If you are considering buying a FedEx Ground route, it is important that you understand the difference between the two distinct types of routes. They are separated by pickup and delivery (P&D) routes and linehaul routes.
Which one is right for you may depend on your experience, your desired income and effort, and the skills you already possess and will need to acquire. Let’s take a look at each, and the pros and cons.
P & D FedEx Ground Routes Defined
Pickup and delivery routes are made up by the box trucks you see in your neighborhood, the guy out delivering packages, or picking up and delivering packages at your business or place of work.
This is the easiest part of the delivery business to get into. To start out with your own route, you’ll simply need to purchase the route, a box truck (if it is not sold to you as part of the route purchase), and a clean driving record.
Learning the P & D business is also much easier than the linehaul runs we will talk about in a moment. You will quickly become familiar with the businesses and residential areas of your territory, and you can even route your deliveries using software, making the process more efficient.
Linehaul Runs Defined
A linehaul run is most easily recognized by the semi-trucks you see on the highway. You will be carrying large loads of boxes from one termination point to another. Sometimes this is terminal to terminal, and others involve a trailer swap at a designated location with a linehaul driver from another terminal.
These routes require driving hundreds and sometimes thousands of miles a week. You need to have a CDL and a semi-truck, which is more costly to purchase, repair, and operate than a box truck. However, if you are already a licensed truck driver, a line haul route can be a great way to make a steady, regular income.
There are a variety of linehaul rungs, from solo to team, designated to assigned. Each type has pros and cons you need to weigh when you consider purchasing the route from another operator.
For most FedEx Ground operators, they start with P & D routes and may move up to owning some linehaul runs as well.
The Downsides of FedEx Ground P & D and Linehaul Runs
As stated above, many FedEx Ground owners start with P & D routes. They are easier to get started with, cost less to own and operate, and are simpler to learn. Unless you are already a long or short-haul truck driver looking to make a change. If you have already been working as an owner-operator, you may already have many things you need to get started with a linehaul route.
But when it comes to P & D, perhaps the biggest downside is the seasonal nature of the business. The peak season leading up to Christmas can be one of the largest sales times of the year and the most stressful. The rest of the year will go through cycles, and you will need to monitor and learn those cycles to maintain positive cashflow even when things are slower.
For most P & D operators, this happens quickly. Things can also change rapidly in the logistics industry, and the biggest key is to stay flexible.
For linehaul drivers, the biggest drawbacks can come in expenses and liability. The business is still seasonal. Winter can be—well, exciting, especially as peak season happens during what is often peak winter weather season as well. Truck repairs and maintenance can quickly devour profits.
There is also the risk of accidents and the liability that can come with them. Even minor bodily injuries can sideline a driver and their business at best, and accidents can often end business viability. Linehaul runs are often described as 90% boredom and 10% terror.
What FedEx Ground Business is Right for You?
The answer, as simply as possible, is that it depends. Linehaul business can be extremely profitable but is also riskier and involves more skills and expenses. P & D is easier to learn, but the profit margins are narrower, and the seasonal nature of the business can be hard to adapt to.
If you want to purchase a FedEx Ground business, your best bet is to talk to someone who knows both sides and can help guide you. That’s what we do here at Route Advisors. Contact us today for more information. We want to connect you with the route that is right for you.