FedEx Corporation
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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

FORM 10-K

(Mark One)

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended May 31, 2021.

OR

 

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from                      to                     .

Commission file number 1-15829

FedEx Corporation

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in its Charter)

 

 

 

Delaware

62-1721435

(State or Other Jurisdiction of

Incorporation or Organization)

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

 

 

942 South Shady Grove Road, Memphis, Tennessee

38120

(Address of Principal Executive Offices)

(ZIP Code)

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (901) 818-7500

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Title of each class

 

Trading Symbol

 

Name of each exchange on which registered

Common Stock, par value $0.10 per share

 

FDX

 

New York Stock Exchange

0.450% Notes due 2025

1.625% Notes due 2027

0.450% Notes due 2029

1.300% Notes due 2031

0.950% Notes due 2033

 

FDX 25A

FDX 27

FDX 29A

FDX 31

FDX 33

 

New York Stock Exchange

New York Stock Exchange

New York Stock Exchange

New York Stock Exchange

New York Stock Exchange

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None

Indicate by check mark if the Registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes  No

Indicate by check mark if the Registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act. Yes  No

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes  No

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Registrant was required to submit such files). Yes  No

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Large accelerated filer

Accelerated filer             

Non-accelerated filer

Smaller reporting company 

Emerging growth company 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the Registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes  No

The aggregate market value of the common stock held by non-affiliates of the Registrant, computed by reference to the closing price as of the last business day of the Registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, November 30, 2020, was approximately $70.2 billion. The Registrant has no non-voting stock.

As of July 15, 2021, 267,348,232 shares of the Registrant’s common stock were outstanding.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Portions of the Registrant’s definitive proxy statement to be delivered to stockholders in connection with the 2021 annual meeting of stockholders to be held on September 27, 2021 are incorporated by reference in response to Part III of this Report.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

Certain statements in this Annual Report on Form 10-K (this “Annual Report”), including (but not limited to) those contained in “Item 1. Business;” “Item 1A. Risk Factors;” “Item 2. Properties;” “Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities;” the “Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic,” “Business Realignment Costs,” “Income Taxes,” “Outlook” (including segment outlooks), “Liquidity Outlook,” “Contractual Cash Obligations and Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements,” and “Critical Accounting Estimates” sections of “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Results of Operations and Financial Condition;” and the “Description of Business Segments and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies,” “Long-Term Debt and Other Financing Arrangements,” “Income Taxes,” “Retirement Plans,” “Commitments” and “Contingencies” notes to the consolidated financial statements in “Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” are “forward-looking” statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 with respect to our financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, plans, objectives, future performance and business. Forward-looking statements include those preceded by, followed by or that include the words “will,” “may,” “could,” “would,” “should,” “believes,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “estimates,” “targets,” “projects,” “intends” or similar expressions. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those contemplated (expressed or implied) by such forward-looking statements, because of, among other things, the risk factors identified above and the other risks and uncertainties you can find in our press releases and other Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filings.

As a result of these and other factors, no assurance can be given as to our future results and achievements. Accordingly, a forward-looking statement is neither a prediction nor a guarantee of future events or circumstances and those future events or circumstances may not occur. You should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this report. We are under no obligation, and we expressly disclaim any obligation, to update or alter any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

 

 

 


 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

Page

 

 

PART I

 

 

 

ITEM 1. Business

3

ITEM 1A. Risk Factors

23

ITEM 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments

34

ITEM 2. Properties

34

ITEM 3. Legal Proceedings

38

ITEM 4. Mine Safety Disclosures

38

               Information about our Executive Officers

39

 

 

PART II

 

 

 

ITEM 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

41

ITEM 6. Selected Financial Data

41

ITEM 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Results of Operations and Financial Condition

41

ITEM 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

73

ITEM 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

74

ITEM 9. Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

116

ITEM 9A. Controls and Procedures

116

ITEM 9B. Other Information

116

 

 

PART III

 

 

 

ITEM 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

117

ITEM 11. Executive Compensation

117

ITEM 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

117

ITEM 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

117

ITEM 14. Principal Accountant Fees and Services

117

 

 

PART IV

 

 

 

ITEM 15. Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

118

ITEM 16. Form 10-K Summary

127

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


- 1 -


 

 

 

 

 

EXHIBITS

 

 

 

Exhibit 4.1

 

Exhibit 10.44

 

Exhibit 10.68

 

Exhibit 10.69

 

Exhibit 10.70

 

Exhibit 21

 

Exhibit 22

 

Exhibit 23

 

Exhibit 24

 

Exhibit 31.1

 

Exhibit 31.2

 

Exhibit 32.1

 

Exhibit 32.2

 

Exhibit 101.1 Interactive Date Files

 

Exhibit 104 Cover Page Interactive Data File

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


- 2 -


 

 

PART I

ITEM 1. BUSINESS

Overview

FedEx Corporation (“FedEx”) was incorporated in Delaware on October 2, 1997 to serve as the parent holding company and provide strategic direction to the FedEx portfolio of companies. FedEx provides a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services through operating companies competing collectively, operating collaboratively and innovating digitally, under the respected FedEx brand. These companies are included in the following reportable business segments:

 

FedEx Express: Federal Express Corporation (“FedEx Express”) is the world’s largest express transportation company, offering time-definite delivery to more than 220 countries and territories, connecting markets that comprise more than 99% of the world’s gross domestic product.

