Questions regarding Express courier positions

Discussion in 'FedEx Discussions' started by FEDXER, Feb 26, 2011.

  1. FEDXER

    FEDXER New Member

    Hi guys,

    Quick back ground. Been in the trucking business almost 20 years. I worked for Airborne express in Brooklyn NY for almost 5 years. I left to pursue other ventures. I signed on with Fedex cusom critical & several other small local messenger company's.

    When i signed on with critical it was fantastic, the first 3 years were amazing. Made lot's of money, expanded etc. the last 3 years have been rough, esclating fuel prices, the rough economy etc. Bottom line i'm thinking of cutting my losses & scaling back a bit.

    I have an interview with FEDEX Express in Brooklyn NY about 1 mile from where the old Airborne station used to be. There aren't too many forums dedicated to Express, I find it intresting that the lobe one I could find is on a UPS sponsered sight. So i'm wondering what can I exect in the way of the FEDEX job. I read alot of posts that are mainly about Ground. The job i'm u for is the swing courier or PT courier. both pay roughly the same.

    What are the benifits & pitfalls? How is the benifit package for medical? Did they do away with ther pension? Is it just 401k now? What can I expect as far as Stop count, OT (if any)? Is there a true Top pay? How often are raises issued?

    What exactly does the Swing driver so? They have set hours listed in the job describtion. Any advice & comments would be apperciated.

    Thanks.
  2. LTFedExer

    LTFedExer New Member

    PT couriers can be mandated to work only up to 6 hours for the day (30 hrs/week). If a manager asks you to stay later, you have the option to stay later. Good luck.
  3. vantexan

    vantexan Well-Known Member

    If you are expecting rapid advancement in pay progression you'll be disappointed. FedEx may decide any given year to reduce or not give raises. They were a little more generous several years ago but with the new raise system starting this year raises are considerably smaller. If fuel prices rise as expected who knows if they'll give raises next year.

    Our traditional pension plan was terminated in 2008. We now have a cash balance plan that might pay 25% to 35% of the traditional pension. That's what is being touted as our pension plan. We do have a 401k that offers up to a 2.5% match if you save up to 6%. After that it's just your own savings up to the maximum allowed. If the economy worsens they may take away the match which they did a couple of years ago but it's now restored.

    Healthcare used to be 100% paid for the employee but now employee contributes a bit, depending on plan chosen. I pay for best plan offered, along with dental and vision costs me $84 a month. And unfortunately that doesn't cover 100% of costs like it used to. And many states have been switched over from Cigna to Anthem Blue Cross which increased out of pocket expenses for procedures. Annual out of pocket for Anthem is $1600. Had a stent put in an artery last month, got a bill for almost $1300 yesterday. Still better than no insurance but I think you may see by now that our experience with FedEx has been one of year over year eroding our benefits and pay, putting more costs on the employee. Bottom line with them is the bottom line. They are out to impress Wall Street with profits to get and maintain a high stock price. Everything they do is toward that end.

    I've been a swing twice. If after you've fulfilled your time in position obligation you decide to become a regular courier they will take considerably more pay from you than the extra they gave to be a swing. Just trying to discourage people from giving up being a swing as they always have a need to cover vacations, sick calls, etc.

    If you choose to go part-time keep in mind that you'll only get 20 hrs for vacation, 4 for holidays. Being part-time is a good way to supplement another job but as a stand alone job it depends how busy your station is as to whether you'll get enough hours. And keep in mind that while you aren't forced to work more than 30 hrs as a part-timer if you don't when asked you may find yourself getting minimal hours. PTer's are guaranteed 17.5 and yes some mgrs can be vindictive.

