(as Federal Express Corporation)
Little Rock, Arkansas
||Frederick W. Smith
||942 South Shady Grove Road, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
||Post delivery, express mail, freight forwarding, third-party logistics
|| US$50.365 billion (2016)
|| US$3.07 billion (2016)
|| US$1.82 billion (2016)
|| US$46.064 billion (2016)
|| US$13.784 billion (2016)
Number of employees
||Office, Express, Ground, Freight, Custom Critical, Supply Chain, Trade Networks, Services
FedEx Corporation is an American multinational courier delivery services company headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee. The name "FedEx" is a syllabic abbreviation of the name of the company's original air division, Federal Express (now FedEx Express), which was used from 1973 until 2000. The company is known for its overnight shipping service, but also for pioneering a system that could track packages and provide real-time updates on package location (to help in finding lost packages), a feature that has now been implemented by most other carrier services.
Fedex's first van displayed at the FedEx World Headquarters
FedEx Corporation is an import/export company, incorporated October 2, 1997, in Delaware. FDX Corporation was founded in January 1998 with the acquisition of Caliber System Inc. by Federal Express. With the purchase of Caliber, FedEx started offering other services besides express shipping. Caliber subsidiaries included RPS, a small-package ground service; Roberts Express, an expedited shipping provider; Viking Freight, a regional, less than truckload freight carrier serving the Western United States; Caribbean Transportation Services, a provider of airfreight forwarding between the United States and the Caribbean; and Caliber Logistics and Caliber Technology, providers of logistics and technology solutions. FDX Corporation was founded to oversee all of the operations of those companies and its original air division, Federal Express.
In the 1990s, FedEx Ground planned, but later abandoned, a joint service with British Airways to have BA fly a Concorde supersonic jet airliner to Shannon, Ireland with FedEx packages on board, and then FedEx would have flown the packages subsonically to their delivery points in Europe. Ron Ponder, a vice president at the time, was in charge of this proposed venture.
In January 2000, FDX Corporation changed its name to FedEx Corporation and re-branded all of its subsidiaries. Federal Express became FedEx Express, RPS became FedEx Ground, Roberts Express became FedEx Custom Critical, and Caliber Logistics and Caliber Technology were combined to comprise FedEx Global Logistics. A new subsidiary, called FedEx Corporate Services, was formed to centralize the sales, marketing, and customer service for all of the subsidiaries. In February 2000, FedEx acquired Tower Group International, an international logistics company. FedEx also acquired WorldTariff, a customs duty and tax information company; TowerGroup and WorldTariff were re-branded to form FedEx Trade Networks.
FedEx Corp. acquired privately held Kinko's, Inc. in February 2004 and re-branded it FedEx Kinko's. The acquisition was made to expand FedEx's retail access to the general public. After the acquisition, all FedEx Kinko's locations exclusively offered only FedEx shipping. In June 2008, FedEx announced that they would be dropping the Kinko's name from their ship centers; FedEx Kinko's would now be called FedEx Office. In September 2004, FedEx acquired Parcel Direct, a parcel consolidator, and re-branded it FedEx SmartPost.
In December 2007, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service "tentatively decided" the FedEx Ground Division might be facing a tax liability of $319 million for 2002, due to misclassification of its operatives as independent contractors. Reversing a 1994 decision which allowed FedEx to classify its operatives that own their own vehicles as independent contractors, the IRS audited the years 2003 to 2006, with a view to assessing whether similar misclassification of operatives had taken place. FedEx denied that any irregularities in classification had occurred, but faced legal action from operatives claiming benefits that would have accrued had they been classified as employees.
In June 2009, FedEx began a campaign against United Parcel Service (UPS) and the Teamsters union, accusing its competitor of receiving a bailout in an advertising campaign called "Brown Bailout". FedEx claimed that signing the Federal Aviation Administration re-authorization bill, which would let some of its workers unionize more easily (and, according to the Memphis-based company, "could expose [its] customers at any time to local work stoppages that interrupted the flow of their time-sensitive, high-value shipments”), was equivalent to giving UPS a "bailout". Independent observers heavily criticized FedEx's wording, claiming that it was "an abuse of the term". FedEx Express employees are regulated under the Railway Labor Act.
