FedEx, properly FedEx Corporation, is a company that offers overnight courier, ground, heavy freight, document copying and logistics services. FedEx is a syllabic abbreviation 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 Little Rock, Arkansas, but moved to Memphis, Tennessee in 1973 after Little Rock airport officials would not agree to provide facilities for the fledgling airline. The name was chosen to symbolize a national marketplace, and help in obtaining government contracts. The company officially began operations on April 17, 1973, utilizing a network of 14 Dassault Falcon 20s which connected 25 U.S. cities. FedEx, the first cargo airline to use jet aircraft for its services, expanded greatly after the deregulation of the cargo airlines sector. Federal Express use of the hub-spoke distribution paradigm in air freight enabled it to become a world leader in its field. The company operates much of its U.S. overnight freight through its Memphis hub. Other U.S. hubs are located in Indianapolis, Newark, Oakland, Anchorage and Alliance, Texas. The Canadian hub operates from Toronto's Toronto Pearson International Airport.

In August 1989 the company acquired Flying Tigers, an international cargo airline. It inherited Flying Tigers's U.S. military transport contract and carried passengers between the continental United States and overseas military installations until October 1992. In January 1998 Federal Express acquired Caliber System, Inc, which owned RPS, Roberts Express, Viking Freight and Caliber Logistics. 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 new identity was revealed to the world on June 24, 1994. The "Federal Express" name was eliminated entirely in 2000, when FDX Corporation changed its name to FedEx Corporation and adopted the tagline "The World On Time".

In 2001, FedEx acquired American Freightways, a leading less-than-truckload carrier in the U.S., combined its operations with Viking Freight and created FedEx Freight. In February 2004, FedEx bought Kinko's, a Dallas-based chain that provides printing and business 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. For several years the company promoted the slogan "Don't panic", particularly on buttons. Throughout Europe, the marketing tag line is "Whatever it takes", referring to the efforts that individual employees will go to ensure that the package arrives on time.

Major competitors include DHL, TNT, UPS, and the USPS.

FedEx is now organized into operating units, each of which has its own version of the logo, designed by Lindon Leader of Leader Creative. In all versions, the Fed is purple. The Ex is in a different color for each division. The corporate logo uses a grey Ex. The original "FedEx" logo saw the Ex in orange; it is now used as the FedEx Express logo. The award winning FedEx logo is notable for containing a hidden right-pointing arrow in the negative space between the "E" and the "X", something that many people don't notice. Even more unnoticed is the hidden spoon in the negative space created by the "e" and the "d."

FedEx Express -- The original overnight courier services. Uses a large fleet of aircraft and local delivery trucks to move packages. Logo color: orange.

FedEx Ground -- Slower delivery times at a cost savings as compared to FedEx Express. Delivers primarily to businesses. Uses a large fleet of trucks which are owned by the independent owner/operators and drivers are independent contractors. 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. Currently, FedEx Home Delivery only operates in the United States, and is not yet available in Canada. To make up the difference, FedEx Ground in Canada performs the business deliveries, as normal, as well as the residential deliveries, that FedEx Home Delivery would usually take.

FedEx SmartPost -- Consolidates parcels, formerly the independent company Parcel Direct.

FedEx Freight -- Less than truckload (LTL) and other freight services. Logo color: red.
o FedEx Freight East -- Formerly American Freightways.
o FedEx Freight West -- Formerly Viking Freight.
o FedEx National LTL -- Formerly Watkins Motor Lines.
o FedEx Freight Canada -- Formerly Watkins Canada Express.
o Caribbean Transport Services -- Up until 2003, a part of FedEx Trade Networks. Provides airfreight forwarding services between the U.S. mainland, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and other Caribbean islands.

FedEx Kinko's -- The retail arm of the FedEx corporation. 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, and also comes with an asterisk shaped logo of three deltas (each green, orange, and blue, representing Ground, Express, and Kinkos, respectively), converging and forming a purple triangle in the middle. (The official letterhead contains this at the upper right of the FedExKinko's name.) Formerly an independent company, it was simply known as Kinko's.
o FedEx Kinko's Office and Print Centers -- Provides a range of media services, including printing, copying, and internet access.
o FedEx Kinko's Ship Centers -- Provides a central location for FedEx customers to deposit their packages for shipping, also offering a self service photocopy and fax machine, a small selection of office products conducive to packing and shipping, an assortment of boxes, packaging services, and almost all materials necessary for shipping through FedEx. Formerly, these locations were FedEx World Service Centers.

