Frequently Asked Shipping Questions
Create and Use a FedEx Account
1. Go to “Create an account” to get started.
2. Choose to open a business account or personal account.
3. Complete the account registration form. You’ll need a credit card for billing. Make sure the billing address on your credit card is the same as the billing address on the account.
Both personal and business accounts receive discounts, an address book and faster shipment set up. A business account is recommended if you’re selling a product or service, even if you’re a sole proprietor. It has the added benefit of My FedEx Rewards, a free loyalty program that lets you earn exclusive perks when you use eligible shipping and printing services. In addition, you’ll get extra discounts on applicable FedEx Office® services.
Restrictions and Capabilities
FedEx accepts shipments of alcohol (beer, wine and spirits) within the U.S. and for both U.S. import and export when the shipper and the recipient are licensed to import and/or export alcohol. For more information, call Customer Service or reach out to your FedEx Account Executive.
It depends on your licensing. FedEx does not allow consumers to ship alcohol. Typically, alcohol can only be shipped from one licensee to another licensee, so both the shipper and recipient need to be licensed as wholesalers, dealers, distributors, manufacturers or importers. However, you may be allowed to ship wine and some other type of alcoholic items directly to the customers.
It may be possible, depending on the details of your shipment. Standard FedEx shipping services have a 150 pound weight limit, but FedEx Custom Critical can help you ship automobiles and larger automotive shipments that traditional services aren’t designed to handle. Contact FedEx Custom Critical at 1.877.218.5186 to learn more about automotive shipping solutions.
The only time you have to use FedEx packaging is when you use FedEx One Rate®. Otherwise, you can use any sturdy, undamaged packaging for your shipments. If you’re reusing a box, just make sure any old addresses and barcodes are completely covered. You can also get more packaging tips and order free FedEx supplies on the Packing and Shipping Supplies page.
The lowest-priced service available for your shipment may depend on its size, weight and destination. Ground delivery options like FedEx Ground®, FedEx Home Delivery® and FedEx SmartPost® are often the most affordable, though they may not be available for all shipments or destinations.
FedEx has service options to suit every schedule, budget, shipment size and destination. And we’ll help you pick the best one for you. Use our shipping calculator to get estimated FedEx shipping rates and expected delivery times, or explore all FedEx shipping services based on the type of package and your preferred delivery time.
Create and Use Shipping Labels
Dimensional weight applies to both FedEx Express® and FedEx Ground® packages. It reflects a package’s density, which is the amount of space a package occupies in relation to its actual weight. For each shipment, your charge is based on the dimensional weight or actual weight of the package — whichever is greater.*
If your shipment’s value exceeds $100, you can declare a higher value (your package’s total value, up to $50,000 for most shipping methods) to protect for loss or damage. If you don’t declare your package’s value, FedEx will automatically protect it against loss or damage up to a value of $100.
Please note: Adding a declared value to your shipment will increase the cost of your shipment.
The only way to deliver to domestic P.O. boxes is to select FedEx SmartPost, which uses the USPS system in the final leg of delivery.
It’s possible to ship to P.O. boxes in Puerto Rico and some international destinations via FedEx Express. In these cases, you’ll be required to provide a valid telephone, fax or telex number.
As long as the account that created the label is in good standing, the print return label does not have an expiration date. Email return labels may be set to be accessible for a maximum of two years from the date of the request for U.S. domestic shipments, including FedEx Express and FedEx Ground. Once the email return label has been printed (like the print return label), it never expires for use, as long as the account that created the label is in good standing.
No, your FedEx account only gets charged once when the FedEx agent scans the shipping label. You do not get charged if you create a shipping label but don't actually ship the product.
In order to reprint a label, click the Ship History tab at the top of the FedEx Ship Manager at fedex.com screen. Select a shipment from the list and then select Reprint. The Reprint label option should only be used when the original label is not available. Using this label to ship additional shipments is fraudulent and could result in additional billing charges, along with the cancellation of your FedEx account number. If you are using FedEx Ship Manager Lite, you cannot reprint a label.
Depending on your shipment’s details, you or the recipient may be able to choose from up to four signature options, including:
Adult Signature Required
FedEx obtains a signature from someone at the delivery address who is at least the age of majority (no longer a minor) in the destination country. Government-issued photo identification or other identification customarily accepted by local authorities is required. If there is no eligible recipient at the address, FedEx will reattempt the delivery. For U.S. deliveries, the recipient must be 21 years of age and present government-issued photo identification.
Direct Signature Required
Someone at the recipient’s address may sign for the delivery. It is not necessary that the person signing for the shipment is an adult. If no one is at the address, FedEx will reattempt the delivery.
Indirect Signature Required
FedEx may release the package in one of three ways: obtaining a signature from someone at the delivery address, acquiring a signature from a neighbor, building manager or other person at a neighboring address, or gaining authorization from the recipient to release the package without anyone present.
No Signature Required
FedEx may release the package at its destination without anyone present. This option may not be available for all shipments or to all destinations.
