Despite the fact that USPS and FedEx are competitors, these companies collaborate from time to time in order to provide fast and affordable shipping to customers.
Notably, FedEx and USPS provide hybrid shipping services, and you may see that your FedEx tracking number has been transferred to USPS. So, if you’re confused as to why and want to know how to track your package when this happens, then keep reading for the answers!
Why Is My FedEx Package Transferred to USPS Tracking In 2024?
FedEx Ground Economy (previously SmartPost) is a low-cost hybrid shipping option in which a package is initially carried by FedEx’s system before being handed off to USPS for the “last mile” of delivery. Package tracking is available on the FedEx website, but may no longer be available after the package is transferred to USPS in 2024.
If you’d like to learn more about this FedEx/USPS collaboration, including why it exists and how to track packages in this system, then keep reading for more facts!
Does FedEx Transfer to USPS?
FedEx and USPS have been working together since 2004 via FedEx’s Ground Economy service (previously called SmartPost). Ground Economy is a low-cost shipping option made possible by the collaboration of these two shipping giants.
This hybrid service blends the strengths of each company in order to provide a fast, affordable shipping option for budget-conscious shippers.
FedEx contributes its long-haul shipping expertise to quickly carry packages across the country, while USPS provides an extensive daily delivery service to every registered address in the United States.
This makes Ground Economy shipping faster than regular postal mail, but cheaper than FedEx Ground. As a result, FedEx is able to offer its customers a cost-saving shipping option while reducing the carrier’s workload.
USPS benefits from the collaboration by receiving a portion of the revenue from each shipment.
How Do FedEx and USPS Work Together?
Packages going through FedEx’s Ground Economy service initially enter FedEx’s system (i.e. they receive a FedEx shipping label and tracking number).
When a package is shipped via Ground Economy, FedEx delivers it through a system of warehouses and fulfillment centers until it reaches the hub closest to its destination.
From there, USPS takes possession of the package and delivers it to the customer’s doorstep. In shipping parlance, USPS is responsible for the “last mile” of delivery.
Delivery usually takes 2 to 7 business days within the contiguous U.S., but may take as long as 5 to 14 days, which is especially true for packages going to Alaska, Hawaii or a U.S. territory.
Why Did My FedEx Package Go to USPS?
Whether you’re the sender or the recipient, it can be frustrating and confusing trying to figure out why your FedEx package went to USPS. That’s especially true if you’re unfamiliar with Ground Economy and weren’t expecting your package to be handed off.
While annoying, FedEx is simply taking advantage of the fact that USPS delivers to every U.S. household 6 days a week, which allows the company to maximize the efficiency of its shipping network.
Additionally, Ground Economy has a 98% on time delivery rate, so while the system is confusing, you will get your stuff on time. However, you may still be wondering why shippers select this option.
You’ll often see this service used when you get free or inexpensive shipping from online retailers. Using a budget shipping option allows inexpensive, high volume sellers to distribute a lot of parcels quickly.
This keeps costs down, while still allowing the company to offer its customers attractive shipping options.
What’s more, this service makes returning items easy for customers, as they can return packages by leaving them in their mailboxes for collection by USPS, rather than having to drop them off with another courier.
How Do I Track a FedEx Package That Was Transferred to USPS?
While this hybrid model can be effective in providing customers with inexpensive, fast shipping, it does have its downsides. One major downside is that sometimes the “package handoff” makes tracking your shipment challenging.
However, you’ll be able to track your package on the FedEx website using the tracking number you received at the time of mailing for as long as FedEx is in possession of the item.
Once FedEx gives your package to USPS, the company is no longer able to give you information about the whereabouts of your shipment. All you’ll see when you look at your tracking is “At a U.S. Postal Service Facility.”
If you contact USPS, customer service may be able to help, or they may tell you to wait on delivery.
It’s important to mention here that you won’t be able to use your FedEx tracking number on the USPS website, as FedEx’s tracking numbers are 20 digits, while USPS’ are 22 digits.
However, you can get around this by adding “92” to the start of your FedEx tracking number when entering it on the USPS tracking website.
This should work, but if the USPS website isn’t accepting your tracking number, try contacting FedEx directly.
There are a lot of advantages to FedEx Ground Economy service: fast shipping, cheap rates and a 98% on time delivery record. Still, nothing’s perfect and you may find yourself wondering where your package is for a few days.