 

FedEx Ground: FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. (“FedEx Ground”) is a leading North American provider of small-package ground delivery services. FedEx Ground provides low-cost, day-certain service to any business address in the U.S. and Canada, as well as residential delivery to 100% of U.S. residences through its FedEx Home Delivery service. FedEx Ground Economy specializes in the consolidation and delivery of high volumes of low-weight, less time-sensitive business-to-consumer packages.

 

FedEx Freight: FedEx Freight Corporation (“FedEx Freight”) is a leading North American provider of less-than-truckload (“LTL”) freight services across all lengths of haul to businesses and residences. Within the contiguous U.S., FedEx Freight offers FedEx Freight Priority, when speed is critical to meet a customer’s supply chain needs; FedEx Freight Economy, when a customer can trade time for cost savings; and FedEx Freight Direct, a service to meet the needs of the growing e-commerce market for delivery of heavy, bulky products to or through the door for residences and businesses. FedEx Freight also offers freight delivery service to most points in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

 

FedEx Services: FedEx Corporate Services, Inc. (“FedEx Services”) provides sales, marketing, information technology, communications, customer service, technical support, billing and collection services, and certain back-office functions that support our operating segments. 

The FedEx Office and Print Services, Inc. (“FedEx Office”) operating segment provides document and business services and retail access to our package transportation businesses. Additionally, the FedEx Logistics, Inc. (“FedEx Logistics”) operating segment provides customs brokerage and global ocean and air freight forwarding through FedEx Trade Networks Transport & Brokerage, Inc. (“FedEx Trade Networks Transport & Brokerage”) and integrated supply chain management solutions through FedEx Supply Chain Distribution System, Inc. (“FedEx Supply Chain”). FedEx Office and FedEx Logistics are included in “Corporate, other and eliminations” in our segment reporting. For more information about FedEx Office and FedEx Logistics, please see “FedEx Office Operating Segment” and “FedEx Logistics Operating Segment.”

For more information about our reportable segments, please see “Business Segments.” For financial information concerning our reportable segments, refer to “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Results of Operations and Financial Condition” and “Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Annual Report.

 

The coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic continues to have a profound impact on our industry. As an essential business, FedEx has kept the world’s healthcare, industrial and at-home supply chains moving while maintaining the safety of our team members, our customers and the communities in which we operate as our top priority. For more information about the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on FedEx’s business, results of operations and financial condition, see “Item 1A. Risk Factors” and “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Results of Operations and Financial Condition” of this Annual Report.

Our website is located at fedex.com. Detailed information about our services, e-commerce tools and solutions, and citizenship efforts can be found on our website. In addition, we make our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and all amendments to such reports available, free of charge, through our website, as soon as reasonably practicable after they are filed with or furnished to the SEC. The Investor Relations page of our website, investors.fedex.com, contains a significant amount of information about FedEx, including our SEC filings and financial and other information for investors. The information that we post on the Investor Relations page of our website could be deemed to be material information. We encourage investors, the media and others interested in FedEx to visit this website from time to time, as information is updated and new information is posted. The information on our website, however, is not incorporated by reference in, and does not form part of, this Annual Report.

- 3 -


 

Except as otherwise specified, any reference to a year indicates our fiscal year ended May 31 of the year referenced. References to our transportation segments include, collectively, the FedEx Express segment, the FedEx Ground segment, and the FedEx Freight segment.

Strategy

 

At FedEx, we are building “the network for what’s next.” Our new strategic operating principles unveiled during 2021, “compete collectively, operate collaboratively, innovate digitally,” guide how we grow, execute and evolve as a company and help differentiate FedEx from our competitors.

The collective FedEx brand unites our distinct operating companies, giving us our competitive edge. Further, our strategy allows us to manage our business as a portfolio, in the long-term best interest of the enterprise. As a result, we base decisions on capital investment, expansion of delivery, information technology and retail networks, and service additions or enhancements upon achieving the highest overall long-term return on capital for our business as a whole. For each FedEx operating company, we focus on making appropriate investments in the technology and assets necessary to optimize our long-term earnings performance and cash flow. Our business strategy also provides flexibility in sizing our operating companies to align with varying macroeconomic conditions and customer demand for the market segments in which they operate, allowing us to leverage and manage change. Volatility, uncertainty and evolution have become the norms in the global transportation market, and we are able to use our flexibility to accommodate changing conditions in the global economy, including the continued growth of e-commerce. To that end, we continue to modernize our aircraft fleet with more fuel efficient and lower-emission aircraft, expand our operations at FedEx Ground where we continue to see growing package volumes, realign our systems and develop innovative service offerings.

