5 Things You Might Not Know About Federal Express

On April 17, 1973, FedEx, called Federal Express at that time, began operations by delivering its first 186 packages, and soon became the premier carrier for the express shipping industry. Here are five things you didn't know about Federal Express.

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FedEx Originally Transported Bonds FedEx didn’t start out as the courier company as it is today. The business plan crafted by founder Fred Smith in 1971, was that FedEx would be a company which would pick up checks from the 12 Federal Reserve banks in the United States, fly them to a central hub and then deliver the checks to the federal reserve member banks the next day. Later, the federal reserve directors changed their mind - and the company was left with no client, two jets and $3.6 million in debt. Forced to re-consider his business plan, Smith decided to instead to create a service providing USA-wide delivery for time-sensitive documents for businesses and consumers.

The Founder Gambled His Last $5,000 In 1974, three years after the company’s birth, FedEx was teetering on the verge of bankruptcy. The company was losing $1 million each month, and was down to only $5,000 in their account. Smith decided to take drastic action. He flew to Las Vegas and he spent the weekend playing blackjack with the company funds. Smith returned to the company headquarters in Little Rock on Monday and told astonished executives that he had managed to turn the $5,000 into $27,000. Soon afterwards, the company captured $11 million in funding.

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The FedEx Logo Contains a Hidden Design Look closely between the letters "E" and "X", and you will see an arrow in the white space between the two letters.  The hidden arrow in the design of the logo provides a subliminal message of getting from point A to point B.. The message was accidentally created in 1994 as the logo designer noticed that putting a capital "E" and a lowercase "X" together created the suggestion of an arrow. The clever use of the negative space between the last two letters has won the logo several awards and makes it one of the most effective logos ever created.

FedEx Invented Tracking Numbers In the late 1970’s FedEx created the tracking number – a set of numbers designed to the track the journey of a package. The system was originally intended for internal quality control but was later released to the general public. Today, tracking numbers are used throughout the courier industry and millions of tracking numbers are entered everyday into fedex.com. 

It's a Really Busy Company FedEx owns the most extensive fleet of air cargo planes in the world, with more than 670 in use to deliver packages. The company handles more than 19 million packages daily. It keeps up with the packages, too, with around 125 million requests by clients who want to track their deliveries' progress.