Frederick W. Smith
Frederick W. Smith: Inventor of express logistics and founder of FedEx
US businessman Frederick Smith invented express logistics and founded FedEx, the world’s first overnight express delivery company. Smith is also considered to be the man who came up with the idea of air freight hubs.
|Field||CEP services, transport logistics, logistics services, airfreight|
|Current position||CEO of FedEx, USA|
|Born||August 11, 1944 in Marks, Mississippi, USA|
|Induction into the Logistics Hall of Fame||2016, Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure,
|Congratulary Speaker||Dorothee Bär, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Minister
of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, Berlin, Germany.
Logistics Coordinator of the German Government.
- Frederick W. Smith was born on August 11, 1944 in Marks, Mississippi. In 1966 he received his Bachelor’s degree in Economics at Yale University and then served more than five years in the Marine Corps, including as a platoon commander and pilot in Vietnam.
- In his thesis he penned down his idea of having his own overnight express airline to carry air freight. His professors liked the sound of the idea but thought it was unrealistic. Such as system was far-fetched and not sufficiently practical, the professors said in their assessment of Smith’s thesis. Yet his idea proved to be the launching pad for his billion dollar company Federal Express and a model for successful express logistics worldwide. A frequently heard anecdote is that Smith established the company simply to prove to the professors that it was possible to reach any destination in the world within 24 hours.
- In 1971, Smith turned his idea into reality by setting up an express delivery company called Federal Express in Little Rock (Arkansas). The venerable epithet "Federal" – akin to the Federal Reserve Bank – was seen as a way of winning government contracts. In 1973, the company moved to Memphis (Tennessee), its current headquarters, and began operations there on April 17, 1973.
- Besides its home airport of Memphis (Tennessee), the "superhub", the company operates express delivery hubs in the USA, Canada, Latin America/Caribbean, Europe/Africa/Middle East and Asia/Pacific.
- Many air freight companies continue to copy the FedEx system devised by founder Smith, with couriers accepting shipments until noon, grouping them together, resorting them according to destination and putting them back on aircraft.
- Federal Express was the first transport company to deploy modern jet aircraft. The company started out with 14 Dassault Falcon 20 jets and had 398 employees who sent 186 shipments to 25 US cities. In 1989, Federal Express bought the internationally-operating dedicated air freight carrier Flying Tiger Line. Today, FedEx operates one of the world's largest air freight fleets.
- FedEx benefited enormously from deregulation in the US air transport sector and expanded. Deregulation came about largely through Smith's own lobbying. In 1994, Smith’s intervention was instrumental in the US Congress passing a law was that deregulated the transportation of goods. The law allowed him to purchase larger aircraft and open new routes. In 1998, the company acquired Caliber System, Inc., Roberts Express, Viking Freight and Caliber Logistics. Soon afterwards he acquired American Freightways. The combined companies were renamed FDX Corp. FedEx recently took over rival TNT Express.
- FedEx has even changed the English language, because "to fedex” is now synonymous in America for sending parcels overnight. Once a week Smith reportedly phones Alan Greenspan, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank. Fred Smith's American dream ultimately came true.
- Smith is currently Chairman, President and CEO of FedEx Corp.
Born August 11, 1944 in Marks, Mississippi, son of James Frederick Smith
1962 to 1964 studied at Yale University
1966 to 1969 served with the US Marine Corps (medals: Silver Star, Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts for his service in Vietnam)
1971 founded Federal Express with starting capital of 4 million US dollars