 

While we believe that operating independent networks, each focused on its own respective markets, enhances service quality and reliability from each business unit, we are building a holistic, collaborative approach to compete in a dynamic and ever-changing market. By operating collaboratively, we help ensure that we have the right package in the right network and at the right cost-to-serve. For example, last-mile optimization, the delivery of certain U.S. day-definite FedEx Express packages by FedEx Ground, allows us to increase efficiency and lower our cost-to-serve. Additionally, FedEx Freight is providing road and intermodal support for both FedEx Ground and FedEx Express, and FedEx Express is working with FedEx Logistics to secure air charters for U.S. customers.

 

Innovation inspired our start at FedEx nearly 50 years ago, and it is fueling our future. The size and scale of our network gives us key insights into global supply chains and trends. This foundation provides an immense amount of data we can use to build better insights, increase visibility and improve the customer experience. To fully harness the power of this data, during 2021 we launched FedEx Dataworks, a new organization focused on putting our data into context and using it to transform the digital and physical experiences of our customers and team members. We are also increasing capabilities and products through sensor-based technologies and providing enhanced visibility and predictive capabilities. See “FedEx Services Segment — Customer-Driven Technology” below for more information on FedEx SenseAware ID, FedEx Surround and other FedEx innovations.

 

At FedEx, “Safety Above All” is the first and foremost value in every aspect of our business. We are committed to making our workplaces and communities safer for our team members, customers and the public. This philosophy is embedded in our day-to-day work through rigorous policies, continual education and engagement and investments in technology designed to prevent accidents.

Additionally, by focusing on the following three key areas, we believe we will continue to uniquely position FedEx for long-term success:

 

E-commerce: The acceleration of trends experienced in 2021 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the importance of our ongoing strategic e-commerce initiatives, which include FedEx Ground seven-day-per-week residential U.S delivery coverage; investing in technologies to optimize last-mile deliveries; expanding capabilities to better handle large items; offering FedEx Freight Direct, the first FedEx-branded through-the-door service; and accelerating the expansion of our retail convenience network.

 

Operational Excellence: Our competitive advantage in the marketplace is fueled by a keen focus on operational excellence and customer service. We are strategically focused on efficiency and continued investments in people, capacity and technology to optimize our networks.

 

Digital Innovation: We are reimagining our digital capabilities and infrastructure in a manner that we believe will deliver enhanced customer experiences that are simple, personal and proactive. Additionally, we are continually investing in automation and other technologies to safely, efficiently and sustainably handle the growing volume of shipments that flow through our network each day.

- 4 -


 

Through our global transportation, information technology and retail networks, we help to facilitate an ongoing and unprecedented expansion of customer access — to goods, services and information. We believe it would be extremely difficult, costly and time-consuming to replicate our global network, which reflects decades of investment, innovation and expertise, includes the world’s largest all-cargo air fleet and connects more than 99% of the world’s gross domestic product. We continue to position our companies and team members to facilitate and capitalize on this access and to achieve stronger long-term growth, productivity and profitability.

During 2021 and early 2022, we have introduced a number of innovative solutions, advanced important long-term business initiatives and made other important investments that benefit our customers, team members and communities, including:

 

Delivering COVID-19 vaccines, critical personal protective equipment and medical supplies, and providing other transportation and logistics support to humanitarian relief agencies as they respond to the pandemic.

 

Committing to achieve carbon neutrality for our global operations by calendar 2040 and helping establish the Yale Center for Natural Carbon Capture to advance sequestration solutions.

 

Launching FedEx Dataworks and acquiring ShopRunner, Inc. (“ShopRunner”), an e-commerce platform that directly connects brands and merchants with online shoppers. Additionally, we announced a new multi-year collaboration with Adobe, starting with the integration of ShopRunner with Adobe Commerce’s Magento platform, which we expect will be available to Adobe merchants in late calendar 2021.

 

Introducing new technologies such as SenseAware ID, a lightweight sensor-based logistics device that provides real-time updates on a package’s location within the FedEx Express network, and exploring the use of autonomous technologies with ongoing testing of Roxo, the FedEx SameDay Bot, and a multi-year, multi-phase agreement to test Nuro’s next-generation autonomous vehicle technology.

 

Further collaborating between operating companies through last-mile optimization with FedEx Express and FedEx Ground, which has expanded to more than 60 markets across the U.S., and other initiatives.

 

Expanding FedEx Ground seven-day-per-week residential delivery coverage to virtually all of the U.S. population.

 

Finalizing the rollout of dynamic route optimization technology at FedEx Ground, which provides service providers near real-time data to plan efficient delivery routes.

 

Completing the integration of FedEx Ground Economy (formerly FedEx SmartPost) packages previously given to the U.S. Postal Service (“USPS”) into FedEx Ground standard operations.

 

Adding new and expanded facilities and automation solutions to optimize FedEx Ground network capacity.

 

Strengthening the FedEx Express international business by completing the integration of the FedEx Express and TNT Express linehaul and pickup-and-delivery operations and introducing enhanced Europe-to-the-U.S. overnight and European e-commerce services with FedEx International Priority Express and FedEx International Connect Plus.

 

Continuing to grow our retail convenience network and digital e-commerce business, with significantly increased customer usage of our FedEx Delivery Manager and FedEx Returns Technology offerings.

