FedEx Ground Moving Via Express?

Discussion in 'FedEx Discussions' started by MrFedEx, Jul 7, 2009.

  1. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    It was brought to my attention today that FedEx Express aircraft are now flying Ground packages. We aren't supposed to know this, but it's happening. Perhaps we should all mention this at our next station meeting and watch the manager's jaw hit the floor.

    This may be a prelude to XS and E2 going over to Ground, or it might just be a utilization of excess lift capacity. Either way, aren't these operations claimed to be separate according to Mr Smith? That kind of makes a lot of the claims on bogus, doesn't it? More lies and cover-ups from the master of both.


    That ranks up there with "you will NEVER see Express packages on a Ground truck..." that was when FredEx bought RPS, a month later, saw EXPRESS packages on a GROUND truck. Also, the hub near me (not the ramp) has been moving Ground freight through it for some time now.
  3. Broke

    Broke Member

    Another thing to consider is Ground pkgs are in my dropbox daily and I have to transport them back to my station where a Ground driver comes by each day at 5:30 and picks up all ground pkgs at our station.Though I can't scan these pkgs, this is another example of our operations not being completely seperate.
  4. DorkHead

    DorkHead Active Member

    I see the FDX ground driver picking up Express letters at one of my pickups 2 or 3 times a week.
  5. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

  6. FedEx All the Way!

    FedEx All the Way! New Member

    OH MY GOD! Is there anything you don't know about Fred or FedEx? You really are something else. You're always on top of everything. Maybe UPS can use you over on their side against FedEx -
  7. Brown287

    Brown287 Im not the Mail Man!

    From what I understand isnt it actually against the law for either FDX Ground or FDX Express from moving each others packages. Apart from just another example of what we all know to be true, its is actually due to the fact that currently FDX Ground is covered under the NLRA and Express is under the RLA. Its actions like this that show the true level of integrity at Fed Ex. Which is zero!
  8. FedEX 4 Life

    FedEX 4 Life New Member

    What proof do you have of this?
  9. Just Numbers

    Just Numbers Retired

    What proof do you have that this is not happening?
  10. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    An aircraft FDR showing Ground freight onboard and conversations with the ramp agents who had knowledge of same. You don't even work for FedEx, so you wouldn't have any idea of what I just wrote.
  11. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    You're right.. I AM on top of it because it is in my best interests to remain informed. That would make me the polar opposite of you...uninformed, speculative, and naive.
  12. upssalesguy

    upssalesguy UPS Defender

    awww poor fredexers. i think there is going to be some major cry in this thread from the two fedex honks.
  13. upssalesguy

    upssalesguy UPS Defender

    they tell their customers they are completly seperate. it is lying, plain and simple.
  14. Ricochet1a

    Ricochet1a New Member

    I haven't been able to confirm this on my own, but it does make some sense. Express aircraft are flying with many voids on them, and if they can fill up those spaces with Ground freight out of the Memphis market, they can cut a day or two on shipping time to the east and west coasts. By moving Ground packages at "Express" speed, FedEx may be trying to steal market share from UPS out of the Memphis market and possibly the entire south east.

    All FedEx has to do is have the Express "company" charge the lowest possible rate for the space on the aircraft, and Ground would pay that. It is just shifting money from one pocket to another if this is what is going on. The aircraft have to fly, so might as wll fill them up with something, the marginal increase in cost for having that extra weight on the aircraft is practically nil. It would amount to about $3 in fuel for every extra 100 pounds moved to either the east or west coast. If they are adding 15,000 pounds to the aircraft, the marginal cost increase would be about $500 or so. Well worth the price if they can shave a couple of days of the transit time off of Ground packages in an effort to take market share.

    It would be all part of the charade of FedEx claiming Express and Ground are two separate operating companies, but are cooperating with each other at every opportunity.
  15. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    So then it would be as though Ground were leasing space on the aircraft as the UPS deal with DHL was supposed to be? Or that FedEx leases aircraft to the USPS? So does the closeness of the relationship even matter? We have co-locations where Home Delivery pays a portion of the lease at a Ground facility. Would that be along the same lines?
  16. Ricochet1a

    Ricochet1a New Member


    The closeness of the relationship in this case DOES matter because of the artificial divide between Express and Ground. Express and Ground are organized with one primary intent, to keep unions out at any expense. Express has the RLA and Ground has the IC model. The reality isn't as important here as is the politics and perception.

    The more and more it gets out that Ground and Express have "ties", the less and less Fred will be able to keep arguing that they are completely separate operating companies that should have different rules attached to each regarding the status of employees (or those who just happen to wear a FedEx uniform, but aren't "officially" employees).

    Fred's plans include the integration of Express and Ground to the extent where Ground will someday soon start delivering non-overnight Express volume. This will be pulled off with a changing of money from one pocket of FedEx Corporation to the other. Express will "pay" a fee per piece that is transferred to Ground for delivery, and Ground will receive that fee to cover their costs of making said delivery. From the stand point of the "separate" operating companies (Express and Ground), it will be a payment for service provided by another "company". From the perspective of FedEx Corporation, it will be a movement of funds under the Express ledger, over to the Ground ledger. FedEx keeps all the money under its name, and is able to get delivery accomplished with the lower cost structure of Ground. Fred-o-nomics at work.

