Transportation and logistics provider FedEx Corp. is expanding the coverage area of its Sunday residential delivery service ahead of the holiday shipping season, saying the move would give it a “significant weekend competitive advantage” over other carriers delivering e-commerce parcels.

Saying it was preparing for an “unprecedented” peak holiday shipping season, Memphis-based FedEx said its FedEx Ground year-round Sunday residential coverage will now cover nearly 95% of the U.S. population beginning September 13, up from just over 60% at present.

The company first rolled out year-round Sunday delivery service in January, saying it would help serve consumers’ fast-growing adoption of online shopping for home delivery. FedEx had already supported that practice during the winter peak season. FedEx’ parcel delivery rival UPS Inc. likewise launched Sunday delivery in January.

FedEx’ move comes amid a handful of other enhancements designed to increase capacity, including:

  • six regional sortation facilities, each strategically located to serve large e-tailers in short-haul solutions
  • four new automated stations
  • eight new or expanded large package facilities that further enable the safe and efficient handling of items like TVs and furniture, which consumers are increasingly ordering online.
  • expanding more than 50 existing facilities with additional material handling equipment and automation, allowing shippers to now ship packages as heavy as 150 pounds through FedEx Home Delivery.

In addition, the company is expanding the coverage area of its FedEx Freight Direct service, which offers delivery of heavy and bulky shipments inside customers‘ homes or businesses. The offering will now expand its Standard and Premium service offerings to cover 90% of the U.S., effective Sept. 14.

Finally, FedEx said its Retail Convenience Network—which supports package pickup and drop-off services at FedEx Office locations as well as retail stores like the Dollar General, Walgreens, Kroger, and Albertsons chains—is poised to serve as a Buy Online Pickup in Store (BOPIS) network for small and medium merchants who lack their own brick-and-mortar locations.

“FedEx has nearly 50 years’ experience flexing our network to stay ahead of what’s next,” Raj Subramaniam, president and chief operating officer of FedEx, said in a release. “We’re excited to have expanded our e-commerce capabilities even further—including the acceleration of FedEx Ground’s seven-day a week residential delivery, investments in automated facilities and growth in our FedEx Freight Direct service and our retail convenience network. These strategic investments will help better support what is expected to be an unprecedented holiday shipping season.”

Editor’s note: This article was revised on September 4 to show how much FedEx will expand its service.

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