 

Establishing a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (“DEI”) Depot, an online platform to create more awareness of DEI-related resources, events and team member stories across operating companies.

Reputation and Responsibility

By competing collectively under the FedEx brand, our operating companies benefit from one of the world’s most recognized brands. FedEx is one of the most trusted and respected companies in the world, and the FedEx brand name is a powerful sales and marketing tool. Among the many reputation awards we received during 2021, FedEx ranked 16th in FORTUNE magazine’s “World’s Most Admired Companies” list — the 21st consecutive year FedEx has ranked among the top 20 in the FORTUNE Most Admired Companies list, with 15 of those years ranking among the top 10. During 2021 FedEx was also named one of the “TIME100 Most Influential Companies” by Time magazine and was recognized as the biggest transportation and logistics company in the world by Forbes. Additionally, FedEx was named one of “America’s Most Responsible Companies” by Newsweek in 2021, ranking higher than any other “Travel, Transport & Logistics” company included on the list.

Along with a strong reputation among customers and the general public, FedEx is widely acknowledged as a great place to work. For example, FedEx was listed as one of “America’s Best Large Employers” and one of “America’s Best Employers for Diversity” by Forbes in 2021.

- 5 -


 

Through our environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) strategies, FedEx connects the communities where we live and work in remarkable ways. Our 2021 ESG Report is available at fedex.com/en-us/sustainability/reports.html. This report discusses our ESG strategies and programs and includes important goals and metrics that demonstrate our commitment to fulfilling our responsibilities in these areas. Information in our ESG Report is not incorporated by reference in, and does not form part of, this Annual Report.

Human Resource Management

Our Culture

 

At FedEx, it is our people—our greatest asset—that give us our strong reputation and stand at the heart of our success. In addition to our superior physical and information networks, FedEx has an exemplary human network. Across the globe, our 570,000 team members are united by our passion to deliver the FedEx Purple Promise—to make every FedEx experience outstanding—and our People–Service–Profit principles.

 

Our success depends on the talent, dedication and well-being of our people. As we grow, we strive to recruit, retain, develop and provide advancement opportunities for our team members. We continually work to make FedEx an inclusive, equitable and growth-focused workplace where all team members have the opportunity to flourish.

 

Safety

 

Our longstanding “Safety Above All” philosophy is the first and foremost value in every aspect of our business. It is backed by strict policies, robust team member education, safety recognition awards and continued investment in technology. Across the enterprise, we are committed to making our workplaces and communities safer for our team members, customers and the public. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we implemented numerous measures to keep our team members, customers and communities safe while on the front lines operating in impacted areas and providing connectivity and delivery of critical medical supplies around the world.

 

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

 

We believe that DEI delivers a better future for all team members, customers, suppliers and communities. As a global company, we see exceptional business and community value in the diversity of perspectives and experiences that our team members bring to work every day. While we are proud of what we have achieved during our almost 50-year history, we know that DEI must always be at the forefront of our business strategy.

 

The FedEx workforce is as diverse as the world we serve, and we believe that everyone deserves respect. We are committed to be a diverse, equitable and inclusive employer. This year, we added the word equity to the title of our enterprise-wide efforts, formalizing our commitment to creating a workplace where everyone has fair treatment and equal opportunity to succeed. We also established four consistent, strategic pillars across our enterprise to frame our DEI work and share our progress: Our People; Our Education and Engagement; Our Communities, Customers, and Suppliers; and Our Story. While we provide a consistent framework for DEI, each operating company structures and operationalizes its approach separately to account for regional differences in regulations and cultures.

Compensation and Benefits

 

We provide our team members with competitive healthcare, wellness and other benefits to support their quality of life and enable them to thrive in the workplace. In addition, we offer competitive retirement benefits to eligible U.S. team members.

 

We conduct periodic benchmarking analyses to ensure our pay remains competitive. In addition, FedEx regularly assesses internal pay equity. In each pay analysis, we adjust for job tenure, region, performance and other variables that can influence pay over time.

All eligible full-time and part-time employees and their eligible dependents receive competitive health benefits. In the U.S., we cover approximately 70% of total eligible health and disability costs for part- and full-time employees at the plan level for our approximately 219,000 participating employees.

 

 

- 6 -


 

 

The COVID-19 pandemic took an unprecedented toll on the emotional and mental welfare of many. To support team members’ mental health, we offer 24/7 confidential counseling services to employees, eligible dependents and all household members, even if they are not participating plan members. We frequently communicate with employees on how to access these resources to promote their use across the enterprise, with an increased focus on mental health resources this year.

Learning and Development

 

As our team members commit to delivering the Purple Promise, we remain committed to providing all our people with learning and development opportunities to advance their careers at FedEx. Training and development begins with our enterprise-wide content for new employees—Core New Employee Orientation—which provides a consistent onboarding experience across our operating companies on topics such as safety, security, compliance, sustainability and DEI. Beyond training opportunities, we provide ongoing career development tools, opportunities and education for all full-time employees. Each operating company designs and manages its own leadership and development programs in support of its unique needs.

