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FedEx SmartPost: What You Need to Know

By Last updated on: October 11, 2023

Previously, we learned that the last mile or final delivery of packages, regardless of distance, is truly where costs add up. Coincidentally, that last mile varies from a few blocks to hundreds of miles. This is where UPS SurePost and FedEx SmartPost (FedEx Ground Economy) can help. SmartPost is a cost-saving option for ground shipping because it reduces FedEx’s workload by utilizing USPS. It also takes longer to deliver, and while it offers unified tracking, customers still find it confusing.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

What is FedEx SmartPost?

FedEx Ground Economy, formerly FedEx SmartPost, is a shipping service that utilizes FedEx’s Ground with final delivery by the U.S. Postal Service. With SmartPost, FedEx delivers packages to the post office closest to the final destination. Then, USPS delivers them to customers, usually the next day.

FedEx Ground Economy is available to U.S. origins in the 48 contiguous U.S. states. FGE is available for residential destinations in the 50 U.S. states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. territories, including P.O. boxes and military APO/FPO/DPO destinations.

How does FedEx SmartPost work?

FedEx SmartPost is ideal for shipping low-weight residential packages directly to your customers’ doors. Specifically, package sizes should be a maximum of 70 lbs or 130″ in length plus girth. Fuel surcharges and dimensional weight do apply to FedEx SmartPost packages.

How long does it take for SmartPost to deliver?

Generally, SmartPost (FedEx Ground Economy) takes 2–7 business days based on your destination’s distance (more extended time in transit outside the contiguous 48 states). Also, the service days are Monday through Saturday.

The following are not available for FedEx Ground Economy:

  • Collect on delivery
  • Money-back guarantee – Refund Retriever will not be able to get you refunds.
  • Declared value
  • Signature Proof of Delivery
  • Evening or appointment delivery
  • Hazardous materials service

2023 Fees and Other Shipping Information

Delivery Area Surcharge

A delivery area surcharge will apply to FedEx SmartPost shipments destined to select U.S. ZIP codes.

Contiguous U.S $3.60 per package
Contiguous U.S. Extended $4.75 per package
Alaska $4.75 per package
Hawaii $4.75 per package
2023 FedEx Ground Economy Other Fees

Non-Machinable: $5.70 per package

A non-machinable charge with one of the following characteristics will be applied to any FedEx Ground Economy package.

  • Any item with one dimension measuring more than 27 inches.
  • Any item with any two dimensions, each measuring more than 17 inches.
  • Items weighing over 35 lbs.
  • Any item packaged in a cylindrical shipping tube.

Delivery and Returns Surcharge: $1.00 per package

A per-package surcharge for delivered or returned packages using FedEx Ground Economy services.

Package Relabel: $0.90 per package

A per-package surcharge will be assessed on packages that do not conform to specifications that require over label or hand key.

Third-Party Billing Surcharge: 4.5% of charges

A surcharge will apply to shipments that are billed to a third party. The surcharge applies when an account unrelated to the shipper, as determined by FedEx, is billed as a third party for the shipment. This charge applies to the third-party payer. See the FedEx Service Guide for a Bill Third Party shipment definition.

This fee is 4.5% of transportation charges, surcharges, and additional costs. However, this does not include duties, taxes, and ancillary clearance service fees.

FedEx Ground Economy Contract Rates

Finally, shippers can negotiate better discounts for FedEx Ground Economy like any other ground or express service. Be sure to address your base and earned discount levels to match the characteristics of your shipping spend. Contact us at Refund Retriever to analyze your current shipping spend to get the best shipping rates possible.

FedEx Ground Economy

Effective March 8, 2021:

FedEx SmartPost and FedEx SmartPost Returns will now be known as FedEx Ground Economy. FedEx will still provide the same residential shipping for low-weight packages. It has a new name: FedEx Ground Economy, formerly FedEx SmartPost.

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Brian Gibbs

Author Brian Gibbs

More posts by Brian Gibbs

Brian Gibbs | President of Refund Retriever

Brian Gibbs founded Refund Retriever in 2006 while running his first eBay-based business and seeing the shortcomings of other shipment auditing companies. Refund Retriever's primary focus is FedEx and UPS parcel invoice auditing. After graduating from Texas A&M University in 2001, he graduated from the University of Houston in 2004 with a JD and MBA. Gibbs has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, and other publications discussing parcel auditing, shipping, e-commerce, and more. Learn more at or call (800) 441-8085 for more information.

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