FedEx Starts Consolidated Return Service

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FedEx Corp., Memphis, TN, is expected to announce today FedEx Consolidated Return Service, a new service for direct marketers.

Under the service, which is designed for retailers with more than 150 returns daily, customers can drop off an item to be returned at any FedEx World Service Center or FedEx Authorized Ship Center using a pre-authorized number provided by the merchant.

"The merchant pays the cost of the return, and they can choose to pass the cost onto the customer if they'd like," FedEx corporate vice president Bram Johnson said. "It is below the cost of any of our competitors that do returns."

Cost varies by weight and distance.

Items dropped off at ship centers are combined with packages from other merchants for three days or until the container is full. They then are shipped by FedEx Ground to a FedEx processing center, where all packages from a single merchant are sorted together for delivery to up to four locations specified by the merchant.

Merchants can track items in real time through the tracking service at and also can track packages through an online FedEx product called InSight that is offered to merchants for free. FedEx said this real-time visibility helps merchants more accurately anticipate the delivery of returned items for greater control over returns inventory.

Consumers benefit, FedEx said, because they can drop off items at any FedEx service center and receive credit more promptly.

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