Federal Express Corp. is making some of its services available through America OnLine.
By using keyword FedEx to access the company's area, America Online members will be able to download FedEx tracking software, access a FedEx fact file and set up an account number with the carrier, FedEx announced last week.For the past four months, customers with Internet access to the WorldWide Web have been able to browse service and information offerings via the FedEx home page (http://www.fedex.com).
FedEx said users of the home page can track the status of a domestic package by entering the airbill tracking number. The information includes the number of the delivery van, the exact time it moves through the FedEx, and the name of the person who signed for the delivery.
Users also can receive information about domestic FedEx service availability for a particular date, time and destination and read news from FedEx.
By the middle of this year Internet users will be able to download FedEx tracking software. Other home page components planned include further marketing information and delivery options. Also, in the future, FedEx customers will be able to conduct transactions on both America OnLine and the Internet.
The new services are "only the beginning of the interactive benefits Federal Express will offer customers," said Dennis H. Jones, senior vice president and chief information officer. The carrier is talking about similar arrangements with other online services, he said.
More than 60 percent of FedEx's volume is generated through automated technologies. Its long-term strategy is to grow this to nearly 100 percent, the company said.
United Parcel Service is online with CompuServe and Prodigy, said Ken Sternad, a UPS spokesman. Customers can use the services to order pick-ups, get information on rates and transit times. They cannot, however, track packages with either service, "but that will come online shortly," he said.