Why Wait Until After Peak Season To Buy A FedEx Route
Peak season in the FedEx world arrives with the holidays, and with pre-Black Friday shopping getting earlier every year and online shopping rates skyrocketing, peak season is lasting longer than ever. But is this busy season the best time to buy a FedEx route?
Because of high delivery volumes and the additional complications posed by factors such as winter weather, it’s generally advisable to wait until after peak season to purchase a new FedEx route. Here’s what you’ll gain by waiting for the post-holiday slow down to enter the marketplace.
Learn The Ropes And The Route
One of the first things you’ll have to do after buying a FedEx route is learn how to navigate it effectively. Although you may not drive one of the routes you’ve just purchased, it is always a good idea to know first-hand how the route operates. Even if your route is local to where you live, this will take a little time – probably more than you expect. After all, it’s not that you’re unsure of where the streets are, but driving from point A to point B on your daily errands is a far cry from efficiently making deliveries to hundreds of homes. And of course, when making deliveries, people live on side streets you would otherwise never explore.
By waiting until after peak season to buy your FedEx route, you allow yourself time to learn your way around the business without the pressures of record breaking package volume. After peak season there are fewer packages to drop off, giving you more time to learn the business in its entirety. Trying to learn the business for the first time, while simultaneously managing peak-season-level deliveries (Cyber Monday, for example, sees twice as many packages as compared to an average Monday) may result in a trial by fire.
Beware Banal Dangers
Another advantage you’ll have by purchasing your routes after peak season is that you’ll give yourself time to learn what kinds of everyday dangers and annoyances mark your path. As any mailman can tell you, the most common of these dangers is dogs. FedEx delivery people encounter plenty of dogs in a given day, and the majority of which are friendly – but this isn’t always the case.
By leaving yourself time to learn your delivery route during a lower volume period, you also give yourself a buffer for safely navigating new and potentially dangerous animals.
Learn Winter Weather Safety
Dangerous winter weather is often a challenge for FedEx drivers. Timely deliveries are impeded by snow and ice in certain regions. Even experienced winter drivers can find driving a FedEx route in the winter challenging – large, heavy trucks are simply not the same as driving your normal vehicle. It takes practice and it’s better to practice winter driving in January when you don’t have extra deliveries.
It’s worth noting that FedEx does its best to protect its drivers from winter weather dangers. In fact, the company employs fifteen meteorologists who provide realtime weather predictions. They also use web connections with ground delivery drivers to update routes when roads close. This helps a lot in keeping drivers safe, but a lot of winter weather safety comes down to individual skill and caution.
Leave Room To Grow
Peak season deliveries put a fair bit of pressure on FedEx delivery drivers, and this can be very stressful when late deliveries cause conflict with package recipients. Unfortunately, such late deliveries grow increasingly common during peak season. Typically FedEx is able to maintain an on-time delivery rate of 97%. In 2015, in the week after Thanksgiving , that on-time delivery rate fell to 91%.
This drop in on-time deliveries is not terribly surprising considering the drastic volume increases seen by FedEx contractors. The good news, however, is that late deliveries have primarily affected only some areas of New York, California, and Texas – large states with high population density areas. Other states have managed to maintain their relatively high on-time delivery rates.
By waiting until after peak season to buy a FedEx route, you give yourself room to grow with your operation. You’ll be delivering fewer packages at the beginning, with those quantities steadily increasing towards the end of the year. Having already mastered an efficient process by then will help you keep your schedule under control.
How To Buy A FedEx Route
In addition to all of the pragmatic reasons why it is less than ideal to buy a FedEx route during peak season, FedEx is generally reticent to bring in new buyers during this time. Peak season is simply a very difficult time to transition into the business and while some owners may be ready to sell at this time, it is advisable to wait until January. Sales prices are determined largely by the company’s profitability in a given year. As such, it is often more beneficial to purchase a business once you’re able to see the full year’s financial performance. You should always inquire about peak season delivery volumes when purchasing a FedEx route, even though that delivery period may be a while off.
If you’re interested in purchasing a set of FedEx routes, contact us today. KR Capital can help you navigate the nationwide FedEx marketplace and evaluate realistic route values. As an industry leader with 160 FedEx routes sold in 2015, we have the experience you need for a successful transaction.