FedEx–revolutionizing global courier services

Revolutionizing global transportation of packages

In 1965, Yale University undergraduate student, Frederick W. Smith, wrote a term paper that proposed a system designed to quickly and efficiently transport time-sensitive shipments such as medicine and electronic components.

FedEx’s Office 1,860 U.S. Locations

Fedex Office Store Map

Fedex Office Store Map

Although his professor didn’t buy into the idea that Smith had presented in his term paper, in 1971 Smith bought controlling interest in Arkansas Aviation Sales which was located in Little Rock, Arkansas. Through his daily business, he could see how difficult it was to transport packages within a one-to-two day period. Thinking back to his university term paper, the idea of Federal Express took shape. He wanted to create a multinational courier delivery services system that would be fast and reliable.

Wanting a central location for his headquarters, Smith moved it to Memphis, Tennessee as it was rarely closed because of bad weather and, the airport was agreeable to making whatever improvements he needed for his business.

And, we’re off!

Federal Express began operating on April 17, 1973, with 389 team members, 14 packages to deliver and 14 small aircraft.

It was July 1975 before Federal Express saw its first profit, but it quickly became the leading carrier of high-priority goods, setting high standards for the marketplace.

By the 1980s, Federal Express was well established, leaving its competitors behind them. In fiscal year 1983, it became the first company to reach $1 billion in revenues inside 10 years of startup without mergers or acquisitions.

Around the globe

In 1984 service was introduced to Europe and Asia and in 1988, the company initiated service to Japan.

In February 1989, Federal Express integrated the Flying Tigers network and on August 7 of that year, the company became the world’s largest full-service, all-cargo airline. The company had routes to 21 countries, a fleet of Boeing 747s and 727s, and facilities throughout the world.

The company was officially branded FedEx in 1994. One year later, the company expanded its reach by becoming the only U.S.-based all-cargo-carrier to China, the world’s most highly populated country.

FedEx now delivers to customers in more than 220 countries and territories.

There is so much more to the FedEx story

There really is so much more to the great FedEx story. FedEx keeps changing with the world around it. I see the FedEx trucks on my street pretty much every day and, it frequently stops at my house! In fact, FedEx Ground is the only U.S. carrier that provides ground service to every business and residential address in all 10 Canadian provinces, plus Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. FedEx International Ground® offers: Day-definite delivery within 2 to 7 business days. Thank you, FedEx!

P.S. Maybe the professor needs to rethink the grade he put on Smith’s term paper. Hmmm?

Gloria Sauvé
Communications and Marketing

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