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How Do I Become an Independent Contractor for FedEx?

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FedEx has two types of opportunities for independent contractors. Custom Critical operators are owner operators responsible for delivering critical or sensitive packages 24 hours a day. Custom Critical operators travel across the lower 48 states and Canada and can be on the road for up to 10 days at a time. Ground Independent Operators can provide pickup and delivery, home delivery or linehaul services. Requirements for becoming an independent contractor vary, based on the type of operator you are.

To Become a FedEx Contractor

FedEx Ground only contracts with individuals and businesses established under state law as a corporation and are registered and in good standing in the states where they do business. Laws about registering as a corporation vary by state, but you can register as a small business with the U.S. Small Business Administration. Businesses must also treat as employees any personnel who provide driving services to FedEx. Before acquiring a service area, independent contractors and companies that employ more than one driver must submit a Request for Information Response to FedEx. The response must cover a contractor's background, customer service approach, safety commitment and history, security and delivery contingency plans. Companies with more than one driver must also provide information about how skilled and knowledgeable its workforce is and how it recruits and retains drivers.

Owner Operators

Owner operators of cargo vans, small and large straight trucks between 14 and 22 feet, and tractor trailers can contract with FedEx to provide door-to-door delivery service with its Custom Critical Division. You must have no more than three moving violations within the three years before applying and no more than one moving violation within the prior 12 months; pass a Department of Transportation physical and drug test; pass a background check; and have a proper class commercial driver's license. CDL requirements vary by state. for example, in Washington, you complete a training program and pass a CDL test, while in Minnesota, you don't need to complete a training program, but you do need to pass a CDL test. You must also meet requirements based on the size and type of your vehicle. FedEx requires cargo van owners to have a Class C or higher CDL and a hazardous materials endorsement; owners of small or large straight trucks to have an unrestricted Class B or Class A CDL; and owners of tractor trailers to have an unrestricted Class A CDL, a minimum of six months of verifiable tractor commercial driving experience within the two years before the application date or a minimum of one year of such experience within five years of applying. Drivers must be able to cross into Canada unrestricted.

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Pickup and Delivery Contractors

Pickup and delivery contractors must own or lease their delivery vans. They must have at least one year of verifiable commercial motor vehicle driving experience within three years of applying; have no record of a positive alcohol or drug test; have a current CDL; and be able to cross into Canada. Pickup and delivery contractors must pay their own business-related expenses, such as vehicle payments, fuel, taxes and insurance.

Linehaul Contractors

Linehaul contractors haul packages on the “long-haul” routes between FedEx Ground hubs. They must have at least one year of verifiable commercial motor vehicle driving experience within three years of applying; have no record of a positive alcohol or drug test; have a current CDL; and be able to cross into Canada. Linehaul contractors must provide their own tractors, but FedEx provides them with a trailer. Linehaul contractors must pay their own business-related expenses, such as power unit payments, fuel, taxes and insurance.

Independent Service Providers

Incorporated service providers are incorporated small businesses that can provide pickup and delivery services in a particular state or region. An ISP must meet safety and training requirements and federal requirements, including maintaining a safe driving record and passing a background check, medical test and drug and alcohol test. FedEx currently offers opportunities for ISPs in Maryland, Tennessee, Rhode Island, Vermont, Massachusetts, Montana, Minnesota, Illinois, Connecticut, Maine, Missouri, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Delaware and Mississippi.

About the Author

William Henderson has been writing for newspapers, magazines and journals for more than 15 years. He served as editor of the "New England Blade" and is a former contributor to "The Advocate." His work has also appeared on The Good Men Project, Life By Me and The Huffington Post.

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