    It is of course legal, but it does raise issues about the supposed independent operation of each company under FedEx Corporation. When the cooperation between companies under a master corporation is this close, it does create issues with perception and the politics of having both the RLA and IC model operating at the same time. No one but Fred would even dream of trying to pull off such a charade, but it looks like he may just pull it off.

    The way it looks, Express will keep its RLA classification, and Fred will wait for the storm to die down before he starts diverting non-overnight volume over to Ground. Once this happens, he won't have to worry about Express unionizing. Express will be turned into a near total part-time employee operation, and Ground will be chugging away delivering packages for a fraction of the cost structure of either Express or UPS. The days of FedEx providing middle class employment for its employees (whether they are Express of the Ground "helpers") will have come to an official end. FedEx will have completed its transformation into a low wage company, with a core of salaried professionals making sure it all keeps moving on time. The dream of every MBA out there.
  17. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    Exactly my point. But what I don't understand is why in the long run the RLA classification will even matter. If that classification were to be changed to the NLRA, wouldn't that merely hasten the transformation? In that case why would he even need the appearance of two companies?
  18. Ricochet1a

    Ricochet1a New Member

    The RLA classification matters because it keeps unions out in the short term (next 5 or so years). If Express was organized under NLRA and Fred started to shift volume over to Ground, the Express Couriers WOULD immediately start to organize and strike. Even the slow witted would understand that Fred's plan would mean the near elimination of the full-time Express Courier and would shut down Express to stop it. As part of any union negotiation, Express couriers would include a demand that all Express volume stay within Express, no outsourcing. The exact same issue that the FedEx aviation mechanics are wanting to include in a potential contract, no outsourcing of work.

    If Fred had to sign a contract that would agree to keep all Express volume within Express, it would tie his hands with regard to cutting his cost structure. So in reality, it is all a matter of timing from Fred's perspective. From Fred's perspective, he has to keep the unions out to let him progress on his schedule. A union could possibly ruin his plans to move volume over to Ground (clause to not outsource in a contract).

    1. Defeat all attempts to get Express reclassified under NLRA. (Looking good for FedEx).

    2. Maintain the IC model of Ground. (Managed to defeat numerous legal challenges to this structure).

    3. Implement the technology (ROADS) in Express to enable Couriers to be taken off the AM sort and replaced with low wage handlers to run the sort, load the trucks and get all pieces into stop order. (In progess for the past year, should have the software perfected in another 12-18 months).

    4. Begin/complete the installation of caster decking in Ground terminals to enable cargo containers of non-overnight Express volume to be transferred directly to Ground for sorting and delivery by Ground IC's. (In progress).

    5. Start the transfer of Express volume to Ground to save on delivery expense. (Probably start 18-24 months from now).

    6. Begin the elimination of full time Couriers within FedEx. All routes would be reconfigured to require a part-time Courier. No full-time Courier would be eliminated, but should they retire or quit, the position would be transformed into a part-time position. Full-time Couriers still on the job would be required to make overnight deliveries in the AM, take an extended break, then perform a pick-up route in the late afternoon. (Will presumably start at the same time Express volume is transferred to Ground). Not many full-time Couriers will like working a 3-4 hour morning shift, taking an extended break mid day (in the field) then working a 3-4 hour afternoon shift. I'm sure part of the transformation would require all full-time Couriers to work a 4x10 schedule instead of a 5x8, meaning no opportunity for overtime. Not many would put up with this for more than a year or so.

    It is all a matter of timing for FedEx (as is all things). If a union were to get into the mix before this was completed, Express could be shut down by striking Couriers and Fred would have the FedEx brand suffer because of the disruptions. Fred is dependent on the Couriers continuing their work as if nothing is going to happen; THEN he can make the change to the business models of both Ground and Express. He needs the non-unionized Express Courier to continue like nothing is going to happen to them for the next couple of years. THEN he can drop the bomb and start the transformation. All the Kool-Aid drinking Couriers would be left scratching their collective heads wondering what the heck happened. What will have happened is that they will have given FedEx the opportunity to pull their career out from under their feet and they were none the wiser for it while it was going on.

    Fred has engaged in behavior like this before. When Flying Tigers was acquired in '84 (I think that is the date), there were "flight attendants" with Flying Tigers. Flying Tigers offered passenger service on their aircraft to help get some additional revenue. In order to have passengers, there had to be flight attendents. The Flying Tigers flight attendents were unionized at the time of its acquisition by FedEx. Fred gave the option to the flight attendents to either de-certify their union, or he'd shut down the passenger service aboard the now FedEx jets. The attendents didn't de-certify and FedEx eliminated all passenger service aboard its jets, the attendents were no longer needed and eliminated. Fred kept out a non-pilot union, even at the expense of losing revenue. This is how far Fred will go to keep out a union. He's done it with Express, he did it with the choosing of the business model of Ground, and he's going to continue to do it until he can turn Express into a part-time operation.
  19. FedEX 4 Life

    FedEX 4 Life New Member

    Thats not proof.
  20. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    An FDR is a manifest showing exactly what is onboard the aircraft and it's destination. Sorry, but that IS concrete proof. Like I said, if you actually worked for FedEx you'd have a clue. Ground is moving via Express...that's it. Tell your manager that the cat is out of the bag.