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FedEx Corporation

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The Federal Express was a passenger train operated on the Poughkeepsie Bridge Route.

FedEx , properly FedEx Corporation, is a company that offers overnight courier, ground, heavy freight, document copying and logistics services. FedEx is a portmanteau of the company's original name, Federal Express



The company was founded as Federal Express in 1971 by former U.S. Marine Frederick W. Smith in Memphis, Tennessee, and began operations in 1973. The name was chosen to symbolize a national marketplace, and help in obtaining government contracts. The company, the first cargo airline to use jet airplanes for its services, expanded greatly after the deregulation of the cargo airlines sector. Federal Express pioneered use of the spoke-hub distribution paradigm in air freight , which enabled it to become a world leader in its field. The company operates most of its US overnight freight through its Memphis hub; thus packages from one side of your town to another might find the fastest way via Memphis. In 1989 the company acquired Flying Tigers, an international cargo airline. In January 1998 Federal Express acquired Caliber System, Inc , which owned RPS, Roberts Express , Viking Freight and Caliber Logistics . It later purchased American Freightways. When these companies combined, the new organization became known as FDX Corp.

The name "FedEx" had been a popular, if unofficial, abbreviation for Federal Express for several years before the company chose it as its primary brand name in 1994. The "Federal Express" name was eliminated entirely in 2000, when FDX Corporation changed its name to FedEx Corporation.

In February 2004, FedEx bought Kinko's , an American chain that has some 1,200 stores that provide document copying and printing services, for $2.4 billion.

In its advertising, the company made famous the line "Absolutely, positively" for their overnight service; the original phrase was "When it absolutely, positively has to get there overnight." Another slogan, "Relax it's FedEx", is well recognized.

Major competitors include DHL, UPS, and USPS.

Operating Units and its logos

FedEx Express Logo
FedEx Express Logo

FedEx is now organized into a number of operating units , each of which has its own version of the logo. In all versions, the Fed is purple. The Ex is in a different color for each division. The corporate logo uses a grey Ex.

  • FedEx Express -- The original overnight courier services. Uses a large fleet of aircraft to move packages. Logo color: orange.
  • FedEx Freight -- Less than truckload (LTL) and other freight services. Logo color: red.
  • FedEx Ground -- Slower delivery times at a cost savings as compared to FedEx Express. Delivers primarily to businesses. Uses a large fleet of trucks. Formerly Roadway Package System (RPS). Logo color: green.
    • FedEx Home Delivery -- A division of FedEx Ground. Delivers to residences, offering service to virtually every address in the US. The logo is that of FedEx Ground, but often includes a drawing of a dog carrying a package.
    • FedEx SmartPost -- Consolidates parcels, formerly the independent company Parcel Direct .
  • FedEx Custom Critical -- Delivers urgent, valuable, or hazardous items using a large fleet of trucks and chartered aircraft. Formerly Roberts Cartage or Roberts Express . Logo color: blue.
    • Passport Transport -- Transports cars, especially those of high value.
  • FedEx Trade Networks -- Provides services relating to customs, insurance, and transportation advice. Formerly C.J. Tower & Sons , then Tower Group International . Logo color: yellow.
  • FedEx Supply Chain Services -- Provides logistics services. Formerly Roadway Logistics System , then Caliber Logistics . The logo color is grey, the same as the corporate logo.
  • FedEx Services -- Provides marketing and information technology (IT) services for the other FedEx divisions. The logo color is grey, the same as the corporate logo. Headquartered in Collierville, TN.
  • FedEx Kinko's Office and Print Services -- Provides a range of media services, including printing, copying, and internet access. The logo color is blue, the same as that of FedEx Custom Critical, but it also includes the name Kinko's in purple after FedEx. Formerly an independent company, it was simply known as Kinko's .

Other facts of interest

  • The movie Cast Away, based on the story Robinson Crusoe, is about a FedEx employee who survives a plane crash and subsequently becomes stranded on an island. According to commentary on the DVD editon of the film, the use of the FedEx name was for authenticity, and not a result of product placement.
  • Chief operating officer Jim Barksdale went on to lead Netscape.
  • A common story is that Fred Smith got a C at Yale on the paper where he came up with the idea that became FedEx. In an article he wrote for the October 2002 issue of Fortune Small Business he said that he doesn't actually know what grade he got. He said he probably didn't get a very good grade, though, because the paper was not very well thought out.
  • The company's well-known logo has a right-pointing arrow located in the negative space between the E and x. While the arrow becomes quite obvious when pointed out, most people don't notice it otherwise. The arrow has been occasionally pointed to as a mild form of subliminal advertising, the arrow symbolizing forward movement and thinking.
  • The company's planes are named after the children of employees.
  • After Federal Express became known as FedEx and subsequently diversified its operations, it called the original service FedEx Express. Since "FedEx" derives from "Federal Express", this means that "FedEx Express" could be expanded to "Federal Express Express" - a pleonasm.
  • Jeopardy! superchampion Ken Jennings incorrectly asked "What is FedEx?" to the Final Jeopardy! answer: "Most of this firm's 70,000 seasonal white-collar employees work only four months a year." ending his 74-game winning streak. The correct response was "What is H&R Block?," which led to Nancy Zerg's surprise upset.

Naming rights of sports stadiums

External links

Last updated: 10-29-2005 02:13:46