Comparing FlockDirect & FedEx Freight Priority
LTL shippers don’t have time to waste—so on-time delivery is critical to your business. Choosing a carrier with guaranteed services can provide the peace of mind you’re looking for, especially when it comes to ensuring you won’t be paying for a late delivery.
We know there are a lot of guaranteed services in the LTL industry, and we want to help make your research quick and easy, so we’re reviewing our own FlockDirect service against some of the biggest and best names in the logistics game. Our next breakdown: FedEx’s premium service, FedEx Freight Priority.
FedEx Freight Overview
According to its own statistics, FedEx Freight is the first and only of its kind of LTL shipping from a major national carrier, offering proprietary features like pallet-specific tracking technology and digital BOLs for domestic shipments. Shippers sending freight weighing under 1,200 lbs can also take advantage of the carrier’s FedEx Freight Box, a flat-rate box option that removes the requirement for a freight classification and charges rates based on zone pricing.
Its basic LTL freight offering, FedEx Freight Economy, serves the contiguous United States with lesser but significant service coverage to Canada, Hawaii, Alaska, and Puerto Rico. Customers can choose from two guaranteed add-on delivery services:
- Close of Business Delivery, guaranteed by 5:00 p.m. on the scheduled date of delivery, and available everywhere FedEx provides service.
- A.M. Delivery, guaranteed by 10:30 a.m. on the scheduled date of delivery. This option is available only in specific zip codes.
Customers can expect standard pickup windows for LTL service, as well as transit via the traditional hub-and-spoke terminal system.
Premium Service: FedEx Freight Priority
FedEx Freight Priority is geared toward shippers that need even more speed for their freight. In addition to the guaranteed Close of Business and AM Delivery add-on options from the Economy service, FedEx Freight Priority also offers a time-sensitive shipping upgrade: Priority Plus. With this option, customers can choose a specific time by which your shipment must be delivered, such as early morning, Saturday delivery, or non-business hours.
This option still travels via standard LTL service, so all goods will move through a series of terminals en route to their final destination, but FedEx utilizes optimized lanes that are specifically routed for faster delivery. If your need for expedited service arises after your shipment has already left, you can upgrade to Priority Plus even once your goods are in transit.
FlockDirect vs. FedEx Freight Priority
|FlockDirect||FedEx Freight Priority|
|Uses TL network for direct service||Standard LTL service via terminals|
|Single on- and offload||Frequent on- and offloading|
|Less handling = low damage risk||More handling = higher damage risk|
|Request pickup appointment||Standard pick-up window|
|Request delivery appointment||Delivery guaranteed by 10:30 a.m. or 5:00 p.m.|
|Pooled direct freight = low carbon footprint||Multiple trucks = higher carbon footprint|
|Dedicated account manager for each shipper||General LTL customer service department|
The biggest advantages of using FedEx Freight Priority are its A.M. delivery option and its Priority Plus upgrade, and specifically the ability to turbo-boost your shipment after it’s already in transit. But it’s important to realize that both options add yet another upgrade fee to the cost you’re already paying for Freight Priority service. By contrast, FlockDirect offers the ability to request specific delivery appointment windows (typically within 2 hours) at no added cost, saving you a good deal. That appointment request also extends to pickup appointments, too, whereas FedEx Freight Priority will only pick up within standard LTL pickup windows. And even if a missed pickup occurs, FedEx will not honor the guarantee if a pickup is missed.
Though the Priority Plus upgrade utilizes “specialized routes” for faster service, it still travels via hub-and-spoke terminals. Only FlockDirect guarantees shared truckload (STL) service, the fastest, most cost-effective method to move LTL shipments. Flock Freight’s proprietary technology matches freight from multiple shippers with other freight that’s going the same direction, optimizing loads based on route and tapping into the TL network to find one truck that can haul them together. Each shared truckload is load to ride, meaning, instead of offloading at hub-and-spoke terminals and risking delays, the freight stays on the truck the entire time and travels directly to its destination. As a result of minimized handling, risk of damage drops to below 0.01%, helping you save on remanufacturing costs (and providing peace of mind). For shippers that are doing their part for the environment, you can rest assured that Flock Freight is a B Corp and an EPA SmartWay partner, removing superfluous trucks from the road and thereby reducing emissions that go into the air.