Fedex and UPS are the largest global courier delivery services; FedEx has a net income of about $2 billion on revenues of $42 billion while UPS is larger, with a net income of about $3 billion and revenues of $53 billion. Both companies are headquartered in the U.S. but UPS has a larger market share in Europe and a larger share of its revenues come from Europe. FedEx has a larger fleet of airplanes while UPS has a larger fleet of ground vehicles. FedEx has a deal with the US Postal Service - the SmartPost Service - where FedEx picks up and processes e-commerce shipments and transports them via jet to their location, and USPS makes the final delivery to the recipient. Apple tends to use FedEx for handling its e-commerce shipments (often directly from China) while Amazon uses UPS much more frequently than FedEx.

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FedEx versus UPS comparison chart
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Introduction (from Wikipedia) FedEx Corporation (NYSE: FDX), is a leading logistics services company. FedEx is a syllabic abbreviation of the company's original name, Federal Express. United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE: UPS), commonly referred to as UPS, is a package delivery company. Headquartered in Sandy Springs, Georgia, United States, UPS delivers more than 15 million packages a day to 6.1 million customers.
Industry Courier Courier
Type Public Public
Stock Ticker FDX UPS
Slogan The World On Time We Love Logistics
Headquarters Memphis, Tennessee, United States Sandy Springs, Georgia, U.S.
Founded 1971 1907
Next day delivery FedEx Express – within the US UPS Next Day Air, within the US
Cheaper ground delivery FedEx Ground UPS Ground
Time-guaranteed international delivery FedEx Express UPS Worldwide Express
Freight services FedEx Freight Supply Chain & Freight
Market share (as of 2012) 49% of express shipping in US 46-50% share of domestic US market as a whole
Package tracking Yes Yes
Saturday delivery Yes Yes
Products See complete products listing. Courier Express Services Freight Forwarding Services Logistics Services
Subsidiaries FedEx Office, FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight, FedEx Custom Critical, FedEx Supply Chain, FedEx Trade Networks, FedEx Services The UPS Store, UPS Supply Chain Solutions, UPS Capital, UPS Airlines, UPS Express Critical, UPS Freight, UPS Logistics, UPS Mail Innovations, UPS Professional Solutions
Fleet 401 aircraft, including 71 Airbus A300, 65 Boeing 757 and 67 McDonnell-Douglas DC-10 203 aircraft, including 53 Airbus A300, 75 Boeing 757 and 51 Boeing 767, plus over 100, 000 ground vehicles.
Revenue $42.7 billion (2012) $53.105 billion (2011)
Operating income $3.19 billion (2012) $5.874 billion (2010)
Net income $2.03 billion (2012) $3.804 billion (2011)
Key people Frederick W. Smith, Chairman, President, CEO Alan B. Graf Jr., EVP/CFO T. Michael Glenn, EVP-Marketing Robert B. Carter, EVP/CIO Scott Davis (Chairman/CEO) David Abney (SVP and COO) Kurt Kuehn (SVP, CFO, and Treasurer)
Employees 290,000 (2012) 398,300 (2011)
FedEx and UPS shipping dropoff boxes.
FedEx and UPS shipping dropoff boxes.

Delivery Services

FedEx Express is the overnight courier service, with next day delivery within the US and time-guaranteed international service. FedEx Ground has guaranteed day-definite delivery within the US and Canada at a cheaper price, with deliveries using trucks. FedEx also offers FedEx SameDay services for domestic deliveries, and FedEx International Next Flight for international deliveries. FedEx also offers freight services.

UPS offers two types of time-definite delivery services. The US Domestic Package service include time-definite delivery of letters, documents and packages in the US, while the International Package service delivers to over 220 countries worldwide. The domestic package includes UPS Express Critical, with same day delivery, and UPS Next Day Air. UPS also offers Supply Chain & Freight services, such as supply chain design, execution and management, customs brokerage and freight distribution.

Other Services

FedEx Office offers other business services to customers, including copying, digital printing, Internet access, computer rentals, and signs and graphics. UPS also offers the UPS Store, which offers similar business services and shipping materials. However, after FedEx acquired Kinko's, the printing services division for FedEx has grown much larger than UPS.

Shipping Cost

FedEx’s delivery services are generally cheaper than those offered by UPS (as seen here). However, actual costs vary depending on distance and speed of delivery, with overnight deliveries costing up to $100 for a 2lb package.

Sales and Market Share

In 2011, FedEx had revenue of $39.3 billion, with an operating income of $2.37 billion and a net income of $1.42 billion. FedEx has a market share of almost 49% in express shipping.

In 2011, UPS had revenue of $53.105 billion, with an operating income of $5.874 billion and a net income of $3.804 billion. UPS is the world’s largest small-package carrier, shipping approximately 15 million packages a day. Overall, it has a 46-50% share in the domestic US market.

Competition and controversy

Through a website and a multi-million dollar marketing campaign, FedEx claimed that UPS was trying to receive a government bailout designed to “limit competition for overnight deliveries.” The disagreement was over a provision in a Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill, which would reclassify FedEx’s non-airline employees under the National Labor Relations Act instead of the Railway Labor Act (RLA), making it easier for them to form local unions. UPS’s ground workers are already covered by the NLRA, and so its employees are often members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. While UPS claims that FedEx’s ground employees should be covered by NLRA so employees performing the same function at different companies have the same rights, FedEx argued that UPS was trying to force them to expose customers to local work stoppages that could prevent the delivery of time-sensitive shipments to lower competition.

As of January 2013, after intense government lobbying on both sides, FedEx’s ground employees are still covered by the RLA.

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