One concern potential route owners might have is whether or not a given FedEx route will grow year over year. After all, each route is assigned an area, and it’s not like you can expand into a neighboring one (unless you buy a few adjacent routes). But it is possible to predict and even control route growth.
Here are a few tips on what to look for, and what you can do to ensure your route earns you more each year you own it.
Look at the Current FedEx Route Boundaries
First, you need to look at your current route boundaries. These are often tied to a zip code, but large zip codes can also be split into more than one FedEx Ground route. These boundaries rarely change. Even if your route grows and “splits” the area of the two routes is unlikely to change.
Those boundaries will give you a good idea of the mix of your route between residential and business customers. With many people working from home residences are now often receiving what would have been business deliveries. Businesses that ship a lot of products will often see surges and have seasonal needs. You can get an idea of what these might be by paying attention to the type of businesses on your route as well as the number of businesses.
This can tell you something about your current volume and the type of pickups and deliveries you will have. You can also ask the current route owner (if this is not a new expansion route) or the driver who may have run the route before you purchased it. You can also look at Google maps and study the area your route is in.
Once you understand what you have now, you can look at potential growth.
Look at Residential Construction in Your Area
Another great indicator of route growth is new home construction in your route area. For example, if you purchase an established route in an industrial section of a major metropolitan area, a housing boom may not mean an expansion to your route, although some customers on your route might become busier with the growth around them.
On the flip side, if are looking at, or you have purchased a more rural route, that area could see some serious growth with a housing boom, and you could see an increase in residential deliveries. Look for things like new apartment complexes, housing developments, and even the little shopping centers that serve them.
These are all filled with potential customers, and that means growth for your route.
Look at Business Construction in Your Area
The same goes for business construction in your route area. Are there new complexes going up? Is there recently built commercial space that isn’t full yet, but is getting new tenants often? Are there new plants or industries coming to the area? If you see a large construction project, ask what is being built.
These steps can help you get a feel for business customers in your area. Who are they? What types of shipments and deliveries will they have that you might handle? You can even look up the company’s website to learn more about them.
Remember, business pickups and deliveries generally provide more steady income than residential customers which can vary seasonally and because of economic factors. While the volume at businesses may fluctuate, you will usually interact with them daily.
Solicit New Business for Your FedEx Route
Another way you can predict and even control your route growth is by actively soliciting more business when possible. Be polite, courteous, and professional, and educate your customer on reasons they may want to use FedEx Ground for more shipping, or even make you their shipping preference.
Remember, when you take over a route, you will build a relationship with your customers, and you are selling them not only on FedEx, but you, your drivers, and your service. Be on time when picking up packages. Pay attention to customer preferences and provide them with the attention to detail they deserve.
This also applies to residential customers. While you often can’t solicit their business directly, you never know who they work for or the choices they have when it comes to how their packages are shipped. Treat their packages, their property, and their pets with kindness and professionalism.
Finally, remember that logistics and delivery are really customer service businesses. The best way to ensure growth is to provide the awesome service customers expect. If you’re going to purchase a FedEx route, it will be the most important skill you bring to the table.
Are you interested in purchasing a FedEx Ground route that will grow and earn you more year over year? Contact us today. We at Route Advisors want to help you find the right route for you, and get you started on the path to a profitable logistics business.