    By the way, on the cash balance plan there are 4 levels for contributions to the plan based on your age plus years of service(a service year is 1000 hrs minimum). The levels are 3%, 5%, 7%, and 9%. To have the equivalent of 9% of your gross pay contributed you need 75 points. So it takes awhile to get there. If you grossed 35k your first year you'd have $1050 contributed the first year, plus every quarter they'd add interest of 1% of your account balance. So you can see you'll have to work many years to have anything substantial in your account. Used to be 25 years got you a pension equal to 50% of your highest average annual pay, based on 5 highest paid years averaged together. So really pension is a supplement to whatever you save in 401k and how well it performs. And there's no guarantee that they'll even offer the cash balance plan down the road although you should get whatever accrues in it.

    Hope this helps!
  4. Here is the best advice I can give you. RUN. You don't want this job. Trust me.
  5. He will be stuck as a swing if he gets hired as a swing. Chances are their are 20 people in front of him wanting full time day rts. He will have no chance to get out of it unless he downgrades to PT. And as far as the money he would lose it would be minimal. Swing pay is based on what you were making at the time you became a swing. Since he will be at starting pay rate it will be no more than an extra .50 cents. I became a swing after 1.5 years with the company. Got an extra .55 cents. I've heard if you're at top pay and become a swing it's like almost 2.00 extra. Not sure if that's true though.
  6. LTFedExer

    LTFedExer New Member

    Partly true. Swing drivers can bid on routes along with anyone else. They have priority over PT. The only thing that would hold him back from getting a regular FT route is seniority. You could have a PT courier with 20 years and a FT with 5 years, the FT would still get the route first.
  7. Obviously but chances are the 8 or 9 swings in front of him are also looking to get out of the hell that being a swing is. It would take 10+yrs if it ever happened at all.
  8. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Well-Known Member

    What he said. Unless you want to go into management, the courier position is a dead end. I noticed that you drove for Custom Critical, which might give you an edge if you wanted to be an RTD (semi driver), but they have the same issues with PT and pay progression as the courier job. You'd be better off trying to get on with UPS, which means you probably have to start as a sort worker in a center. Eventually, you'd move to the package car position, but it might take awhile. Some of the UPS folks on here might be able to give you an idea of how long it takes.

    The courier job right now is only good as a source of supplemental income, as some else has already pointed-out. If you need medical coverage, it isn't very good, but it isn't the worst out there either.
  9. FEDXER

    FEDXER New Member

    Thank you for the insights. Nothing is set in stone. I'm 36 years old & still have no idea what i wanna do what my life. I'm not an inside office type of guy, I like to be out & about.

    I'm still with FDCC...our rates have been choped in half. were expected to run for .85c to .98C per mile. I'm on a very old lease, so I get offered slightly better rates, but I need to refuse the same load over & over again. I'm also a local guy, meaning all of my runs are 200 miles round trip for the most part. Since FEDX bought Watkins a couple of years ago we have seen our frieight & rates decrease every 6 months. Than we became part of Freight & we are really the red headed step child. In fact ut was just announced to weeks ago thay we are changing our colors from blue & purple to blue & red to fall in line with freight. I dunno how mch better that's gonna make my bottom line. You have to be a white glove or T-val truck to see the high paying runs. Most of my runs are less than 5000 pounds so the truck I own is 100% over kill!

    I'm trying to hedge my bets. It's a rough economy & jobs are hard to come by. Since Express is hiring & I alreadly have various goverment security clearance I was told it's a little easier for me to get hired from contractor to employee. I'll see how it works out.
  10. vantexan

    vantexan Well-Known Member

    I goofed, the 401k match is up to 3.5%, not 2.5%, if you save up to 6%.
  11. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Well-Known Member

    That's the FedEx way. They buy good companies, quickly eliminate the old management, and then implement anti-union Express tactics and pay plans. I've seen quite a few Custom Critical trucks for sale, probably for the reasons you cite. None of the Freight guys I run into on docks have anything good to say about FedEx.
  12. Mr Fedex