 

We are committed to supporting team members who wish to pursue higher education in a variety of ways. In 2020, we provided over $15 million in tuition assistance to nearly 10,000 employees to further their education. In addition, Learning inspired by FedEx (LiFE)—a partnership between multiple FedEx operating companies and The University of Memphis—allows many employees the opportunity to earn a tuition-free, fully online degree. Eligible employees include all U.S.-based FedEx Logistics and FedEx Trade Networks Transport & Brokerage employees, all Memphis-based FedEx Supply Chain employees and FedEx Express employees at 16 major hub locations in the U.S.

 

Employee Engagement

 

We value feedback from our team members, looking to understand their concerns and expectations and, where possible, acting on them. We provide several avenues to listen to and engage with our team, including annual surveys, employee networks and direct feedback. FedEx conducts annual engagement surveys to measure employee satisfaction on Culture, Engagement and Diversity and we share the results with senior leaders to inform leadership development plans and additional changes as needed.  

 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of our team members moved to remote work settings. We are reevaluating how and where team members work to provide flexibility, increase effectiveness and optimize our workspaces.

 

Tenure, Promotion and Turnover

 

Every day, we work hard to earn and maintain the loyalty of our team members by creating a workplace culture that supports their aspirations and provides benefits and opportunities to support their quality of life and development. Globally, FedEx hired more than 300,000 full- and part-time team members in 2020. Excluding TNT Express employees and U.S.-based FedEx Supply Chain employees, in 2021 turnover for part-time team members, primarily package handlers, was 183%, while full-time team member turnover was 23%.

Our Community

FedEx is committed to actively supporting the communities we serve worldwide through the strategic investment of our people, resources and network. FedEx Cares, our global community engagement program, is one way we work to connect people and possibilities. We provide financial contributions, in-kind charitable shipping services and team member volunteering to help non-profit organizations achieve their goals and make a measurable impact on the world. We focus our effort in the following three areas:

 

Delivering for Good: Lending our global network and our unparalleled logistics expertise to organizations with mission-critical needs and helping communities before, during and after crises.

 

Global Entrepreneurship: Advancing women and minority-owned small businesses globally through training and increased access to resources, capital and new markets.

 

Sustainable Logistics: Helping scale existing solutions and investing in new ideas to improve mobility, reduce congestion and decrease pollution in communities around the world.

In 2020 we launched FedEx Cares 50 by 50 with the goal of positively impacting 50 million people around the world by our 50th anniversary in 2023. FedEx also supports communities throughout the U.S. with its annual FedEx Cares United Way giving campaign. For additional information on our community involvement and our FedEx Cares strategy, visit fedexcares.com.

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We remain committed to helping lift local economies by investing in people and communities where we live and work. In the U.S., this includes seeking diverse suppliers and strengthening our supply chain by sourcing from small, minority- and women-owned businesses. We are also proud of our long-standing history of supporting and fostering relationships with organizations that are working to make our society more equitable and just, such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the National Civil Rights Museum. In 2021 we announced the launch of the FedEx E-Commerce Learning Lab, which is designed to help diverse small business owners looking to develop or expand their e-commerce operations, with a focus on women and entrepreneurs of color.

The Environment

At FedEx, we remain steadfast in our commitment to minimize the impacts our business has on the environment. In March 2021 we announced our goal to achieve carbon neutrality for our global operations by calendar 2040. To help reach this goal, we are designating more than $2.0 billion of initial investment in vehicle electrification, sustainable energy and carbon sequestration, including a pledge of $100 million to Yale University to help establish the Yale Center for Natural Carbon Capture.

Our “Practical Sustainability” philosophy and “Reduce, Replace, Revolutionize” approach guide our environmental strategy across three key areas of our environmental footprint: our aviation fleet, our vehicle fleet and our facilities. Throughout FedEx, team members are encouraged to implement our sustainability strategy and achieve our goals. We equip team members with a variety of internal programs to advance our progress in reducing fuel emissions, energy use and waste in the workplace.

To reduce the cost of fuel use and associated greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions, we are replacing many of our older airplanes with more fuel-efficient models, and we have implemented efficiencies in flight operations through our global FedEx Fuel Sense program. These two initiatives saved more than 255 million gallons of jet fuel and avoided more than 2.0 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions in 2020. A global increase in volume exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the retirement of certain older aircraft and led us to fall short of our goal to reduce aircraft emissions intensity by 30% from a 2005 baseline by calendar 2020. However, in 2020, we achieved a 27% reduction in aircraft emissions intensity since 2005 through a combination of our aircraft fleet modernization and operational programs. We have also established a goal of obtaining 30% of our jet fuel from alternative fuels by calendar 2030.

We strive to employ the most advanced vehicle technologies to efficiently and safely move packages across our networks. FedEx Express has established a goal to increase vehicle fuel efficiency by 50% from a 2005 baseline by calendar 2025. Through 2020, our efforts collectively resulted in a 45% improvement in FedEx Express vehicle fuel efficiency from our 2005 baseline.