Package Dropoff and Pickup
If you have a prepaid USPS-integrated return shipping label through FedEx SmartPost, you can return your shipment at a local post office, postal collection box, your own mailbox, or a FedEx location. For any shipments that are not through FedEx SmartPost, you will have to drop your shipment off at a qualifying FedEx location or schedule it to be picked up.
You can cancel a pickup before it occurs by logging into FedEx Ship Manager, selecting one or more pickups, and clicking “Cancel.” Then, click “Yes” to continue with the cancellation.
Please note: This feature is available for FedEx Express and FedEx Ground only. To cancel a FedEx Freight pickup, you must call customer service at 1.800.435.7949.
If your package was not delivered, it could be because one of these restrictions prevented us from leaving it at your address:
- A signature is required.
- Money is due at delivery.
- The package contains dangerous goods.
- Security reasons or restrictions.
You received a door tag for one of two reasons:
- As a notification that we delivered your package, along with information about where it was left.
- As a notification that we weren’t able to deliver your package, along with instructions on the next steps you should take.
Get step-by-step instructions on how to manage your deliveries using the FedEx door tag placed on your door.
Yes, additional restrictions and fees may apply. There is no extra charge to hold packages for pickup instead of delivery. However, the person authorized to pick up the package will require photo I.D. Our Money-Back Guarantee does not apply to shipments that are rerouted.
FedEx can only honor your address change request if the following conditions are true:
- The sender has not put any restrictions on changing addresses.
- The new address is not in another country.
- The shipment has not already been delivered.
Additional restrictions and fees may apply when rerouting packages. Call Customer Service to find out if you’re eligible to change your shipment's destination. Alternately, you can request to hold the shipment at a FedEx location for pickup instead of completing the delivery. You can do so by calling Customer Service, updating the Tracking app, or using FedEx Delivery Manager. The person authorized to pick up the package will require a photo I.D.
Please note that rerouting is not a guaranteed service, as we are unable to physically change the original shipping label attached to the shipment. Our Money-Back Guarantee does not apply to rerouted shipments. FedEx reserves the right to determine the mode of transport to get your shipment to its new destination as soon as possible. We strive to honor new delivery requests, but handling procedures may result in delays.
You can change your shipment arrival time via the FedEx Delivery Manager mobile app. To do so, choose the shipment(s) you’d like to reschedule. Then, select “Deliver Another Day” or “Schedule a Delivery Time” and choose the option that’s most convenient for you. Please note, a per-package fee may be associated with these options. Fees vary based on location and are determined upon request of the service.
A pending shipment is a record of a shipment that’s saved to be processed at a later time of your choosing. They’re designed to let you to enter shipment information ahead of time, and then process shipments and print labels once your packages are ready for shipping.
Pending shipments expire 10 days after you create them, or on a future date that you can choose when creating a shipment. You can save up to 100 pending shipments and ship up to 10 shipments at a time. You won’t be billed for a pending shipment until you process it and print its label, and you can choose to process them and print labels at any time.
If you select a pending shipment with a past date or today’s date, the label will print today’s date. If you select a pending shipment with a future date, the label will print on the future date.
Drop shipping is a fulfillment method where a store doesn’t keep the items it sells in stock. Instead, when the store sells a product, it purchases the product from a third party and has it shipped directly to the customer. As a result, the seller never sees or handles the product.
Learn how FedEx Supply Chain can help improve your fulfillment needs.
A document shipment includes paper of little or no commercial value (e.g. business correspondence) and generally doesn't require a Commercial Invoice.
All other shipments and printed materials of value are commodity shipments, also known as product shipments. Examples include clothing, automobile parts, sports equipment or books. All international commodity/product shipments require a Commercial Invoice.
Commodity information should include:
- Commodity Description: Each description of a commodity in your shipment should include information about what the commodity is, how many units are included in the shipment (in the case of multiple identical items), what it is made from and what its intended use is.
- Unit of Measure: Select the unit of measure used to describe one unit of the commodity item (e.g., pieces, dozen, pair).
- Commodity Weight: Enter the weight of the commodity and indicate how it is calculated. The drop-down menu defaults to As totals. For example, if you are shipping a dozen pair of shoes that weigh 2 lbs. per pair, enter a total weight of 24 lbs. and leave the default calculation of As totals, or enter a per-pair weight of 2 lbs. and select Per unit.
- Customs Value: Enter the value assigned to the commodity and indicate how it is calculated. The drop-down menu defaults to As totals. For example, if you are shipping a dozen pair of shoes valued at $100 per pair, enter a total value of $1,200 and leave the default calculation of As totals or enter a per-pair value of $100 and select Per unit.' The customs value is the transactional or sale price for the contents of the shipment if it is being sold. If the shipment is not being sold, the customs value should be the fair market value. The fair market value is the price that a seller would get from a buyer for the contents of the shipment if it were to be sold on the open market. Nominal values are not acceptable for customs and can lead to customs fines and/or seizure of the shipment. Note: If you want to convert the value from a foreign currency utilizing the Interbank rate, click the Currency Converter icon next to the Customs Value drop-down menu. This tool should be used as a guide only.