On January 14, 2013, FedEx named Henry Maier CEO and President of FedEx Ground, to take effect after David Rebholz retired on May 31, 2013. On July 17, 2014, FedEx was indicted for conspiracy to distribute controlled substances in cooperation with the Chhabra-Smoley Organization and Superior Drugs. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, "FedEx is alleged to have knowingly and intentionally conspired to distribute controlled substances and prescription drugs, including Phendimetrazine (Schedule III); Ambien, Phentermine, Diazepam, and Alprazolam (Schedule IV), to customers who had no legitimate medical need for them based on invalid prescriptions issued by doctors who were acting outside the usual course of professional practice." A representative for the company contested these claims, stating that it would violate personal rights of customers to deny service and that "We are a transportation company — we are not law enforcement". On July 17, 2016 the Department of Justice U.S. Attorney's Office confirmed in a statement that it had asked U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer to dismiss the indictment but also did not say why.
In April 2015, FedEx acquired their rival firm TNT Express for €4.4 billion ($4.8 billion; £3.2 billion) as it looks to expand their operations in Europe.
Operating units and logos
FedEx is organized into operating units, each of which has its own version of the wordmark designed in 1994 by Lindon Leader of Landor Associates, of San Francisco. The Fed is always purple and the Ex is in a different color for each division and platinum for the overall corporation use. The original FedEx logo had the Ex in orange; it is now used as the FedEx Express wordmark. The FedEx wordmark is notable for containing a subliminal right-pointing arrow in the negative space between the "E" and the "X", which was achieved by designing a proprietary font, based on Univers and Futura, to emphasize the arrow shape. In August 2016, FedEx announced that all operating units will switch over to the purple and orange color logo over the next 5 years.
- FedEx Express (Orange "Ex"): The original overnight courier services, providing next day air service within the United States and time-definite international service. FedEx Express operates one of the largest civil aircraft fleets in the world and the largest fleet of wide bodied civil aircraft; it also carries more freight than any other airline.
- Caribbean Transport Services: Until 2008, a part of FedEx Freight. Provides airfreight forwarding services between the US mainland, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and other Caribbean islands.
- FedEx Trade Networks (Platinum "Ex", formerly yellow): Provides services relating to customs, insurance, and transportation advice. Formerly C.J. Tower & Sons, then Tower Group International.
- FedEx Supply Chain (Orange "Ex"): Provides logistics services including Critical Inventory Logistics, Transportation Management Services, Fulfillment Services, etc. Formerly Roadway Logistics System, then Caliber Logistics.
FedEx Ground delivery van
- FedEx Ground (Green "Ex"): Guaranteed day-definite delivery within Canada and the United States at a cost savings as compared to time-definite FedEx Express. Uses a large fleet of trucks which are owned by the independent owner/operators and drivers are independent contractors who control individual delivery routes and territories. Formerly Roadway Package System (RPS).
- FedEx Home Delivery: A division of FedEx Ground, FedEx Home Delivery specializes in residential delivery Tuesday through Saturday and offers delivery options to provide more flexibility for residential recipients. The logo includes a drawing of a dog carrying a package . FedEx Home Delivery only operates in the United States. In the US it is not uncommon for Home Delivery packages to be delivered by standard Ground trucks. To make up the difference, FedEx Ground in Canada performs the business deliveries and residential deliveries.
- FedEx SmartPost (Green "Ex"): Consolidates parcels from merchants such as e-commerce and catalog companies and uses the United States Postal Service for the final delivery. Formerly the independent company Parcel Direct until FedEx acquired it for $120 million in 2004.
- FedEx Freight (Red "Ex"): Less than truckload (LTL) and other freight services. The largest LTL carrier in the United States, with $4.5 billion in revenue for 2008.
- FedEx Custom Critical (Blue "Ex"): Delivers urgent, valuable, or hazardous items using trucks and chartered aircraft. Freight not accepted for transport includes perishable food, alcohol, medication, livestock, household goods, hazardous waste, and money. Drivers are independent contractors who own their vehicles. Service in Mexico uses interline carriers. Formerly Roberts Cartage or Roberts Express.
- FedEx Services (Platinum "Ex"): Provides global marketing, planning, and information technology (IT) services for the other FedEx operating companies.
- FedEx TechConnect (Platinum "Ex"): Offering a customer service toll-free telephone line for customer questions. It is operated by an automated operator then will prompt the user to a live agent for uses of tracking, claims, scheduling pick-ups (Express, Ground, Same Day, Custom Critical, Freight Express, and Freight LTL), compliments and complaints, locations (both staffed counter locations and drop-boxes), ordering supplies, setting up FedEx accounts, billing etc. Formerly FCIS or FedEx Customer Information Services.
- FedEx Office (formerly FedEx Kinko's) (Blue "Ex"): The retail arm of the corporation, offers copying and digital printing, professional finishing, document creation, Internet access, computer rentals, signs and graphics, direct mail, Web-based printing, and FedEx shipping. Formerly an independent company, known as Kinko's until it was acquired by FedEx in 2004 and rebranded to FedEx Kinko's. In June 2008 the company was finally rebranded as FedEx Office.
