FedEx is traditionally America's second largest package delivery service (after UPS), and one of the top three worldwide with a network that covers 220 countries as well as every address in the United States. It leads the market in overnight express delivery and claims to operate the world's largest all-cargo airline, in addition to its extensive ground service in North America. The group also controls the global retail chain FedEx Office - formerly Kinko's - with more than 2,200 wholly owned standalone outlets offering a range of business-oriented printing, copying and postal services. The company is in the process of opening 500 FedEx Office concessions inside US Walmart stores, and there are separate partnerships in place with Walgreens, Dollar General, Kroger and Albertsons for package drop-offs, and with the US Postal Service for airport-to-airport transfers of regular mail. In 2015, the group announced plans to acquire Dutch rival TNT Express for €4.4bn, significantly boosting its presence in Europe. TNT continued to operate as a separate brand in Europe for the first few years, but was phased out entirely by mid 2020. The addition of TNT has given a significant lift to revenues, which hit a record $69.7bn for the year to May 2019, but slipped back to $69.2bn for ye 2020 as a result of the impact of the Covid pandemic on international deliveries. Net income was $1.3bn. FedEx handled an average of just under 16.0m packages every day by land and by air during the year, including well over 25m a day over the peak holiday season. It is a major sponsor of sporting events in the US including golf's PGA Tour, the NFL, various tennis tournaments and the UEFA Cup soccer competion. The company is still led by Frederick W Smith, who founded Federal Express Corporation in 1971 at the age of just 27. Exploiting his keen interest in aviation, he set out to offer the first overnight air delivery service, initially covering 25 US cities. The business gradually expanded, adding an international service in the early 1980s. It moved beyond express delivery for the first time in 1998 with the purchase of Caliber System, which owned several ground freight services. Kinko's was acquired in 2004.
Capsule checked 14th October 2020
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Adbrands Daily Update 7th Nov 2019: "Gift Box". For Fedex's Christmas ad, BBDO New York taps into one of those secret truths known by every child and seemingly forgotten by every adult: a big cardboard gift box is often more exciting than what's inside it. And considerably cheaper too! BBDO keeps delivering the goods for Fedex, a client for well over two decades. Unlike rival carriers, with BBDO's assistance, Fedex has cornered the market in humorously memorable campaigns. Prehistoric comedy spot "Stick" - from the 2006 Super Bowl - still ranks as one of the greatest of all time. (See below)
Adbrands Social Media 27th Apr 2018: FRIDAY CLASSIC: FedEx "Stick" by BBDO NY (2006). Delivery company FedEx was a Super Bowl regular for several years in the mid-2000s and was usually happy to give long-standing agency partner BBDO New York considerable freedom to run with memorable and unusual ideas. The previous year's Big Game campaign had featured movie star Burt Reynolds, a dancing bear, a cute kid and gorgeous cheerleaders as four of the supposed "Top Ten" ingredients for the perfect Super Bowl ad. How to top that? BBDO NY ECD Eric Silver assigned creative team Jonathan Mackler and Jim Le Maitre to the project. ...[Story continues here]..
Adbrands Weekly Update 1st Mar 2018: America's gun laws have been in a bright and unwavering spotlight since the Parkland school shooting two weeks ago, and corporate responses to that horror finally began to filter through this week. More than 20 leading US brands have severed promotional ties and discount partnerships with the National Rifle Association in response to a social media campaign to which several survivors of the incident have given their support. They include Delta and United airlines, MetLife, Symantec, Best Western hotels and car rental operators Hertz, Avis and Enterprise. The NRA reacted to the outcry with (possibly ill-advised) outrage and defiance, accusing these brands of a "shameful display of political and civic cowardice" as well as a lack of patriotism. FedEx was one of the few companies to reject calls for a boycott. The NRA, it said, is one of hundreds of organisations with whom it has a discount partnership. "FedEx has never set or changed rates for any of our millions of customers around the world in response to their politics, beliefs or positions on issues." A few days later, however, FedEx's resolve seemed to have wavered a little, when it issued a new statement "clarifying" its position. It does not offer a discount to the NRA itself, but only to companies and individuals who are members. However, arch-rival UPS, it pointed out, does have a direct partnership with the NRA.
The furore puts companies in a difficult position. Even Warren Buffett, legendary investor and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, but also a Democrat politically, weighed in on the issue. "I think it's a mistake to start getting personal views and trying to impose them on an organization," he told CNBC. "What the [boycott organisers] are doing is very admirable, but I don't think Berkshire should say we're not going to do business with people who own guns. I think that would be ridiculous." Perhaps the first truly constructive step forward came from retail chain Dick's Sporting Goods, which said it will no longer sell assault rifles or high capacity magazines at its Field & Stream specialist hunting goods subsidiary. Mainline Dick's stores had already stopped selling assault weapons in 2012 after Sandy Hook. Dick's also raised the age limit for purchase of any firearms in its stores from 18 to 21 years of age. Shortly afterwards, Walmart and Kroger's Fred Meyer chain followed suit in barring sales to under-21s. Both had already previously stopped selling assault weapons.
Adbrands Weekly Update 23rd Mar 2017: Ads of the Week "Dream". Longtime agency partner BBDO New York delivers a charming fantasy for global delivery giant Fedex. It's good to see that US borders remain open for robots, rocking horses and rollerblades.
Adbrands Weekly Update 9th Apr 2015: Delivery giant FedEx is to expand its presence in Europe with the acquisition of regional rival TNT Express for €4.4bn. The Dutch group is currently controlled by the Netherlands's main postal services supplier PostNL via a minority stake. An attempt by FedEx's US rival UPS to buy the business two years ago for €5.2bn was blocked by regulators on competition grounds, because UPS already had a significant presence in Europe. However, FedEx is much less established in the region and says it does not expect any such regulatory problems. TNT has around 12% share of regional deliveries, according to ING, more than double FedEx's 5%. The merger would catapult the combined business into second place ahead of UPS, which has 16%. Market leader DHL commands 19% share.
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