Index: Customers Happy With Express Delivery

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The express delivery industry garnered the top customer satisfaction rating among many industry categories in first-quarter 2006, the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index survey found.

Despite rising fuel prices, express delivery improved to a 10-year high of 83 on a 100-point scale, up 3 points from last year. FedEx, UPS and the U.S. Postal Service all registered modest increases. But the biggest gain was made by the aggregate of smaller express delivery companies, including carriers like DHL, whose score rose 5 points to 82.

FedEx's score was up from 84 a year ago to 86, the strongest performer this quarter. UPS climbed to 83 from 82 a year ago. USPS express delivery services rose from 74 to 75 points this quarter, but the postal service's overall score was 71, down from 73 in the year-ago period.

UPS and FedEx, the two largest package shippers, compete on faster shipping times and improved ordering and tracking technologies, with customers of both companies getting quality service as a result, according to the survey.

The index is produced by the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business, with the American Society for Quality and CFI Group, and is supported in part by ForeSee Results. The national survey is part of an annual study of how 80,000 customers rank their experiences with 200 companies in 40 industries and from government agencies over the previous four quarters. It is updated quarterly.

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