- Country of Manufacture: Select the country where the commodity was originally manufactured or produced.
- Harmonized Code: Enter the harmonized code for the commodity. If you do not know the harmonized code for your commodity, click Find code. Follow the instructions for finding the harmonized code associated with your commodity. For U.S. exports, the 10-digit code can be either a Harmonized number or the Schedule B Commodity Number. Entering a proper harmonized code allows FedEx to help you determine the necessary customs documentation as well as make a more accurate duty and tax estimate.
- Export License Number and Expiration Date: To display these fields, click Additional commodity information (optional) then enter the export license number and its expiration date (MMDDYYYY). An export license is a government document authorizing the export of specific goods from a particular origin country in specific quantities to a particular destination.
Customs value is the total shipment value as declared by its shipper to serve as the basis for determining duties and taxes. It usually reflects the selling or the replacement price of the shipment, and is equal to or higher than the declared value for carriage. If you are shipping 5 items at $20 apiece, then your customs value would be $100.
If you are shipping a document, customs documentation is usually not required. However, if you are shipping a commodity, you will at least need a Commercial Invoice. Additional documentation may be required depending on what and where you are shipping.
You can use FedEx International Shipping Assist to determine which kinds of documents your shipment will require for Customs Clearance.
A Commercial Invoice is used to record accounts receivable for the seller and accounts payable for the buyer. The content of the Commercial Invoice is almost always the same as the Pro Forma Invoice. However, the final sale price may vary with the Pro Forma Invoice, as the Pro Forma Invoice is issued before the actual sale takes place. Its purpose is to give a customer a clear idea of what to expect, and acts as a good faith estimate showing what can be known in advance, such as prices and terms, and an average billing amount for the types of items being requested. A customer may also use a Pro Forma Invoice to decide whether or not to place an order. The purpose of a Commercial Invoice is to request payment for items that have actually been sold by showing the amount that should actually be paid.
The NAFTA Certificate of Origin is not required for shipments to another NAFTA country unless the product qualifies for preferential tariff treatment under the NAFTA rules of origin. A certificate is not needed if the shipment does not qualify for preferential tariff treatment.
Before you ship, check to see if your product has an Export Control Classification Number (ECCN), a five-digit, alphanumeric code created by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security, that identifies the technology level and capabilities of your product. You’ll use this code to find out when and where you need an export license. Other reasons an export license may be required for your shipment relate to concerns about the parties to the transaction and the end use of the item.
A broker is typically used by importers and exporters to ensure their shipments clear customs without any delays or holdups. If there is a problem, a customs broker will work on your behalf to resolve it. Typical FedEx® services are brokerage-inclusive (we already provide the brokerage). When using the brokerage-inclusive option for shipments with a declared customs value of USD $500,000 or less, FedEx Trade Networks may serve as the designated broker and will facilitate clearance using its U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) bond.
A customer would most likely learn about his parcel being delayed in customs by checking the tracking system. If the parcel hasn’t moved for a long period of time, this normally indicates that it’s delayed somewhere. This could therefore be an indicator that your package has indeed stopped moving because of customs. If you find out that your package is delayed in customs, you should first contact whoever has shipped your goods. That person can try to get more information. If you’re both the shipper and recipient of a package, your next step is to contact the courier company in charge of your shipment.
For more information, please call FedEx Customer Service at 1.800.Go.FedEx 1.800.463.3339.
If you are the recipient or importer of record for the payment of any fees, duties and taxes, and either don’t have a FedEx account or have a FedEx account with a poor payment history, then the following options are available to you:
- Prepay by credit card: Call FedEx Customer Service at 1.800.GoFedEx 1.800.463.3339 with your tracking number.
- Pay by cash, check or credit card at the time of delivery.
If a shipper or third party is responsible for the payment of duties and taxes, but does not have a FedEx account, or has a FedEx account with poor payment history, then the shipment will be held at the FedEx destination station until payment arrangements are made.
Special procedures and documentation are often necessary to properly process a shipment that is to be imported temporarily. The procedures vary depending upon a number of factors including:
- The origin and destination of the shipment
- The classification of goods
- The value of goods
- The purpose/end use of the goods (e.g., tradeshow material)
Please note, the two most common errors concerning temporary shipments are:
- Failing to indicate on the shipping documentation that the shipment is a temporary import.
- Failing to properly document and re-export or destroy the articles. When this happens, the bond or security deposit is forfeited and the importer bears the duty and tax expense.
Customs clearance delays occur for a variety of reasons. Here are some examples:
- Missing documentation
- Incomplete, missing or inaccurate information on documentation
- Additional documentation needed by regulatory agencies
- Processing required by additional regulatory agencies
- Missing piece(s) of multiple-piece shipment
If additional information is required from the shipper or recipient, FedEx will attempt to contact them to resolve the issue. Once all requirements are fulfilled, your shipment will be cleared to move to its final destination. For more questions, contact Customer Service at at 1.800.463.3339.