Can you put a FedEx package in a USPS Mailbox and expect it to be picked up? The short answer is that you shouldn’t put a FedEx package in any USPS mailbox.
There is no formal agreement between the two carriers regarding USPS picking up FedEx packages from mailboxes.
There are no guarantees that your envelope or package will successfully make it to its final destination.
Furthermore, the actions that USPS takes in this scenario vary. There is no strict policy within USPS on what to do with non-USPS packages being dropped into USPS mailboxes.
This is another reason to avoid doing so if you can.
But, I have Accidentally put a FedEx Package in a USPS Mailbox
After you have placed any package into a USPS Postal box it becomes “mail” and is the property of the US Postal Service. This is actually written in federal law.
It doesn’t matter what packaging, labeling, and carrier service you have paid to transport the item, it is now in the hands of USPS.
If you have accidentally placed a FedEx package in a USPS mailbox, the first problem to expect is a delay. The worst-case scenario is a missing package altogether.
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What Happens to a FedEx Package Dropped in a USPS Mailbox?
As we have mentioned, what happens to the package can and will vary. It is up to the individual post office to act as they see fit.
More often than not, the post office will call FedEx to the item up, but clearly, this is an added step and will delay the delivery.
There is also the chance that the item is ignored and ends up tucked away on a shelf someplace. It could take days or even weeks for a staff member to react to it.
And remember, your FedEx tracking number will not work as the item has yet to be scanned by the FedEx system.
There are also instances where the post office has charged FedEx “Postage Due” when they picked it up. A cost that will inevitably be passed onto you or the recipient. (This is rare, however.)
Essentially, it will not be the first time your local post office will have encountered the situation of a FedEx package in a USPS mailbox.
The package should eventually make its way into the FedEx logistical network.
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Are there any situations where I can place a FedEx package in a USPS Mailbox?
For many years FedEx offered a service called SmartPost. (You can read our guide here.)
This utilized USPS for the last mile of delivery. In other words, the final delivery to your door or mailbox was carried out by USPS drivers.
Using this service, customers could also put a FedEx Smartpost package into a USPS mailbox when returning an item.
It was a service used by eCommerce businesses where efficient returns policies were important.
However, FedEx gave SmartPost an overhaul in recent years. It is now branded as FedEx Ground Economy, and FedEx no longer uses USPS for the final mile of delivery, (FedEx uses its own infrastructure instead).
Because of this, FedEx Ground Economy users can no longer place FedEx packages into USPS mailboxes.
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Can FedEx Put Packages In My Mailbox?
Finally, we should wrap up the debate by looking at whether FedEx can put packages into your USPS mailbox.
The answer is no.
Again, Federal law has its part to play. It is actually illegal for FedEx to put their packages inside a USPS mailbox.
This is why no matter the size of the package, a FedEx driver has to take the item to your door, rather than leave it in the mailbox.
The same applies to all courier companies outside of USPS.
I’m a 25 year veteran of USPS. I’m retired now, but as the editor of Mailbox Master, I can’t quite remove myself from the carrier industry just yet. 🙂