How To Become an Owner Operator for FedEx

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Becoming an owner-operator for FedEx is an exciting opportunity for those seeking entrepreneurial freedom with the backing of a globally recognized brand. The process involves meeting specific requirements, understanding the costs involved, and navigating the application process. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you understand how to become a FedEx owner-operator.


To become an owner-operator for FedEx, you must meet specific requirements including having a proper class CDL with HAZMAT endorsement, ability to pass a Department of Transportation physical and drug test, and no more than three moving violations within the last three years. The process involves understanding the costs involved, such as route costs, vehicle costs, equipment costs, employee costs, legal and accounting costs, insurance and licensing, and maintenance and fuel costs. You then need to apply through the FedEx Custom Critical website, go through the interview process, and sign a contract with FedEx if successful.

Understanding the Basic Requirements

Before you can become a FedEx owner-operator, you must meet specific qualifications. FedEx sets the following minimum requirements for owner-operators:

  • No more than three moving violations within the last three years, and one or less in the previous 12 months.
  • Ability to pass a Department of Transportation physical and drug test.
  • A proper class CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) with HAZMAT endorsement.
  • Unrestricted access to and from Canada.

Additional requirements vary depending on the size and type of vehicle you plan to operate, such as small straight trucks, large straight trucks, and tractor-trailers. For example, drivers of 14′ or 22′ straight trucks must have an unrestricted class B (or class A) commercial driver’s license (CDL).

Understanding the Costs Involved

Becoming a FedEx owner-operator involves various costs and investments. Here’s a breakdown of the potential costs:

  • Route Costs: A single route may cost anywhere from $100,000 to $400,000, depending on its profitability, location, fleet, etc.
  • Vehicle Costs: If the route is sold without a fleet, you will need to purchase or lease vehicles for your business.
  • Equipment Costs: You may need to invest in additional equipment, such as dollies, hand trucks, or other tools necessary for package handling and delivery.
  • Employee Costs: The average FedEx route requires hiring between 7 to 10 employees.
  • Legal and Accounting Costs: An average FedEx Ground route business can generally cover required accounting and legal costs for $2,000 per year.
  • Insurance and Licensing: You will need to obtain proper insurance coverage for your vehicles and business, as well as maintain a proper class CDL with HAZMAT endorsement for your drivers.
  • Maintenance and Fuel Costs: Regular maintenance and fuel expenses for your vehicles will be ongoing operational costs.

Navigating the Application Process

Once you meet the requirements and understand the costs involved, the next step is to apply to become a FedEx owner-operator. Here’s what the process looks like:

  1. Determine your eligibility: Check that you meet the minimum requirements set by FedEx and that your vehicle meets FedEx’s specifications.
  2. Submit an application: Complete the application process on the FedEx Custom Critical website. You may also find job openings for owner-operator teams on websites like National Truckin’ Magazine.
  3. Interview process: The interview process at FedEx Custom Critical takes about a week and is rated as favorable. The hiring process may take an average of 20.5 days.
  4. Contract with FedEx: If your application is successful, you will sign a contract with FedEx Custom Critical as an independent contractor.

Income and Payment Structure

The income and payment structure for FedEx owner operators varies depending on the type of operation and location. As an owner operator, you are an independent contractor who owns your vehicle and works with FedEx to provide transportation services. The payment structure can be based on factors such as mileage, daily wages, or a combination of both.

Tips for Becoming a Successful FedEx Owner-Operator

Here are some tips to help you become a successful FedEx owner-operator:

  • Understand the different types of FedEx contractor opportunities: You can contract with FedEx as a Custom Critical owner-operator, Ground independent contractor, or Home Delivery independent contractor. Research each opportunity to determine which one best aligns with your interests and goals.
  • Learn from others: Connect with current or former FedEx contractors to gain insights into their experiences and learn from their successes and challenges.
  • Focus on recruiting and retaining drivers: Building a team of qualified and reliable delivery drivers is crucial for running a profitable FedEx route business.
  • Continuously expand your knowledge: Stay informed about industry trends and best practices to help your business grow and succeed.

Becoming a FedEx owner-operator can be a rewarding experience. It requires thorough preparation, a clear understanding of the process, and the willingness to navigate the challenges that come with it. This comprehensive guide will help you get started on your journey to becoming a FedEx owner-operator.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a FedEx Custom Critical Owner-Operator and a FedEx Ground Independent Contractor?

A FedEx Custom Critical Owner-Operator provides services for urgent, valuable, or hazardous shipments with specific handling needs. The owner-operator uses their vehicle to provide these services. On the other hand, a FedEx Ground Independent Contractor delivers packages to businesses and homes in a specific geographic area. They are responsible for purchasing or leasing their vehicle, as well as hiring and training their own staff.

What is a HAZMAT endorsement on a CDL?

A HAZMAT endorsement on a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) allows the holder to transport hazardous materials. To get this endorsement, drivers must pass a written test about the transportation of hazardous materials.

How can I find FedEx routes for sale?

FedEx routes for sale are often listed on business brokerage websites or through FedEx-approved brokers. You can also check the FedEx website for available routes.

What kind of support does FedEx provide to owner-operators?

FedEx provides various types of support to owner-operators, including operational support, technology, and safety resources. They also offer a Contractor Relations department to assist contractors with any issues or concerns.

Do I need previous experience in delivery services to become a FedEx owner-operator?

While having previous experience in delivery services can be beneficial, it is not a requirement to become a FedEx owner-operator. FedEx provides training and resources to help new owner-operators succeed.

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