Parents all over are preparing to send students back to school or have already done so. But all those students going back to school impacts your FedEx Ground route as well, and in more ways than you might think. Here are some of the most important ones to keep in mind, whether you are an experienced route owner, just starting out, or considering buying a FedEx Ground route business.
Increased Supply Deliveries
Parents order lots of school supplies online these days, and many wait until the last minute to shop. For your FedEx route, this usually means an increase in residential deliveries and in some cases in business pickups as well, if you serve companies who ship that type of product.
While not the equivalent to peak, it can impact your route for a few weeks and make things a little busier than normal. Also, after summer vacations are over and the kids are back in school, online ordering tends to surge and then increase at a steady rate until peak begins.
It’s a good time to prepare your business and your equipment for the rush that will come.
Changes in Traffic Patterns
One of the first things you will notice during back-to-school time is the return of school zones. These areas where speed is limited not only make a difference in how quickly you can move through them but there is generally more parent traffic in those areas.
The good news is that these things are predictable. Drop-off and pick-up times run on a schedule, and you can work to either avoid or accommodate those areas as part of your route planning. While you may have gotten out of those habits over the summer, they will quickly return as you adjust to the school year schedule.
While sometimes going through school zones during these times is unavoidable it is best to avoid them whenever possible.
School Buses and Kids During Back to School
A few things are generally happening as kids go back to school. First, they may be changing schools or getting used to a new routine, so in your residential areas, you will see more kids in the morning near bus stops and other areas.
The key is to be mindful. They may cross streets without watching, run if they think they might miss their bus, or engage in other activities that can put them in harm’s way. The key is to slow down, be watchful, and be prepared to stop suddenly if needed.
Buses also come with their own obstacles as well. Watch for them to stop and be observant of the stop arm they use when picking up students. You must stop for school buses no matter what, and if you don’t know if you should stop in that circumstance, always side with caution.
Not only is this safer for students, but in the early parts of back to school, police officers often shadow bus routes to ensure students are safe. You don’t want to get a ticket under those circumstances.
Your Back-to-School Image
When the kids return to school, parents, officers, school personnel, and others are watching what you do. Doing the wrong thing can turn into a PR nightmare. You want to be seen in a positive light as a route owner and driver, and nothing is worse than speeding through a school zone or ignoring stop signs and other signs in those areas.
Remember, this is about your safety, the safety of school children, keeping you on the right side of the law, and your image. You not only represent FedEx but yourself as well. Your business customers have children who go to school and your regular residential customers likely know who you are or at least recognize you.
You don’t want to have to deal with complaints, tickets, or other incidents related to back-to-school and your FedEx Ground route.
What Steps Can You Take?
During back-to-school time, take these steps:
- Slow down
- Be vigilant
- Watch for kids and buses
- Avoid school zones when possible
- When you can’t avoid them, follow speed limits, signs, and direction
- Keep safety top of mind
Whether you are an experienced driver, new on a route, or just thinking of purchasing a FedEx Ground route, kids returning to school will be a part of your annual seasonal cycle. Be prepared and stay safe above all.
Are you thinking of buying a FedEx Ground route? Or do you want to expand your FedEx Route business and purchase another one? Contact us today at Route Advisors. We’d love to be with you every step of the way.