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On Its Busiest Night, FedEx Express is Prepared to Deliver Peace of Mind; Experience, Planning, Employee Spirit Help Customers Relax.

Business Editors

MEMPHIS, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 22, 2003

Tonight, businesses and individuals will entrust more than four and a half million holiday packages to the FedEx Express network.

It's the busiest night of the year for FedEx Express, capping a peak season for FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) operating companies that began in September with increasing volumes at FedEx Freight and set another all-time daily record for FedEx Ground on Dec. 15, with more than 3.2 million packages.

Yet, there's still time for procrastinators. FedEx Express will deliver on Christmas Eve, so customers can be assured of just-in-time delivery if they ship by the close of business on Tuesday, Dec. 23.

After that, while customers relax a bit - it's FedEx, after all - the people of FedEx will be doing anything but. Armed with years of experience, months of planning and an intricate network of planes, trucks and electronic impulses, they will again help make the holidays happen, on time, for millions of customers.

Large, Small Shippers Depend On FedEx

Shippers of all sizes are counting on that network this week, more than ever, to reliably reach their gift-giving customers in time. One of the largest, L.L. Bean (, is celebrating a decade-long relationship with FedEx.

"We're constantly working with each other so that every day, the customer gets the best possible service, and that's much easier to do because both companies are focused on providing excellent customer service" said Jim Helming, director of logistics at L.L. Bean's headquarters in Freeport, Maine. "In December alone, we will have given FedEx more than three million packages, and we have every confidence that our shipments will get to our customers when they're supposed to."

About 100 miles down I-95 from Freeport, Tuesday Evans runs a much smaller operation, but she's no less impressed with the ability of FedEx to help her reach customers in the U.S., Canada and Europe with her specialty, a world-class American-style torte. Evans, who started Empire Torte ( two years ago in her home kitchen near Boston, now employs five others at a commercial facility making her signature chocolate-rich dessert.

"We invest a lot of time and effort into each torte, making them by hand in a very deliberate process, and FedEx handles each one with the same level of care and respect that we do," Evans said. Empire Torte ships more than half its annual volume between Nov. 1 and Christmas.

Planning Starts In January

Planning for the holiday season begins almost a year in advance, when FedEx conducts a January "post audit" to review successes and look for opportunities to improve. By July, international operations planning is already underway and by September, tentative domestic schedules are developed.

"We go final with these schedules in mid-October, but we continually make adjustments throughout the holiday period in response to customer needs," said Lenny Feiler, senior vice president of Central Support Services at FedEx Express. That's when the day-to-day contingency planning comes into play and the FedEx Global Operations Command and Control (GOCC) department takes over the daily operation of the airline. Weather, volume overflows, and aircraft maintenance are all challenges that will be dealt with in the course of a peak volume day.

Employee Volunteers Step In

More evidence of the FedEx attitude of "whatever it takes" comes in the form of a longstanding holiday tradition. From last Thursday night until early Wednesday morning, hundreds of employees will have volunteered to work wherever needed at the vast FedEx Express Superhub in Memphis.

"We as a company need our volunteers during this time to help provide the best service to our customers," Feiler said. "And the volunteers I talk to get a real sense of pride helping us out and a better feel for how this remarkable network actually works."

About FedEx

With annual revenues of $23 billion, FedEx Corp. is the premier global provider of transportation, e-commerce and supply chain management services. The company offers integrated business solutions through a network of subsidiaries operating independently, including: FedEx Express, the world's largest express transportation company; FedEx Ground, North America's second largest provider of small-package ground delivery service; FedEx Freight, the largest U.S. provider of regional less- than-truckload freight services; FedEx Custom Critical, North America's largest provider of expedited time-critical shipments; and FedEx Trade Networks, North America's largest customs broker and a provider of international freight forwarding and trade facilitation services. FedEx ranked highest in the J.D. Power and Associates 2002 Small Package Delivery Service Business Customer Satisfaction Study(SM) in the categories of air, ground and international delivery services.

FedEx Holiday Shipping Facts

Busiest Nights of the Year

-- FedEx Express: Dec. 22, more than 4.5 million express packages

to be handled, compared to normal daily average of 3 million.

-- FedEx Ground: All-time record daily volume on Dec.15 of more

than 3.2 million packages, compared to a normal daily average

of more than 2.1 million.

-- Total Peak Volume Day: Nearly 7.5 million packages in the

FedEx Express and FedEx Ground networks (combined) on Dec. 15. Holiday Activity

-- This holiday season, is processing an average of 2.9

million daily online tracking requests and has managed more

than 3.7 million online tracking requests in one day.

-- Volume of packages shipped through will grow by

almost 45 percent when compared to the 2002 holiday season.

-- Usage of our online shipping tool will increase by more than

40 percent from last year's holiday season.

-- More than 26 million contacts are expected to be made to, an approximate 15 percent increase from the 2002

holiday season.

FedEx Drop-Off Network

-- About 50,000 FedEx Express drop-off points nationwide.

-- Approximately 1,200 staffed FedEx World Service Centers.

-- FedEx Authorized ShipCenters at more than 6,200 locations.

-- More than 40,000 drop boxes, including:

-- 5,000 drop boxes at U.S. Post Offices

-- 1,068 at Kinko's locations

-- 466 at Staples locations, and

-- 519 at Office Max/Copy Max locations
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 22, 2003
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