Trivia Tuesday: FedEx takes off - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Trivia Tuesday: FedEx takes off

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Under the Federal Express brand, the company delivered 186 packages to 25 U.S. cities overnight. (Photo Source: FedEx) Under the Federal Express brand, the company delivered 186 packages to 25 U.S. cities overnight. (Photo Source: FedEx)
The fleet of Dassault Falcon jets took off about two years after founder Fred Smith gave birth to the idea of a company that provides an efficient distribution system. (Photo Source: FedEx) The fleet of Dassault Falcon jets took off about two years after founder Fred Smith gave birth to the idea of a company that provides an efficient distribution system. (Photo Source: FedEx)
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - With the launch of 14 small aircrafts from the Memphis International Airport, the shipping giant FedEx officially began operations this week on April 17, 1973. Under the Federal Express brand, the company delivered 186 packages to 25 U.S. cities overnight.

The first flight not only marked the beginning of FedEx, but the start of the express industry as a whole, according to the company.

The fleet of Dassault Falcon jets took off about two years after founder Fred Smith came up with the idea to create a company that provides an efficient distribution system. The company moved headquarters from Little Rock, Ark. to the Bluff City—selected for its geographical center to target market cities for small packages.

"A computer-controlled apparatus will sort the packages at the rate of 10,000 per hour," wrote Commercial Appeal reporter Bruce Sankey in 1974. "Seventy minutes after arriving, all packages can be en route to the destination city aboard the same planes that brought them to Memphis. At the destination city, the packages will be picked up by courier truck and delivered to consignees."

Fast forward 40 years: Daily, global operations continue with speed and reliability. But now, FedEx planes land at the rate of one every 90 seconds when evening sort begins at the hub, which covers 862.8 acres alongside the Memphis airport.

FedEx's 660 aircrafts serve more than 200 countries and territories; FedEx ground delivers to every street address in the United States.

"Our success would not be possible without the personal dedication of our 300,000 team members worldwide," wrote FedEx Chairman, President, and CEO Fred Smith when the company celebrated its 40th year. "You can count on FedEx, based on 40 years of operations as of April [2013], to continue doing what's right for our shareowners, customers, team members and the communities we serve. We are dedicated to continuing to make a better and more prosperous world as a result."

See vintage photos of FedEx operations in photos pulled from the company's archives: http://www.wmctv.com/slideshow?widgetid=110532&clienttype=generic&mobilecgbypass.

 


 

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