Docking in Memphis | The FedEx World Hub

Docking in Memphis | The FedEx World Hub

What we learned from our private tour of the FedEx World Hub:

With the volume of packages and orders we process, having a great relationship with shipment carrier is critical. Our partnership with FedEx has proven to be a match made in heaven.

With over 850 acres, 40+ miles of conveyor belts, and over 11,000 employees to process roughly 1.3 million packages a day, it is difficult to overstate the FedEx operational process. 

Through our private tour, we were able to see just how much pride every member of the FedEx team takes in their work. From the eight flight simulators (each one costs $15 million) to the sorting matrix to the Boeing 777's on the tarmac, every piece of the FedEx puzzle moves at peak efficiency. 

Before diving into what we learned, I want to first give you a glimpse of the tour and FedEx process. 

The Arrival:

From 9:30 PM to 1:00 AM over 150 FedEx cargo planes land every night. And by 4:30 AM each plane is already on its way to a new destination. To put this in better perspective, FedEx purchased 1.27 billion gallons of fuel in 2018 alone. 
 

via FedEx

Watching the team unload a cargo plane looks a lot like a NASCAR pitstop. As soon as the plane stops securely, a team rushes up with a stairway for the pilots while another team opens the cargo doors and begins unloading. Their goal is to unload a Boeing 777, the largest plane in the FedEx fleet, in under one hour and 7 minutes. Yes, they are that specific. The scene from Cast Away with the clocks, it really is accurate. FedEx is obsessed with time, in a good way.

The Matrix: 

Our next stop was the Matrix, or beginning of the mid-size package sort. When the packages hit the matrix, it is like a tidal wave of cardboard. 

 

via FedEx

During the Matrix process, packages are separated by sizes and/or destinations via 12 barcode scanners and 19 diverters. A diverter is a device that moves a package from one conveyor to another conveyor. 

 via FedEx

After miles and miles of conveyor belts, mid-size packages are loaded back onto a cargo plane and await departure to their final destination. 

The small parcels are a whole other animal. This is how we ship the majority of our two-day shipments. When your customers select "Expedited Shipping" at checkout, this is likely how we will ship their order. 

Small packages enter the facility and are scanned and ride yet another conveyor. The system deposits the packages in the proper bin and they are loaded onto the outgoing plane. 

 

via FedEx

By the time we left the FedEx facility, all of the packages we watched arrive during our tour were already en route to their final destination. 

The Partnership: 

Our visit to FedEx was a great opportunity to see FedEx from the employee side. The employees genuinely care about their work and FedEx genuinely cares about their employees. They are proud of their work and excited about the direction FedEx is going. We are too. 

This blog post basically reads like a FedEx commercial, because in some ways it is. FedEx is a critical component of 1776 Consulting. We specialize in taking online orders and getting them to the customer in the most cost-effective and efficient manner. When orders leave one of our warehouses, our job is only halfway done. The order still has to arrive at the customer's door. That is where FedEx is able to excel.