Time Flies: FedEx Timeline

It’s not every day an industry is born, but that’s what happened when FedEx Chairman and CEO Frederick W. Smith founded Federal Express. Beginning with overnight shipping and package-status tracking, FedEx has built a portfolio of innovative solutions that connect people and possibilities around the world.

See the history of FedEx »

1965

As a Yale undergraduate, Fred Smith writes a term paper outlining a system to accommodate urgent, time-sensitive shipments. He receives an average grade.

1971

Federal Express Corp. is founded in Little Rock, Arkansas.

1973

On the first night of continuous operation, 389 Federal Express team members and 14 Dassault Falcon jets deliver 186 packages overnight to 25 U.S. cities.

Federal Express relocates operations to Memphis, Tennessee.

1975

Federal Express installs its first drop box.

1977

Thanks to lobbying led by Federal Express, Congress passes Public Law 95-163, enabling cargo airlines to use larger planes with no geographic route restrictions.

Federal Express purchases seven Boeing 727 aircraft, each with a cargo capacity of 40,000 pounds – almost seven times that of the Dassault Falcon.

1978

Federal Express Corporation is listed on the New York Stock Exchange; the ticker symbol is FDX.

1979

Federal Express launches COSMOS (Customers, Operations, and Services Master Online System) to manage people, packages, vehicles, and weather scenarios in real time.

1980

Federal Express implements DADS (Digitally Assisted Dispatch System) to coordinate on-call pickups for customers.

1981

Federal Express introduces the Overnight Letter.

Federal Express begins international delivery with service to Canada.

Federal Express opens its World Hub adjacent to Memphis International Airport.

1983

Federal Express becomes the first U.S. company to reach revenues of $1 billion within 10 years of startup, without merger or acquisition.

1984

The first PC-based automated shipping system, later named FedEx PowerShip®, is introduced.

Federal Express acquires Gelco Express International and launches operations in Asia Pacific.

1986

Federal Express introduces the SuperTracker®, a hand-held bar code scanner system that captures detailed package information.

1987

A four-ton high-press water drill and 5,700 lbs. of equipment are flown to Midland, Texas, to support the rescue of 18-month-old Jessica McClure from a well.

1989

Federal Express purchases Flying Tigers to expand its international presence.

1990

Federal Express becomes the first company to win the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in the service category.

1993

The Federal Express ClearSM Electronic Customs Clearance System is created to expedite regulatory clearance while cargo is en route.

1994

Federal Express officially adopts "FedEx" as its brand recognized as the worldwide standard for fast, reliable service.

FedEx launches fedex.com as the first transportation website to offer online package status tracking, enabling customers to conduct business via the internet.

FedEx Ship® software allows customers to process and manage shipping from their desktop.

1995

FedEx opens the Asia Pacific hub in Subic Bay, Philippines, launching the FedEx AsiaOne® Network.

FedEx acquires air routes from Evergreen International with authority to serve China.

1996

FedEx becomes the first company to let customers process shipments online with the introduction of FedEx interNetShip® (now FedEx Ship Manager® at fedex.com).

1998

FedEx creates FDX Corp., composed of Federal Express, package carrier RPS, LTL carrier Viking Freight, Caliber Logistics, Caliber Technology, and Roberts Express.

FedEx acquires Caliber System Inc.

1999

Federal Express launches its EuroOne® Network, opening a hub at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport.

FedEx Corp. acquires Caribbean Transportation Services.

2000

FDX becomes "FedEx Corporation," with five operating companies: FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, FedEx Global Logistics, FedEx Custom Critical, and FedEx Services.

FedEx introduces customer technology solutions including a redesigned fedex.com, FedEx e-Commerce Builder, FedEx® Global Trade Manager, and FedEx Ship Manager®.

FedEx Ground launches FedEx Home Delivery®, an innovative business-to-residential service, in major U.S. markets.

FedEx Trade Networks is created with the acquisitions of TowerGroup International and WorldTariff®.

2001

FedEx Express forges a public-private alliance with the U.S. Postal Service, shipping some U.S. mail and placing FedEx Express® Drop Boxes at many post offices.

FedEx Corp. acquires American Freightways (now part of FedEx Freight), an LTL carrier serving the 40 eastern states in the U.S.

2002

FedEx Corp. brands two LTL acquisitions as FedEx Freight. American Freightways becomes FedEx Freight East, and Viking Freight becomes FedEx Freight West.

FedEx Trade Networks renames TowerGroup International to FedEx Trade Networks Transport & Brokerage Inc. and WorldTariff to FedEx Trade Networks Trade Services Inc.

FedEx Home Delivery completes its expansion to serve virtually 100 percent of the U.S. population.

2003

FedEx Express introduces its first hybrid-electric truck to the delivery fleet.

2004

FedEx Corp. acquires Kinko's and expands FedEx retail access to all 1,200-plus Kinko's stores — which are re-branded FedEx Kinko's Office and Print Centers.

FedEx expands services for e-tail and catalog segments by acquiring Parcel Direct, a parcel consolidator, later rebranding it as FedEx SmartPost®.

