The Washington Post

Fedex pares back rural Sunday service

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Fedex plans to scale back Sunday delivery service in farflung areas of the U.S., the latest evidence that the e-commerce surge spurred by the pandemic is ending.

The courier’s Ground unit will pare service in rural and lightly populated areas, reducing its coverage to about 80 percent of the population from 95 percent now, according to a statement.

“As economic conditions have shifted, we are making operationa­l adjustment­s to suspend Sunday delivery operations in certain lowdensity, rural markets,” Fedex said Thursday.

The 6,000 small companies that deliver packages for the Ground unit have been complainin­g that they’re losing money because of rising costs. On Wednesday, one large contractor called for Sunday service to be scrapped and for an extra payment to cover rising expenses for fuel, wages and vehicles.

Fedex accelerate­d the rollout of Sunday service in 2020 to handle a historic increase of residentia­l deliveries after covid19 spurred lockdowns to stem the spread of the virus.

Volume at the Ground unit jumped 33 percent for the quarter ending in August 2020, during the height of the pandemic. In the latest quarter, the company reported the unit’s package volume fell 6.2 percent.

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