We have an impressive global alternative fuel fleet with nearly 4,100 alternative fuel vehicles, including hybrid, electric, liquified or compressed natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. In 2021 FedEx Express agreed to purchase 500 electric vehicles from General Motors’ BrightDrop, and we recently conducted several successful initiatives involving electric vehicles in our operations. We plan to transition the entire FedEx parcel pickup-and-delivery fleet to zero-emission electric vehicles by calendar 2040, using a phased approach to replace existing vehicles. For example, by calendar 2025, we expect 50% of FedEx Express global pickup-and-delivery vehicle purchases will be electric, rising to 100% of all purchases by calendar 2030, subject to availability. We are developing innovative charging infrastructures to support the continued rollout of our electric vehicle fleet, and across our operating companies we continue to electrify our forklift, airport ground service equipment and other non-road vehicles.

Our zero-emission FedEx SameDay Bot and pilot drone delivery service, which are discussed in more detail below under “FedEx Services Segment — Customer-Driven Technology,” have potential to serve as environmentally friendly alternatives for last-mile residential package deliveries. We also continue to leverage the efficiency of intermodal rail transport for long-haul shipping at FedEx Ground and FedEx Freight, and promote the use of electric vehicles and alternative fuels by independent service providers in our shipping network. Additionally, we are working with manufacturers to test and pilot zero-emission vehicle technology for long-haul trucks, and strive to implement the optimal technology and drive operational efficiency across our long-haul fleet.

The efficient operation of our more than 5,000 air and ground hubs, local stations, freight service centers and retail locations is critical to achieving our business and sustainability goals. Where appropriate, we adopt the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (“LEED”) standard in the U.S. and the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (“BREEAM”) in Europe to guide efficient facility design and construction of state-of-the-art facilities. FedEx Express has committed to seek LEED or BREEAM certification on all new U.S. and European FedEx Express buildings where appropriate. FedEx has 32 LEED-certified facilities across all of our operating companies. At the end of 2020, approximately 450 FedEx facilities were certified to the ISO 14001 environmental management system standard.

As part of our goal to become carbon neutral by calendar 2040, we are advancing on-site renewable energy generation and procuring renewable energy to help us to continue reducing our GHG footprint. Across our operating companies, 26 FedEx locations generate on-site renewable energy, and we are evaluating opportunities to purchase off-site renewable energy.

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We also work to optimize packaging, including through reusable options, reduce packaging waste and maximize recycling to make the best use of our resources, reduce emissions and ship packages more efficiently. FedEx Office carefully manages the responsible sourcing, use and recycling of paper used for commercial copy and print services. During 2020, 99.8% of all paper purchased by FedEx Office was third-party certified. Our operating companies are optimizing their recycling programs through close collaboration with their waste management vendors. We are also working with our customers to reduce packaging materials to decrease their waste management costs.

For additional information on the ways we are minimizing our impact on the environment, see fedex.com/en-us/sustainability.html.

Governance

The FedEx Board of Directors is comprised of a majority of independent directors and is committed to the highest quality corporate governance and accountability to stockholders. Our Board of Directors periodically reviews all aspects of our governance policies and practices, including our Corporate Governance Guidelines (the “Guidelines”) and our Code of Conduct, in light of best practices and makes whatever changes it deems appropriate to further our longstanding commitment to the highest standards of corporate governance. The Guidelines and the Code of Conduct, which apply to all of our directors, officers and employees, including our principal executive officer and senior financial officers, are available under the ESG heading on the Investor Relations page of our website at investors.fedex.com. We will post under the ESG heading on the Investor Relations page of our website information regarding any amendment to, or waiver from, the provisions of the Code of Conduct to the extent such disclosure is required.

Business Segments

The following describes in more detail the operations of each of our principal operating segments:

FedEx Express Segment

FedEx Express

Overview

FedEx Express invented express distribution nearly 50 years ago in 1973 and remains the industry leader, providing rapid, reliable, time-definite delivery of packages and freight to more than 220 countries and territories through an integrated global network. In 2016, we acquired TNT Express, a leading international express transportation, small-package ground delivery and freight transportation company.

FedEx Express offers a wide range of U.S. domestic and international shipping services for delivery of packages and freight, connecting markets that generate more than 99% of the world’s gross domestic product through door-to-door, customs-cleared service, historically with a money-back guarantee. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in March 2020 we temporarily suspended our money-back guarantee for all FedEx Express services. In April 2021 we reinstated the money-back guarantee for select FedEx Express U.S. domestic and U.S. import/export services. However, as of July 15, 2021, the money-back guarantee remains suspended for other FedEx Express services as we continue to experience unprecedented volume and customer demand as well as limited aircraft capacity. FedEx Express’s unmatched air route authorities and extensive transportation infrastructure, combined with leading-edge information technologies, make it the world’s largest express transportation company. As of May 31, 2021, FedEx Express employed approximately 289,000 employees and had approximately 77,000 drop-off locations (including FedEx Office stores and FedEx OnSite locations, such as approximately 18,000 Walgreens, Dollar General and Albertsons stores), 684 aircraft and approximately 87,000 vehicles in its global network.

