FedEx was born out of a college paper written by founder Frederick W. Smith at Yale in 1965. Smith wrote a paper about the need for a new shipping industry to optimize urgent shipping needs, especially for air freight shippers. His system addressed time-sensitive shipments like medicine, computer parts, and electronics. Unfortunately, Smith received a very average grade on the paper, but very fortunately for the rest of the world, he chased his idea and vision.
Smith purchased controlling interest in Arkansas Aviation Sales and was able to gain valuable insight into the logistics of shipping packages big and small. After years of working with the company, he decided to begin Federal Express, known today as FedEx. In 1973, FedEx officially began operating with 389 team members. Fourteen small aircraft took off on April 17 of that year with 186 packages to deliver to 25 U.S. cities. The company quickly became a go-to for all high-priority shipping needs across various industries. FedEx also began lobbying for air cargo deregulation during this time. This legislation was crucial for business and would allow for the use of larger aircraft, spurring rapid growth. That legislation and lobbying served as the foundation for FedEx having the world’s largest all-cargo fleet.
FedEx reported $1 billion in revenues in 1983, making it the first American business to reach that financial benchmark within its first ten years and without mergers or acquisitions. The mergers and acquisitions came later and in rapid fashion. FedEx offers shipping services, package tracking, design and print services, as well as support for businesses small and large looking to make their shipping strategies more efficient. It remains a leading shipping and logistics company. By prioritizing efficiency and simplicity at all levels, from shipping logistics to corporate structure, FedEx is able to get out 3.6 million packages each business day and help the globe move fast and stay connected.
942 South Shady Grove Road
Memphis, TN 38120
Phone: (901) 818-7500
Executive Chairman & CEO: Frederick W. Smith
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