2005

FedEx unveils California's largest corporate solar power installation at its Oakland hub.

FedEx launches around-the-world flights — eastbound and westbound — to provide faster, better connectivity to the major markets around the world.

FedEx announces the development of a new Asia Pacific hub in Guangzhou, China.

2006

Watkins Motor Lines is acquired and rebranded as FedEx National LTL and FedEx Freight Canada, which offer U.S. long-haul, Canadian, and cross-border less-than-truckload (LTL) freight services.

2007

FedEx launches the FedExCup® with the PGA TOUR, also introducing a season-ending competitive element to the schedule.

FedEx Express expands its presence in India with the acquisition of Prakash Air Freight Pvt. Ltd. (PAFEX).

FedEx acquires DTW Group, becoming a wholly owned foreign enterprise (WOFE) and expanding its presence in China.

FedEx Express expands in Europe by acquiring UK domestic express company ANC (later rebranded FedEx UK) and Flying-Cargo Hungary Kft in Eastern Europe.

FedEx Kinko's introduces Print Online, an innovative web-based printing tool allowing customers to access Kinko's printing services from anywhere in the U.S.

2008

FedEx Express introduces Boeing 757 freighters to its fleet; the fuel-efficient 757s demonstrate the company's commitment to environmentally conscious growth.

2009

FedEx introduces SenseAware®, an information service that provides web-based, near-real-time visibility and insight into the condition of shipments in transit.

FedEx Express becomes the first U.S.-based, global, all-cargo freight airline to own a Boeing 777 Freighter, the world's largest twin-engine cargo aircraft.

2010

FedEx introduces the first all-electric trucks to be used in the U.S. parcel delivery business.

2011

FedEx Express acquires several businesses of AFL Pvt. Ltd. and its affiliate, Unifreight India Pvt. Ltd., giving FedEx more robust domestic services in India.

FedEx Express acquires the operations of MultiPack in Mexico, including its pickup and delivery network, warehousing, and logistics services.

FedEx National LTL and FedEx Freight East and West merge, offering two levels of service in a single network: FedEx Freight® Priority and FedEx Freight® Economy.

2012

FedEx Corp. acquires Polish carrier Opek Sp.z o.o., giving FedEx Express access to a nationwide domestic ground network with 12.5 million shipments annually.

FedEx Corp. acquires Rapidão Cometa, one of the largest transportation and logistics companies in Brazil, to grow in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region.

FedEx Corp. acquires TATEX, a leading French express carrier, giving FedEx Express access to a domestic ground network carrying 19 million shipments annually.

2013

FedEx Express takes delivery of its first 767-300 Freighter. It's 30 percent more fuel-efficient and costs 20 percent less to operate than the aircraft it replaces.

FedEx launches FedEx Delivery Manager®, which provides U.S. customers with a range of flexible options to schedule dates, locations, and times of delivery.

2014

FedEx TechConnect opens a 30,000-square-foot package laboratory, which provides free package testing and design services for FedEx customers.

FedEx Corp. acquires Bongo International (rebranded as FedEx Cross Border), a leader in global e-commerce enablement technologies.

FedEx Express acquires Supaswift businesses in South Africa and six other African countries, gaining access to an established ground network in the Southern Africa region.

2015

FedEx Corp. acquires GENCO, one of North America’s largest third-party logistics providers, and rebrands it as FedEx Supply Chain.

A major earthquake hits Nepal. FedEx donates $1 million in cash and in-kind shipping and works with relief organizations to deliver aid worth over $15.3 million.

2016

FedEx Corp. acquires TNT Express — the largest acquisition in FedEx history — expanding access in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Asia-Pacific, and the Americas.

FedEx announces a new global giving platform — FedEx Cares — and commits to investing $200 million in more than 200 communities by 2020.

2017

Multiple natural disasters hit the U.S., Latin America, and the Caribbean, including hurricanes, earthquakes, and wildfires. FedEx works with relief organizations to deliver thousands of tons of medical supplies, food, and water to affected areas.

FedEx opens an International Express and Cargo Hub in Shanghai, China — more than triple the old facility's capacity and able to process 36,000 packages per hour.

FedEx Express begins operating a new around-the-world flight that links TNT’s European air hub in Liège (Belgium) to the FedEx World Hub in Memphis (U.S.).

David J. Bronczek is named president and COO of FedEx Corp.; Frederick W. Smith remains CEO. Bronczek joined FedEx in 1976 as a package handler.

FedEx enters an agreement to place FedEx OnSite locations within Walgreens stores across the U.S., eventually expanding to nearly 8,000 nationwide.

2018

FedEx Corp. expands FedEx Ground U.S. operations to six days per week in response to growing e-commerce demand and record holiday shipping volumes.

FedEx Corp. realigns its supply chain, specialty transportation, e-commerce technology, and trade services companies under FedEx Trade Networks, Inc.

FedEx Corp. acquires P2P Mailing Limited, a leading provider of worldwide e-commerce transportation solutions, including unique last-mile delivery options.