FedEx Express also provides time-critical shipment services through FedEx Custom Critical, Inc. (“FedEx Custom Critical”) and cross-border enablement and technology solutions and e-commerce transportation solutions through FedEx Cross Border Holdings, Inc. (“FedEx Cross Border”) and its subsidiary FedEx Cross Border (UK) Limited (formerly P2P Mailing Limited).

Services

FedEx Express offers a wide range of U.S. domestic and international shipping services for delivery of packages and freight. FedEx Express offers three U.S. domestic overnight package delivery services: FedEx First Overnight, FedEx Priority Overnight and FedEx Standard Overnight. FedEx SameDay service is available 365 days a year throughout all 50 states for urgent shipments up to 150 pounds. FedEx Express also offers U.S. express overnight and deferred freight services to handle the needs of the time-definite freight market.

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International express and deferred package delivery is available to more than 220 countries and territories, with a variety of time-definite services to meet distinct customer needs. FedEx International Economy provides time-definite delivery typically in two to five business days. FedEx International First provides time-definite delivery to select postal codes in more than 25 countries and territories, with delivery to select U.S. ZIP Codes as early as 8:00 a.m. from nearly 200 countries and territories in one or two business days, delivery by 10:00 a.m. in one business day from the U.S. to Canada and by 11:00 a.m. in one business day from the U.S. to Mexico. FedEx Express also offers domestic pickup-and-delivery services within certain non-U.S. countries, including France, the United Kingdom, Australia, Brazil, Italy, Canada, Mexico, Poland, India, China and South Africa. In addition, FedEx Express offers comprehensive international express and deferred freight services, real-time tracking and advanced customs clearance.

In 2021 we introduced new service offerings to enhance our international portfolio. Our enhanced FedEx International Priority service provides end-of-day time-definite delivery in one to three business days to more than 220 countries and territories, and our FedEx International Priority Express service provides midday time-definite delivery in one to three business days to more than 20 countries and territories. Additionally, FedEx International Connect Plus, a contractual e-commerce service currently available from ten origin countries to 25 destination countries, provides day-definite delivery typically within two to five business days.

We are currently in the process of migrating customers from services offered by TNT Express to the FedEx Express portfolio of services.

For information regarding FedEx Express e-commerce tools and solutions, such as FedEx Delivery Manager and FedEx Returns Technology, see “FedEx Services Segment — Customer-Driven Technology.”

International Expansion

Over the years, acquisitions have given us more robust global transportation networks and added capabilities in important international markets. In 2016 we acquired TNT Express, which is the largest acquisition in FedEx history. This acquisition rapidly accelerates our European and global growth, substantially enhances our global footprint through TNT Express’s lower-cost road networks in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, and expands our capabilities and solutions for our customers. During 2020 we substantially completed projects across our European hub and station locations that allow interoperability between the ground networks for both FedEx Express and TNT Express packages. In 2021 we completed the integration of the FedEx Express and TNT Express linehaul and pickup-and-delivery operations and began offering an enhanced portfolio of international services. We expect to complete the final phase of international air network interoperability in early calendar 2022.

As we approach the completion of the physical network integration of TNT Express in 2022, we continue to execute initiatives in addition to the integration to transform and optimize the FedEx Express international business, particularly in Europe. For more information about the integration of TNT Express, our international strategy and related costs, see “Item 1A. Risk Factors” and “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Results of Operations and Financial Condition” of this Annual Report. During 2021 we also enhanced our Europe-to-the-U.S. overnight and European e-commerce service portfolio with FedEx International Priority Express and FedEx International Connect Plus, which are discussed above under “Services.”

We also have expanded our capabilities in the Asia-Pacific markets, including through the establishment of: our Asia-Pacific hub at the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport in southern China, which began operations in 2009; our North Pacific regional hub at the Kansai International Airport in Osaka, Japan, which opened in 2014 and serves as a consolidation point for shipments from northern Asia to the U.S.; and our International Express and Cargo Hub in Shanghai, which opened in 2018 at Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport. During 2020, we added 14 new Asia-Pacific origin markets for FedEx International First service to the U.S. and Canada. These developments allow us to continue to better serve our global customers doing business in the Asia-Pacific markets.

To facilitate the use of our growing international network, we offer a full range of international trade consulting services and a variety of online tools that enable customers to more easily determine and comply with international shipping requirements.

U.S. Postal Service Agreement

In 2013, FedEx Express entered into a new seven-year agreement with the USPS under which FedEx Express provides airport-to-airport transportation of USPS First Class Mail, Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail within the U.S. In 2017, the parties entered into an amendment to the agreement whereby the initial renewal period provided in the agreement was exercised in part and the agreement’s period of performance was extended through September 29, 2024. FedEx Express also provides transportation and delivery for the USPS’s international delivery service called Global Express Guaranteed under a separate agreement. For more information about our relationship with the USPS, see “Item 1A. Risk Factors” of this Annual Report.

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Pricing

FedEx Express periodically publishes updates to the list prices for the majority of its services in its Service Guides. In general, shipping rates are based on the service selected, origin, destination, weight, size, any ancillary service charge and whether the customer charged the shipment to a FedEx account. Effective January 4, 2021, FedEx Express implemented a 4.9% average list price increase for U.S. domestic, U.S. export and U.S. import services.

