Federal Express Corporation formally released today FedEx interNetShip, the first automated shipping transaction available on the Internet. U.S. customers with a FedEx account number can now "point, click and ship" using any personal computer connected to the Internet and a laser printer.
"FedEx interNetShip is a key component in our growing suite of Internet services that provide vital business solutions to customers," said Dennis H. Jones, senior vice president of the Information and Telecommunications division of Federal Express. "This powerful addition also reinforces FedEx's industry leadership by offering information technology capabilities that increase the value of our transportation services."
FedEx interNetShip enables customers to complete the entire shipping function directly from the company's home page. Users simply follow these steps:
-- Enter a valid FedEx account number and other required information to receive a user ID
-- Complete the shipping information on an easy-to-use formatted screen
-- Generate a unique bar-coded label for use in shipping and tracking the package
-- Print the bar-coded label on any standard laser printer
-- Click to schedule a courier to pick up the package, if desired.
Billing information is automatically uploaded at the completion of the shipping process.
FedEx invited customers to test FedEx interNetShip for several months prior to public release. "I frequently pack and ship products for customers. In some cases, I need the airwaybill number before I can complete the invoice," said Don Durfee, a test technician at Qualcomm, a telecommunications firm based in San Diego, Calif. "With FedEx interNetShip at my fingertips, I eliminate the extra step of having to take the package to the shipping department located in another part of our complex. It has helped me become substantially more efficient."
"FedEx interNetShip fits right into my business day," says Phillip Blackerby, a management consultant at Performance Strategies, Inc. in Austin, Texas. "I e-mail correspondence worldwide as half of my customers are located outside the U.S. Since I use the Internet constantly, I've found having the shipping process on-line to be a fast and convenient way to send packages."
FedEx interNetShip is an example of the growing trend of companies conducting business on the Internet. According to Forrester Research Inc. in Cambridge, Mass., the expected growth of on-line retailing will reach almost $7 billion by the year 2000. An early adopter of Internet-enabled business transactions, Federal Express has demonstrated its strong commitment to providing end-to-end electronic commerce services for its customers.
Today, FedEx interNetShip processes shipments originating from and destined to locations within the United States; future plans include the option to ship internationally. In addition, FedEx will soon add a U.S. Drop Off Locator service to the home page. Customers will be able to easily search for directions to any one of over 45,000 FedEx shipping locations in the U.S. by simply entering in a zip code or a city and state name. The Canadian section of the FedEx home page has had a Drop Off Locator option available for several months.
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