FedEx Custom Critical -- Delivers urgent, valuable, or hazardous items using a large fleet of trucks and chartered aircraft. Like ground, drivers are independent contractors. Formerly Roberts Cartage or Roberts Express. Logo color: blue.
o 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.

* Fed Ex changed their main corporate signature color from purple to white for cost savings. Because purple was sensitive to ultraviolet light, it required a special vinyl coating to minimize fading and scuffing as well as frequent repainting of their fleet of planes, vehicles, and drop boxes. Also, the purple pigment on the planes weighs more than white and absorbs more heat which increased fuel and operating costs. According to Bruce McGovert, Landor's Implementation director, "Eliminating the purple field (from Federal Express's old corporate identity) saved as much as $1000 in labor costs and materials on a single 53 foot tractor trailer alone. And the company owns 10,000 of that type vehicle." He adds, removing the purple decreased the plane's surface temperatures by 40 degrees, thus lowering the cost to cool the planes.

* They sponsor NASCAR Rookie Denny Hamlin's #11 Chevy Monte Carlo as well as the Williams Formula 1 team.

* The company's 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 do not notice it. The arrow has been occasionally pointed to as a mild form of subliminal advertising, the arrow symbolizing forward movement and thinking.

* 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 edition 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 University 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 because the paper was not well thought out. In a similar case, a C on a paper by Gregory Watson led to the passage of the Twenty-seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution.

* The company's planes are named after the children of employees.

* FedEx Express contractually flies a large number of packages for United States Postal Service totaling one billion dollars worth of packages per year, making it one of FedEx's biggest customers.

* 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 win.

* There is a popular story that the company almost went bankrupt in its first year, but to make it through the Christmas season, Fred Smith convinced his employees to work at 70% of their wage. He then took all of his money to Vegas and made enough at the tables to weather a few more months until business picked up. In fact, while financial distress was extreme and expense account payments were deferred, the reported voluntary pay cut was never requested or given. The trip to Las Vegas was real, but the company's future was neither wagered nor won that day.

* In 2003 the "FedEx Panda Express" delivered two giant pandas from Beijing, China to the Memphis Zoo.

* The April 25, 2006 episode of Comedy Central's 'The Colbert Report' listed FedEx as the number 2 most dangerous threat to America on its recurring "Threat Down" Segment for donating a substantial amount of money for a Grizzly Bear sanctuary at a major zoo. The show's character host Stephen Colbert is well known for his hatred of bears (the animal usually being the Number 1 threat to America), claiming that they are "godless killing machines," thus giving the company a high ranking for allowing the creaures to thrive.

* On Late Night With Conan O'Brien, Brian Mccann portrays a FedEx Pope, wearing a tattered bathrobe and a FedEx Box as a hat.

* Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary has added the word "FedEx" as a verb in their 2006 edition.

* FedExField (formerly Jack Kent Cooke Stadium) in suburban Landover, Maryland, home of the Washington Redskins of the National Football League.

* FedExForum in downtown Memphis, home of the Memphis Grizzlies of the National Basketball Association and the men's basketball program of the University of Memphis.

* The FedEx St. Jude Classic is a PGA Tour event played annually in May in Memphis.

* FedEx has been the primary sponsor of the Orange Bowl since 1989.

* As of 2007, the PGA FedEx Cup, a points system for the PGA much like NASCAR's Chase for the Cup will be primarily sponsored by FedEx.

* From 1997 until 2002, FedEx was the title sponsor of Champ Car World Series when it was known as CART. The series was known as the CART FedEx Championship Series, which led to the official "Champ Car" designation in reference to the fact they were the FedEx Championship. Ironically, The Nashville Network's Rick Benjamin used the "Champ Car" term a year before CART made it official in 1997.

* FedEx became the sponsor of the #11 NASCAR Nextel Cup car owned by Joe Gibbs Racing in 2005. While the team struggled through much of the season, the late addition of driver Denny Hamlin and crew chief Mike Ford led to success, with a few top-10 finishes in his seven starts in the car late in the season. (A driver can run up to seven races without losing rookie eligibility.) Hamlin became the permanent driver for his rookie year in 2006. Recently this decision scored success as Denny Hamlin won the Bud Shootout and the Pocono 500 in the 2006 season and is the leading candidate for the 2006 Rookie of the Year award. FedEx uses five different paint schemes to showcase its different products, and in 2005 also ran a special scheme to promote a charity event at the FedEx St. Jude Classic golf tournament.

* FedEx sponsors the Williams Formula 1 team. The two cars on the team are driven by Mark Weber of Australia and Nico Rosberg of Germany.Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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