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FedEx Corporation (NYSE: FDX), originally known as FDX Corporation, is a logistics services company, based in the United States with headquarters in Memphis, Tennessee. The name “FedEx” is a syllabic abbreviation of the name of the company’s original air division, Federal Express, which was used from 1973 until 2000.
FedEx Corporation is a Delaware corporation, incorporated October 2, 1997. FDX Corporation was founded in January 1998 with the acquisition of Caliber System Inc.by Federal Express. With the purchase of Caliber, FedEx started offering other services besides express shipping. Caliber subsidiaries included RPS, a small-package ground service; Roberts Express, an expedited shipping provider; Viking Freight, a regional, less than truckload freight carrier serving the Western United States; Caribbean Transportation Services, a provider of airfreight forwarding between the United States and the Caribbean; and Caliber Logistics and Caliber Technology, providers of logistics and technology solutions. FDX Corporation was founded to oversee all of the operations of those companies and its original air division, Federal Express.
In January 2000, FDX Corporation changed its name to FedEx Corporation and re-branded all of its subsidiaries. Federal Express became FedEx Express, RPS became FedEx Ground, Roberts Express became FedEx Custom Critical, and Caliber Logistics and Caliber Technology were combined to make up FedEx Global Logistics. A new subsidiary called FedEx Corporate Services was formed to centralize the sales, marketing, customer service for all of the subsidiaries. In February 2000, FedEx acquired Tower Group International, an international logistics company. FedEx also acquired WorldTariff, a customs duty and tax information company, TowerGroup and WorldTariff were re-branded to form FedEx Trade Networks.
FedEx Corp. acquired privately held Kinko’s Inc. in February 2004 and rebranded it FedEx Kinko’s. The acquisition was made to expand FedEx retail access to the general public. After the acquisition, all FedEx Kinko’s locations exclusively offered only FedEx shipping. In June 2008, FedEx announced that they would be dropping the Kinko’s name from their ship centers, with FedEx Kinko’s changing to FedEx Office.
In December 2007, the Internal Revenue Service of the United States ‘tentatively decided’ that FedEx Ground Division might be facing a tax liability of $319 million for 2002, due to misclassification of its operatives as independent contractors. Reversing a 1994 decision which allowed FedEx to classify its operatives that own their own vehicles, the IRS is auditing the years 2003 to 2006, with a view to assessing whether similar misclassification of operatives has taken place. FedEx denies that any irregularities in classification have taken place, but is facing legal action from operatives claiming benefits that would have accrued had they been classified as employees.
On October 22, 2008, the Internal Revenue Service withdrew its tentative assessment of tax and penalties for the 2002 calendar year ($319 million plus interest) against FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. (“FedEx Ground”) relating to the classification of FedEx Ground’s owner-operators for federal employment tax purposes.
In June 2009, FedEx began a campaign against UPS and the Teamsters union, accusing its competitor of receiving a bailout in an advertising campaign called “brown bailout“. FedEx claims that signing the Federal Aviation Administrationre-authorization bill, which would let some of its workers unionize more easily (and, according to the Memphis-based company, “could expose [its] customers at any time to local work stoppages that interrupt the flow of their time-sensitive, high-value shipments”), is equivalent to giving UPS a ‘bailout’. Independent observers have heavily criticized FedEx’s wording, claiming that it was “an abuse of the term”. FedEx staff are regulated under the Railway Labor Act.