresses using route-optimization app.
What About the Pay?
The pay for FedEx drivers is pretty sweet. Compensation ranges from $110 to $200 per day (or $13.75-$25.00 per hour) depending on your experience—and with all that cardio from delivering whole turkeys, forget paying for a gym membership—you are pretty much being paid to exercise. Either you work for a fixed daily wage (a set wage such as $150 a day no matter how long it takes you to finish the route, which encourages efficiency), or an hourly wage (which encourages taking your time). Most FedEx jobs pay weekly with direct deposit on Fridays.
Full-timers receive health, vision, and dental insurance when with FedEx or when FedEx contracts with another company. Part-timers are typically on their own and so must steer clear of reindeer accidents.
Some branches offer performance incentives based on achieving individual and team safety and productivity goals.
FedEx full-timers are given paid sick time and paid time off, but during the holidays, you’ll be needed, so you may need to forgo Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s festivities, or at least tell your family you’re celebrating your favorite holidays on brand new dates!
After you’ve gone through all the background checks and provided proof of your qualifications, you will go through the hiring process. It usually takes one to three weeks for a new driver to go through the approval process, so you may want to start applying as soon as possible. There are different levels of training each new driver must undergo, and this includes scanner and driver training. This is also the time when you will learn about following a route. Often, drivers opt to download Straightaway, the premier route optimization software for FedEx drivers. This makes it easy to plug in a route straight to their phone, and safely drive from place to place. Nowadays, having a good route optimization app is a no-brainer, and non-negotiable in 2021.
A Typical Day for a FedEx Holiday Driver
On a typical day, you meet at your FedEx terminal to pick-up your vehicle. You will make sure your packages are loaded and organized in your vehicle, then (if using Straighaway route optimization) snap a photo of your manifest or spreadsheet and the algorithm will instantly plan your route. You follow the app, and deliver and pick-up packages, check shipments with your scanner and logger, and deliver packages straight past the snowmen, up the path, to the customer’s door. You’ll be lifting packages up to 150 pounds and climbing up and down stairs, so make sure your arm and leg muscles know what they’re doing (and lay off the figgy pudding). FedEx expects you to be customer obsessed, so make sure your smile isn’t upside down.
The number of stops you make depends on the number of miles per day you are assigned. For instance, if you are running 100 miles or so, you would be completing about 150 to 230 stops and pickups per day. Urban routes require fewer miles with closer stops, so you end up making more stops and rural routes will have stops that are further apart, distance wise, which means fewer stops.
FedEx drivers keep long lists and check them twice with Straightaway
Customers expect their packages to arrive for the holidays within 2.3 days of ordering, according to studies, but it’s seriously hard to meet the volume expected of you, when your route is 200 stops thick. Service issues can cost you your job. So in order to keep FedEx and your customers happy, it is imperative to be efficient.
There’s one secret ingredient that will make or break the successful delivery of millions of packages to their destinations: and that secret is not a pumpkin spice latte (although that helps). The magic ingredient is route optimization software. Using a delivery route planner makes use of the latest technology and simplifies everything, making sure all packages, parcels, and gifts make it to their destination on time.
The efficiency of route optimization cannot be overstated—even Santa wishes his reindeer would modernize (Blitzen constantly chooses the traffic route and Comet gets confused switching from GPS to to his maps app, and it’s just not safe).
A great delivery route planner cuts time and increases volume. FedEx drivers are getting serious props for getting it all done so fast.
Why Straightaway is the preferred route planner for FedEx Drivers
Whether packages, parcels, or food delivery, professionals and gig workers rely on Straightaway like they rely on a December shipment of their mom’s fresh baked sugar cookies with frosted snowman faces on them. FedEx delivery drivers use Straightaway because it’s full of excellent features, including seamless navigational integration and industry-leading route optimization. Straightaway incorporates the crucial elements necessary to ensure a successful holiday delivery in the most efficient manner possible:
- Adds stops with the snap of a photo: It’s so easy, a turkey could figure it out. Simply take a picture of the address on your mobile device and Straightaway instantly maps the FedEx route onto your screen. Magic.
- Optimizes the fastest route in the quickest amount of time: As quick as Saint Nick, the best-in-class route optimization algorithm can organize up to 250 stops in the quickest order in seconds—all while accounting for traffic, road closures, construction, speed limits, and weather conditions in real-time.
- Safely navigates without switching apps: Turn-by-turn navigation is built right into Straightaway, keeping your attention on the road and not on switching app screens for delivery information. You don’t want to be toggling between apps when delivering Jane’s Cabbage Patch doll to the grandma who spoils her.
FedEx Drivers are Bringing Holiday Cheer … and Bringing Home Holiday Cash
With Straightaway Route Planner, users can save an average of one whole hour over competing delivery route planner apps. Imagine the benefits saving an extra hour could mean for your promotion to head elf! For you, that means more stops made per hour, and avoidance of holiday traffic during peak shopping hours. You will save money on gas and serve more customers who just can’t wait to open up those online orders! You might even save enough times to get home early and watch the end of your series.
Get ready for some holiday cheer. Get Straightaway.