FedEx at Forty: Introduction

Every city gains a reputation through the products and businesses it supports. Over time, that reputation shifts into energy that permeates the nature and character of the city, one that is felt by both locals and tourists alike. FedEx has not only changed the way people do business through its overnight transportation services and logistics, it has changed the history of Memphis, which is now synonymous with the global enterprise headquartered here.

For 40 years now, FedEx has built a name for itself around the world as a leader for logistics, innovation, and philanthropy, all against the backdrop of Memphis. From what was once just an improbable idea from a man named Fred Smith, global commerce was transformed and a new market invented. Starting off with a mere 14 planes, Federal Express literally took off on a wing and a prayer. But thanks to Smith’s business-savvy and his employees’ sheer determination, FedEx is now like one gigantic well-oiled machine. As we salute this milestone in FedEx’s journey, you’ll see everything from the employee badges of the early days to technologically sound innovations for the future. And since you don’t get to your 40th birthday without a few interesting moments, we’ve sprinkled in 40 fun facts about FedEx.

With accounts of how it all began, anecdotes from the very first night, profiles of many of the people who make it all happen, the company’s innovative achievements, and its local and global philanthropic efforts, you’ll see how the company became a trusted household name, and why 40 is just a new beginning for FedEx.

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