- FedEx Office and Print Centers: Provides services such as copying, printing, Internet access and FedEx shipping.
- FedEx Ship Centers: Provides a central location for FedEx customers to deposit their packages for shipping, also offering a self-service photocopy and fax machine, office products for packing and shipping, boxes, and packaging services. Formerly, these locations were called FedEx World Service Centers.
- Both FedEx Office and Print Centers and Ship Centers now offer Hold at Locations for FedEx Ground & FedEx Express shipments for easy pick up. Transfer to Office/Ship centers takes 1 to 2 business days (example: calling the customer service line one day prior to pick up. This ensures package is put with proper route of courier that services that area).
- FedEx Office counts with its own FedEx Couriers for Center to Center and local customer deliveries.
- FedEx SameDay City (Platinum "Ex") a division of FedEx office offers a delivery service between select ZIP codes in as little as two hours
FedEx SameDay City allows a between: Standard, providing pickup by noon and delivery by the end of the day, or Priority, providing delivery within 2 hours. FedEx SameDay City is currently expanding in all major cities across the country and is planning on becoming its own operating unit in the next five years.
The Standard Carrier Alpha Code (SCAC) is a unique code used to identify transportation companies. It is typically two to four alphabetic letters long. It was developed by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association in the 1960s to help the transportation industry for computerizing data and records. FedEx's codes include:
- FDE – FedEx Express
- FDEG – FedEx Ground
- FXFE – FedEx Freight
- FDCC – FedEx Custom Critical
- FXO - FedEx Office
- FSDC- FedEx Same Day City
Political donations and lobbying
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, FedEx Corp is the 21st largest campaign contributor in the United States. The company has donated over $21 million since 1990, 45% of which went to Democrats and 55% to Republicans. Strong ties to the White House and members of Congress allow access to international trade and tax cut rebates as well as the rules of the business practices of the United States Postal Service. In 2001, FedEx sealed a $9 billion deal with the USPS to transport all of the post office's overnight and express deliveries.
In 2005, FedEx was among 53 entities that contributed the maximum of $250,000 to sponsor the second inauguration of President George W. Bush.
During the first three months of 2010, FedEx spent nearly $4.9 million lobbying the federal government (UPS, FedEx's main competitor, spent $1.6 million on lobbying over the same period), a 4% increase from the $4.7 million spent during the last quarter of 2009, but more than twice what it spent on lobbying during the first quarter of 2009.
Awards and honors
The firm was named by Fortune magazine as one of the top 100 companies to work for in 2013, citing the company's choice to downsize with voluntary buyouts rather than involuntary layoffs.
Some of FedEx's ad campaigns:
- "When it Absolutely, Positively has to be there overnight" – 1978–1983
- "It's not Just a Package, It's Your Business" – 1987–1988
- "Our Most Important Package is Yours" – 1991–1994
- "Absolutely, Positively Anytime" – 1995
- "The Way the World Works," 1996–1998
- "Be Absolutely Sure," 1998–2000
- "This is a Job for FedEx," 2001–2002
- "Don’t worry, there's a FedEx for that,” 2002–2003
- "Relax, it’s FedEx," 2004–2008
- "The World On Time" 2001–present
- "We Understand," 2009–present
- "We Live To Deliver" 2009–present
John Moschitta ad
In 1981, their advertising firm Ally & Gargano hired performer John Moschitta, Jr., known for his fast speech delivery, to do an ad for Federal Express titled "Fast Paced World". This single commercial would be cited years later by New York as one of the most memorable ads ever.
- From 1997 to 2002, FedEx was the title sponsor of Champ Car World Series when it was known as CART. The series was known as the "CART FedEx Championship Series", which led to the official "Champ Car" designation in reference to the fact they were the FedEx Championship.
- FedEx became the sponsor of the No. 11 NASCAR Sprint Cup Toyota owned by Joe Gibbs Racing and driven by Mike Bliss, Jason Leffler and Denny Hamlin in 2005. FedEx uses four (predominantly black) paint schemes to showcase its different products (Express, Freight, Ground, and Office), and in 2005 also ran a special scheme to promote a charity event at the FedEx St. Jude Classic golf tournament. The 11 car has been driven on a permanent basis by Hamlin since 2006.
- FedEx previously sponsored the Formula One team McLaren. Prior to that FedEx had sponsored Ferrari, Benetton, and Williams F1. FedEx does not currently sponsor any F1 team.
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