    Mr Fedex Banned

    Don't listen to MrFedex.Do your own due diligence on the company and make the decision yourself.MrFed hates Fedex with a passion and most likley hates his life as well so don't take anything he says too seriously.If he worked at UPS he would be posting the same exact thing on the UPS forums.I for one think that Fedex is a great company to work for but this is my personal opinion.Most Fedex workers I know are pretty happy at Fedex but like said,do your own homework on the company.
  13. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Well-Known Member

    I've done my homework on you and my conclusion is that you are also a brick, perhaps made of a material even denser than lead. Nothing can penetrate it.
  14. LTFedExer

    LTFedExer New Member

    And those are the comments you see if you say anything pro-FedEx.
  15. FedEx2000

    FedEx2000 New Member

    Did you mean to say they are changing the colors to Red and Purple?
  16. FEDXER

    FEDXER New Member

    Here was the e-mail release regarding the change.

    New Color for FedEx Custom Critical
    I have news to share of an upcoming change for our brand at FedEx Custom Critical. We will be changing our color scheme and logo from purple and blue to purple and red. As you know, our company is a part of the FedEx Freight segment, and this change better aligns our appearance in the market under the segment umbrella.

    The only thing that is changing is the “Ex” color of our FedEx logo from blue to red. Nothing else is changing. Our company name, structure and value proposition will remain the same. This is strictly a cosmetic change to our logo.

    With this change, we bring the attributes of our company to the larger Freight organization market positioning. Our speed, proactive communications, special care in handling and transactional control brings even more value to the “red” brand. Customers will also see that we are part of the same family with the common goal of delivering an outstanding experience to meet their freight shipping needs.

    This change means we will have new decals on FedEx Custom Critical vehicles, as well as new apparel available for you all. We are creating implementation plans for all of our brand changes, so please be patient as we develop those plans. This change will be a gradual one. We realize there is a lot that will need to change and it will take some time.

    As we head down the stretch of FY11 and into FY12, our strategy is strong, and I thank you for all you do to satisfy our customers each and every day. Here’s to our future success.

    Thank you,
    Virginia
  17. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Well-Known Member

    No, you're just dense. I'm happy to debate you whenever you say something intelligent, which is seldom.
  18. FEDXER

    FEDXER New Member

    Hey guys, seriously enough. I'm trying to get some insight to help make a decsion about MY future. If you can't contribute anything meaninfull in this thread than stay out of it. Take the infighting else where.
  19. LTFedExer

    LTFedExer New Member

    You don't ever debate anyone. All we hear is I hate what I do, I hate my pay, I hate my pension, I hate my managers, I hate this and I hate that. Instead of leaving, you try to change the way a multi-billion has been doing business for 38 years. It isn't going to happen.
  20. quadro

    quadro New Member

    Unfortunately, you've come to the wrong forum. As you noted this is really a UPS site. The FedEx stuff here is geared more toward those that don't like FedEx and are supportive of a union. I'm not saying they are right or wrong it's just what it is. They are just as entitled to their beliefs and opinions as everyone else. Having said that and hopefully keeping the wolves at bay my opinion is that a courier or swing driver is still a good job. I've been with Express for about 25 years so I cannot say if my opinion would be the same if I had only worked here 2.5 years. As with a lot of companies, the benefits have changed over the years. I think they are still pretty decent. The medical benefit has been huge for my family.

    As for the swing position it really depends on you. Do you have a good sense of direction and some common sense? If not, you will likely fail miserably as a swing. If you do, it's not that hard to at least be proficient at it. As you get more experience it becomes easier. There are definitely pros and cons to the position but I liked it as it gave a lot of variety to the job and opened up some opportunities for me.

    It also depends on what you think you want to do down the road. Will you be content as a courier/swing for the next 20 years or would you rather get some experience and then see what jobs/promotions are available? If so, are you willing to move as your chosen job or profession might not be available in the area you are currently in.

    As with any job, there are pros and cons. I think the pros outweigh the cons. Others here will disagree with me (often vehemently). Good luck in whatever you decide to do.
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