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How Fedex Drivers Can Boost Their Efficiency in Three Easy Ways

Zach Blank


August 25, 2021

How Fedex Drivers Can Boost Their Efficiency in Three Easy Ways

If your team isn't happy, employees quit, and no one seems to care, the problem might be with the efficiency of your operations. If you cannot provide your employees with a smooth, easy way to accomplish tasks on a busy workday, they will begin to feel that their time is being undervalued. Employees who feel appreciated for their dedication and 12-hour workdays will be less likely to remain committed to the business on a long-term scale.

When your business is inefficient, employees feel undervalued because of ineffective operations - and your business will suffer as a result. Packages will be late or mislabeled. You'll constantly train new hires because people quit. You'll lose customers and financial security.

Instead, utilizing new strategies, products, and technologies that help boost workplace productivity, avoid wasted time, minimize the chance of error, and include driver feedback are all key to improving workplace morale and business efficiency. 

By taking into account the thoughts of hard-working delivery drivers and utilizing feedback to influence upper management staff decisions, the company can improve from the ground up. Instead of high-level staff, CEOs, and owners making decisions based on what they think is best for delivery drivers, the drivers themselves can provide those in charge of decision-making with necessary - and accurate - information.

Three industry secrets you can use to improve efficiency as a FedEx driver or fleet manager for a more satisfying business include minimizing the chance of error during the delivery process, asking for input from your delivery drivers, adjusting the route on the go.

Minimize the chance of error during the delivery process

Make your delivery drivers’ lives easier by minimizing the chance of error during the delivery process. By keeping the information consistent, clear, and easily readable by the drivers, there is less risk of missed delivery slots, late deliveries, and lost packages.

The last mile in the delivery process is what makes the difference between reputable delivery companies and those that have struggled in the public eye. During a product’s journey from the central hub to the front door of your customer, the last mile refers to the final step of the delivery process. The last-mile stage is complete when the package arrives at the customer’s door. However, this final phase in delivering a product is the most susceptible to increased expenses, wasted time, and delivery inefficiencies.

The last mile is plagued by inconsistencies and a lack of communication that harms both the delivery drivers and the customers. The last mile consists of the driver dropping off multiple packages in the last leg of the journey with low drop sizes, meaning that your package that is “out for delivery” might not arrive at your front door for a few more hours. Public perception of delivery times is often affected by last-mile efficiency, with lack of communication and tracking being two catalysts for unhappy customers.

By using route planning software during the last mile process, FedEx can make their delivery drivers’ lives much easier. Not only will drivers be able to quickly and easily find the person’s house, apartment, office building, or cozy beachfront shack, but they will not have to do any manual calculation of the route on their own. Including route optimization software, like Straightaway, to a FedEx driver’s arsenal of tools is crucial to keeping them on schedule, avoiding mishaps in the last mile process and unhappy customers.

Route planning software has numerous benefits for FedEx drivers during their workday. By optimizing the route to avoid traffic slowdowns, weather circumstances, road closures, or construction that can cause a missed delivery window, route optimization apps ensure the delivery driver is taking the quickest possible path between multiple delivery points.

Furthermore, Straightaway allows FedEx drivers to automatically upload their manifest to the app with the press of the camera button. This way they don’t have to manually input addresses or constantly recalculate their route - instead, the app does the hard work for them. This means the only thing the FedEx driver must focus on during their workday is safe driving, putting packages in secure places, and staying in touch with their regional delivery manager.

Ask for input from your delivery drivers

The second thing that can help FedEx delivery drivers become more efficient during the delivery process is to provide feedback to management staff. When the “higher-ups” within a company respect and value feedback given to them by people on the ground who are doing the day-to-day delivery work, they can create an easier process for their workers.

Employee feedback is a crucial part of keeping workers happy and feeling like they are respected within the company. If the management staff does not take into account employee complaints, employee feedback, and employee advice, management staff will suffer from increased employee turnover, lack of employee morale, and missed opportunities at improving their daily efficiency.

By leveraging input from all of your delivery drivers, you can get insights into your own company. Instead of doing guesswork to somehow improve your delivery speeds, delivery accuracy, and reduce delivery mistakes, why not ask the workers who have the most experience with the last mile delivery process?

While you might think having a bird’s-eye view of the entire process is enough to make smart decisions, you might be missing key information that only those with boots on the ground would be able to tell you. By gaining insight and checking in with your drivers, you can receive valuable information, learn more about the mental state of your delivery drivers, and listen to precious feedback that can boost employee morale and driver output simultaneously.

Some of the most important information you can learn from asking for input from delivery drivers includes:

  • Which traffic congestions occur in a predictable pattern
  • Even though route optimization software will be able to avoid these traffic concerns when delivering multiple packages, gaining feedback from your delivery drivers can show what daily traffic patterns can disrupt a route. By rescheduling deliveries in specific geographical areas, you can avoid slow parts of town altogether and loop back to them when they’re moving quickly.
  • Which customers can slow down delivery times, hamper the delivery schedule, and increase the needed time per delivery stop
  • Some customers are difficult and problematic with delivery drivers. If they leave a note with delivery instructions to leave the package by the door - but they live in an apartment complex without free entry - this can cause the delivery driver to be unsure where to leave the package. Problematic customers cause the drivers to have to problem solve on-the-fly when it comes to figuring out where to drop a package in a secure area. 
  • Which areas delivery drivers are most familiar with
  • By speaking with your drivers, you will soon learn that some drivers are more familiar with specific areas than others. Maybe they lived in a certain area, their kid goes to school around that location, or they are used to frequenting the same route for the past few years on the job. Whatever the reason, assigning delivery drivers to areas that are second nature to them can make it easier for drivers to navigate roadblocks, problem-solve while on-the-go, and reduce time sitting at stoplights.

Adjust your route

The final thing that can be helpful to FedEx drivers is the ability to adjust their route on the go. Whether a customer has cancelled their order, they have changed their preferred delivery slot, or there has been a sudden accident on the freeway, using software to help regulate while on the move is key to avoiding slowdowns. Use a route optimization software like Straightaway to help delivery drives figure out how to re-adjust their routes accordingly while they are on the move.

Drivers that use route optimization software can easily adjust their route to avoid last-mile delivery problems. Since we know the importance of last-mile delivery efficiency, increasing the flexibility of delivery schedules can reduce the risk of unhappy customers. By being able to adjust your route on-the-fly using route optimization software - that does this automatically for you - you can spend your time focusing on customer communication and transparency with real-time delivery updates.

Furthermore, dedicated delivery drives can provide feedback to the management staff at FedEx fleet centers to provide insider information regarding route efficiency. Since some drivers have years of knowledge pertaining to a specific geographical area, they can provide management staff with trends that can influence delivery schedules. For example, a specific area within a city may have excess traffic between the time of 3:30pm and 4:00pm due to school being let out - an experienced delivery driver will be able to provide this updated feedback to management staff to adjust delivery schedules accordingly.

Asking for feedback from your delivery drivers can avoid last-mile delivery problems, and increase transparency between drivers and fleet management staff. Updated feedback allows for management staff to update delivery drivers’ routes to accommodate special circumstances.

FedEx fleets need to optimize their delivery process for higher efficiency levels

FedEx needs to continue using new technologies and strategies to improve their delivery efficiency and value their workers’ time. By using route optimization software to minimize the chance of error during the delivery process, getting valuable feedback from delivery drivers, and adjusting the route while on-the-go, FedEx can simultaneously boost employee efficiency levels while keeping their workers satisfied.

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Zach Blank

Zach is the co-founder and CEO of Straightaway.

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