MEMPHIS, Tenn., April 17, 2013 – The company that launched the overnight delivery industry is forty years old.
On April 17, 1973, FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX), then known as Federal Express, began operations at the Memphis International Airport with the delivery of 186 packages to 25 U.S. cities. Today, FedEx and its four operating companies handle more than 9 million packages each day via a high-tech network designed to connect customers by air, land and sea in more than 220 countries and territories worldwide.
“For 40 years, the men and women of FedEx have dedicated themselves to helping our customers connect to the world,” said Frederick W. Smith, chairman, president and chief executive officer, FedEx Corp. “Today, our more than 300,000 team members mark this milestone with a spirit of service and dedication that ensures 40 years is only the beginning.”
To commemorate these decades of success, FedEx will observe a Global Month of Service in April, honoring team members and communities with volunteer projects around the world.
FedEx: Yesterday and Today
Since launching operations in 1973, FedEx has grown into both a driver and indicator of the global economy, linking 99 percent of the world’s GDP. Today, FedEx encompasses diverse yet complementary businesses that cover a full range of logistics and business solutions designed for the needs of today’s global and local commerce.
The company that made its mark with the overnight delivery has adapted to meet the changing needs of its customers over the past four decades, pioneering advances in the process of moving and tracking goods around the world. Its portfolio now includes a robust variety of shipping options including Ground, Freight and Ocean-based services, as well as business solutions designed to meet the needs of customers from start-ups to international corporations.
From the beginning, the company’s innovative “hub and spoke” approach to transportation and seamless integration of cutting-edge IT systems set FedEx apart, and laid the groundwork for a sophisticated network capable of moving millions of packages around the world. On its busiest day since its launching 40 years ago, December 18, 2012, FedEx processed 19.8 million packages. It is estimated that FedEx has shipped more than 31 billion packages since 1973.
For more details on the FedEx of today and tomorrow, flip through the company’s online corporate brochure.
Forty Years of Innovation
In 1978, FedEx founder and Chairman Fred Smith famously said, “The information about the package is just as important as the package itself.” The company’s firm belief in the power of information and access – reflected in Smith’s quote – is at the very core of every innovative solution it has brought to market since 1973.
- 1979: Federal Express launches COSMOS, a centralized computer system to manage people, packages, vehicles and weather scenarios in real time.
- 1984: The first PC-based automated shipping system, later named FedEx PowerShip®, is introduced.
- 1986: Federal Express introduces SuperTracker®, a hand-held bar code scanner system that captures detailed package information.
- 1994: FedEx launches fedex.com as the first transportation Web site to offer online package status tracking.
- 2003: FedEx Express introduces its first hybrid-electric truck to the delivery fleet.
- 2007: FedEx Office Print Online launches, allowing customers to upload and customize their print orders directly via the FedEx.com website.
- 2009: FedEx launches SenseAwareSM, a multi-sensor device paired with web-based monitoring for near real-time shipment insight
Today, FedEx is taking innovation to a new level by investing in the transformation of its IT system networks into a single, hybrid-cloud platform that supports all of the company’s IT functions – processing more than 15 petabytes of data daily and growing.
“The size and scope of the FedEx IT transformation taking place are monumental achievements in the company’s 40-year legacy of innovation,” said Robert B. Carter, Chief Information Officer, FedEx Corp. “FedEx is enabling one of the world’s largest commercial, mission-critical, real-time IT systems to successfully take advantage of cloud technology and modernized application software systems, a feat that will enhance the customer experience and set the stage for FedEx to lead with other technologies for years to come.”
Forty Years of Service
Extending a long-standing tradition of service, FedEx has declared April as a Global Month of Service for team members worldwide. Around the world, team members are organizing and volunteering in support of their favorite organizations. FedEx will be further supporting these efforts by distributing $40,000 in non-profit grants.
In addition to the Global Month of Service anniversary activities, more than 600 U.S.-based team members will roll up their sleeves for urban environmental sustainability projects in 15 cities as part of the company’s annual EarthSmart Outreach program with the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) this month. Team members will be working alongside local nonprofits that have received grants from FedEx and the NFWF foundation, to carry out urban conservation projects in the community. The FedEx and foundation grants, totaling more than $550,000 in 2013, will be matched with grants from local municipalities and agencies to yield more than $1 million in support for these critical environmental projects.
To learn more about how FedEx team members have come together throughout the company’s history to address need in their communities and beyond, visit www.fedexcares.com.
For historical b-roll, images and additional FedEx anniversary information, visit http://about.van.fedex.com/40th-anniversary.
FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $44 billion, the company offers integrated business applications through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world's most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 300,000 team members to remain "absolutely, positively" focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. For more information, visit news.fedex.com.