Fedex Case Study

Fedex Case Analysis

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, which was used from 1973 until 2000. The company is known for its overnight shipping service and pioneering a system that could track packages and provide real-time updates on package location, a feature that has now been implemented by most other carrier services.

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 Concordesupersonic 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 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 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; Ambien, Phentermine, Diazepam, and Alprazolam, 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 as it looks to expand their operations in Europe.

Fedex Case Study
Industry Courier
Founded 1971; 47 years ago
(as Federal Express Corporation)
Little Rock, Arkansas
Founder Frederick W. Smith

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