Technology has transformed our lives in so many ways over the past few decades. Once upon a time, you could order something in a catalog, and it would arrive days later via the United States Postal Service. Today, as technology has advanced, most of our shopping is done online, and one of the most popular delivery services is Federal Express.
What Is Federal Express?
Although Federal Express has grown into a behemoth organization, it had very humble beginnings. It started with a 1965 academic paper written by Frederick W. Smith. In this paper, Smith proposed a system designed to facilitate time-sensitive shipments. His paper did not impress his professor, but in 1971 he bought a controlling interest in Arkansas Aviation Sales.
Through operating this business, he discovered how difficult it was to get packages delivered in a timely manner. Thus, a new industry was born. He named the company Federal Express as a patriotic measure because he believed it implied an interest in national economic industry. He moved operations to Memphis, Tennessee, and on April 17, 1973, a revolutionary new business was born.
How Does Federal Express Work?
Anyone who has placed on order online in the past few decades should be familiar with the basics of how Federal Express works. Typically, you order something online, and either you or the vendor selects Federal Express as the method by which the package will find its way to you. Usually, Federal Express packages require a signature, and that can cause consumers a great deal of frustration.
Many people aren't home during the hours that FedEx delivers packages, and FedEx almost always expects a signature for delivery. This protects all parties involved in the transaction. The vendor has proof that the package was delivered, as does FedEx. However, it still leaves the question of what do you do when you are not home or are at the office to receive the package when it is delivered? Fortunately, you have several options.
Managing FedEx Delivery Options
Unfortunately, most of the options for delivery are selected by the vendor, but you can always ask them for the appropriate delivery option that works best for you. FedEx currently has four signature delivery options for vendors to chose from. They include:
- No signature required: Using this option, FedEx will attempt delivery at the appropriate address. If no one is available to sign for the package, FedEx will leave the package in a safe location.
- Indirect signature required. Using this option, FedEx will attempt to obtain a signature from someone at the delivery address, such as a concierge, building manager or neighbor.
- Direct signature required. This may be the most popular option. Under this option, FedEx will seek to get a signature from someone at the delivery address only. If they are unable to do so, they will leave a notice and attempt to deliver the package at another date or time. Please note that with this option, you may have the opportunity to pick up the package from a local FedEx location or arrange a delivery option that will work for you.
- Adult signature required. Under this option, FedEx will only accept a signature from an adult at the delivery address. They will need to see proof of age, via a legal document, such as a driver's license, in order for the adult in the home to accept delivery of the package.
Please note, you can and should ask your vendor if they can tailor the signature requirement to your needs. Remember, it is the shipper who sets the signature requirement for the package.
Other Options for Receiving Packages
If you know you are not going to be home to receive a package, you still have a few viable options. You can:
- Arrange for someone to be at home to sign for the package when it arrives.
- Sign a form to waive the signature requirement.
- Have the package delivered to you at work.
The good news about FedEx is that the company offers multiple ways to receive deliveries.
Melissa McCall is an accomplished lawyer, science journalist and legal analyst. She graduated cum laude from Syracuse University in 2003 and spent two years as a Judicial Law Clerk, followed by 2 years at a general litigation firm and a brief stint as the Director of Environmental Protection for the Virgin Islands. Since leaving the US Virgin Islands, she has worked as a legal recruiter, legal writer and legal analyst.