Parcel powerhouse FedEx Corp. today marked the 50th anniversary of its founding, coming just weeks after the company made some fundamental changes to prepare for future growth.
Founded by Frederick W. Smith in 1973, the Memphis-based logistics provider now connects over 220 countries and territories, employs over 530,000 people, and is the second-highest revenue earner of all U.S. parcel carriers, behind only UPS Inc.
Even with that market leverage, FedEx says it needs to continually evolve to modern business conditions. Now holding the title of executive chairman, Smith stepped down as president in 2018 and as CEO in 2022, handling the keys to the corporate delivery van to Raj Subramaniam.
And earlier this month, Subramaniam unveiled a cost-cutting plan that will consolidate most of its operating companies into a single organization, bringing FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, FedEx Services, and other FedEx operating companies into an umbrella unit called Federal Express Corp. The lone exception to the realignment is FedEx Freight, which will continue to provide less-than-truckload (LTL) freight transportation services as a stand-alone company under that parent organization.
That consolidation isn’t expected to be complete until June 2024, and in the meantime, the company is celebrating its heritage. To mark the anniversary, FedEx has arranged for various facilities and airports to be lit up in its signature orange and purple colors. And employees are delivering a day of community service opportunities by volunteering their time and donating items to agencies in need.
Examples include the culmination of 50 Days of Caring—a fifty-day countdown of community service works—and the completion of its “FedEx Cares 50 by 50” goal, a plan launched in 2019 to positively impact 50 million people by its 50th birthday.
In addition, the company today announced the “Founder’s Fund,” a philanthropic endowment created to honor Smith and his legacy as a business leader and changemaker in communities around the world. Its corporate philanthropic arm, FedEx Cares, is committing $2 million to kick off the fund and envisions annual beneficiaries to include innovative veteran entrepreneurs and nonprofit organizations chosen by team members for their outstanding volunteer engagement.