Competition between FedEx and UPS is heating up, with both making announcements affecting drop-off locations.

FedEx Express yesterday began the first phase of its alliance with the U.S. Postal Service. FedEx drop boxes were activated at 82 post office locations throughout the Charlotte, N.C., area.
FedEx drop boxes eventually will be located on the grounds of thousands of post offices throughout the country, with FedEx paying the Postal Service between $126 million and $232 million in fees over the next seven years. (See "FedEx Signs Agreement With Postal Service," 1/11/2001.)
The second part of the alliance calls for the Postal Service to pay FedEx more than $6 billion over seven years for shared access to the FedEx Express air transportation network.
Meanwhile, UPS announced Friday that it is acquiring MBE, the world's largest franchisor of independently owned business and shipping centers, with more than 4,300 locations.
UPS says the deal will let it and Mail Boxes develop new opportunities in areas such as small business services, e-commerce and financial services. It also strengthen's UPS' link with retail customers, Internet consumers, and small office/home office owners.
Jim Kelly, UPS chairman and CEO, called the deal "a strategic fit that complements UPS' existing access channels."