Seasonal delivery jobs: earn more with FedEx and UPS

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We all love a shiny new toy — especially the apps that “disrupt” the market and change the way we get around, get food, or get deliveries.  

Companies like Uber, Lyft, and the numerous delivery apps popping up every year are changing the way we live and creating new opportunities to earn – but where does that leave established companies like UPS and FedEx? 

They’re wising up, taking careful note of what’s happening in the industry, and adapting their own business model to create opportunities for gig drivers like you to earn even more. 

Becoming a driver for FedEx or UPS is a great way to generate additional income and create even more opportunities to work a schedule that suits you. 

And now is the time to get on the road. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause shortages of school bus drivers, truck drivers, and FedEx and UPS delivery drivers. Plus, increased demand around the holidays creates great bonus opportunities for package delivery drivers. In this article, we’ll cover:

  • What does it take to deliver with UPS and FedEx? 
  • How much should you expect to earn? 
  • Is UPS or FedEx better for gig drivers? 

Brown Box Bootcamp: What does it take to deliver with UPS and FedEx? 

UPS 

To get yourself into one of the coveted brown uniforms of the United Parcel Service is the childhood goal of many for good reason. UPS is one of the largest shipping companies in the world, delivering 5.5 billion packages per year. That’s a lot of demand. 

As a rideshare or delivery driver, you’re probably not interested in getting behind the wheel of a UPS truck full-time. UPS is thinking of you, so they created Personal Vehicle Driver (PVD) positions for high-demand seasons. 

UPS PVD drivers deliver packages like any UPS driver, but they have a more flexible schedule and can use their car similar to an Amazon Flex driver. UPS PVD driver qualifications include: 

  • Lift, lower, and carry packages up to 70 pounds 
  • 21 years or older 
  • Valid driver’s license
  • No at-fault accidents or moving violations within 12 months 
  • Proof of registered vehicle
  • Minimum state-required auto insurance 
  • Adherence to company appearance guidelines 
  • Ability to work up to 5 1/2 hour shifts Monday through Friday (some holidays and weekends possible) 

All UPS drivers are employees of UPS, not contractors. So, it’s important to understand the complete terms of your employment when you apply for a UPS delivery driver position

FedEx

Package delivery drivers with FedEx don’t have the option to use their own vehicles. However, FedEx does offer non-CDL delivery positions utilizing their fleet that allow drivers to get on the road faster and avoid the expense of obtaining a special license. 

FedEx Courier qualifications include:

  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • Able to lift up to 75 pounds 
  • Pass mandatory drug screening, background check, and medical examination 
  • Ability to operate vehicle in all weather conditions  

While FedEx does offer some part-time courier positions, they’re less flexible; as with UPS, FedEx drivers are employees of FedEx, rather than independent contractors. 

How much do UPS delivery drivers earn? 

According to Glassdoor, UPS PVD drivers earn from $21 – $30 per hour, with the average pay around $22 an hour. Because drivers are using their own vehicles, they are also reimbursed at 

 $0.56/gallon to cover expenses and depreciation. 

This means drivers with UPS typically earn slightly more than other part-time delivery drivers. It’s important to remember, though, that your hourly rate is your only compensation; there’s no opportunity to earn tips or other bonus incentives that come along with most gig driving jobs. 

In most cases, UPS Personal Vehicle Driver gigs are seasonal positions.

If you’re looking for a break from the driver’s seat, you might consider applying as a seasonal package handler. During high-demand seasons, you’ll ride routes with drivers of large UPS trucks, helping them make deliveries and earning from $12 to $15 per hour. 

How much do FedEx Courier drivers earn? 

On par with UPS package delivery drivers, FedEx Courier drivers earn between $21 and $24/hour. Again, this is slightly above the average pay for most gig delivery drivers, but there’s no opportunity to earn tips or other additional bonuses. 

Because Courier drivers are employees of the company, earnings vary by state to accommodate for fluctuations in the cost of living (the same as any other position with FedEx). 

Which package delivery service is best for gig drivers? 

Both FedEx and UPS offer great opportunities for drivers to earn more, particularly around the holidays, on a flexible (but still reliable) schedule. However, there are some considerations that rideshare and delivery drivers need to think about before they jump into working with either as a package delivery driver. 

Good news for all

The main advantage that FedEx and UPS both offer for gig drivers is the opportunity to be an actual employee of the company rather than an independent contractor. This provides drivers with something everyone needs around the holidays: stability. 

Not only are drivers paid a guaranteed hourly salary, their schedule is also chosen ahead of time. That means you can know exactly when you’ll work and how much you’ll make before you hit the road – which can be a major relief during an already busy and stressful season. 

What’s the catch? 

The downside with these services is that they lack the true freedom you get with many other gig opportunities. Although needing to schedule your hours ahead of time is becoming more common with apps like Instacart, you can still make last-minute changes and don’t have to report to anyone. 

At the end of the day, being a UPS or FedEx delivery driver doesn’t allow you to “be your own boss.” 

Which should you choose? 

If you’re okay with giving up a little control in exchange for a higher package delivery salary that supplements your other rideshare and/or delivery earnings, the UPS Personal Vehicle Driver program is probably your best bet. 

You still get the freedom of working part-time but you have the stability of knowing exactly how much you’ll earn at a pretty great hourly rate. 

Put higher earnings on your schedule with Gridwise! 

When you start putting together your schedule, it’s important to know where and when to drive. Even if you think you have the perfect route, Gridwise can help make the most of your time on the road with When to Drive.

When to Drive uses data from thousands of drivers using the Gridwise platform, allowing you to see how many trips are happening per hour and earnings per trip and per hour across different days and times of the week. 


How does this help with FedEx and UPS? Download the Gridwise app to see when to drive to maximize your rideshare and delivery earnings, take note of the hours that are a little slower, and see if you can find a FedEx or UPS package delivery job to fit into those hours – less waiting, more earning!

You also get access to driver-exclusive benefits, gig-economy news, and a supportive driver community. Don’t wait, get the most out of your time on the road and join Gridwise today! 

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