In order to manage demand and capacity constraints in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, between April 6, 2020 and November 1, 2020 FedEx Express implemented temporary surcharges on all international package and airfreight shipments. These surcharges continued as peak surcharges beginning November 2, 2020 and remain in effect. Additionally, beginning June 8, 2020 FedEx Express has implemented a series of peak surcharges generally applying to shipments that are oversized or require additional handling, and to residential packages for customers meeting a certain volume threshold. Specific applicable surcharges have been adjusted periodically since their implementation, and higher surcharges applied during the 2021 holiday peak season. Effective January 18, 2021, FedEx Express made general changes to the surcharge criteria for certain packages that require additional handling and for packages that are picked up from or delivered to remote and less accessible locations.

FedEx Express has an indexed fuel surcharge for U.S. domestic and U.S. outbound shipments and for shipments originating internationally, where legally and contractually possible. FedEx Express fuel surcharges are adjusted on a weekly basis. The fuel surcharge is based on a weekly fuel price from two weeks prior to the week in which it is assessed. Some FedEx Express international fuel surcharges incorporate a timing lag of approximately six to eight weeks. On June 21, 2021, we updated the tables used to determine our fuel surcharges at FedEx Express. Beginning February 1, 2021, the fuel surcharge for U.S. domestic freight services is assessed per pound of shipment. The weighted-average U.S. domestic and outbound fuel surcharges for the past three years were: 2021 — 4.9%; 2020 — 6.3%; and 2019 — 7.5%. See the “Results of Operations and Outlook — Consolidated Results — Fuel” section of “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Results of Operations and Financial Condition” of this Annual Report for a description and discussion of the net impact of fuel on our operating results.

Operations

FedEx Express’s primary sorting facility, located in Memphis, serves as the center of the company’s multiple hub-and-spoke system. A second national hub facility is located in Indianapolis. We are making investments over multiple years in our facilities of approximately $1.5 billion to significantly expand the Indianapolis hub and approximately $1.5 billion to modernize the Memphis World Hub. In addition to these national hubs, FedEx Express operates regional hubs in Fort Worth, Newark, Oakland and Greensboro and major metropolitan sorting facilities in Chicago and Los Angeles.

Facilities in Anchorage, Paris, Cologne, Guangzhou and Osaka serve as sorting facilities for express package and freight traffic moving to and from Asia, Europe and North America. Additional major sorting and freight handling facilities are located at Narita Airport in Tokyo and Stansted Airport outside London. The facilities in Paris, Cologne, Guangzhou and Osaka are also designed to serve as regional hubs for their respective market areas. A facility in Miami — the Miami Gateway Hub — serves our South Florida, Latin American and Caribbean markets. TNT Express operates a central air hub near Liege, Belgium.

In addition to its worldwide air network, FedEx Express operates road networks in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia and South America. FedEx Express’s unique European road network, harnessing the integration of TNT Express, connects more than 40 countries through 34 road hubs and over 570 direct served stations.

Throughout its worldwide network, FedEx Express operates city stations and employs a staff of customer service agents, cargo handlers and couriers who pick up and deliver shipments in the station’s service area. In some international areas, independent agents (“Global Service Participants”) have been selected to complete deliveries and to pick up packages. For more information about our sorting and handling facilities, see “Item 2. Properties” of this Annual Report under the caption “FedEx Express Segment.”

FedEx Office offers retail access to FedEx Express shipping services at all of its retail locations. FedEx Express also has alliances with certain other retailers to provide in-store drop-off sites, including at more than 18,000 Walgreens, Dollar General and Albertsons stores. Our unstaffed FedEx Drop Boxes provide customers the opportunity to drop off packages in office buildings, shopping centers and corporate or industrial parks.

Fuel Supplies and Costs

During 2021, FedEx Express purchased jet fuel from various suppliers under contracts that vary in length and which provide for estimated amounts of fuel to be delivered. The fuel represented by these contracts is purchased at market prices. We do not have any jet fuel hedging contracts. See “Pricing” above.

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The following table sets forth FedEx Express’s costs for jet fuel and its percentage of FedEx Corporation consolidated revenues for the last five fiscal years (amounts include TNT Express):

 

Fiscal Year

 

Total Jet

Fuel Cost

(in millions)

 

 

Percentage of Consolidated

Revenue

 

2021

 

$

2,065

 

 

 

2.5

%

2020

 

 

2,265

 

 

 

3.3

 

2019

 

 

2,847

 

 

 

4.1

 

2018

 

 

2,460

 

 

 

3.8

 

2017

 

 

1,999

 

 

 

3.3

 

 

Most of FedEx Express’s vehicle fuel needs are satisfied by retail purchases with various discounts.

Competition

As described in “Item 1A. Risk Factors” of this Annual Report, the express package and freight markets are both highly competitive and sensitive to price and service, especially in periods of little or no macroeconomic growth. The ability to compete effectively depends upon price, frequency, capacity and speed of scheduled service, ability to track packages, extent of geographic coverage, reliability, innovative service offerings and the fit within the customer’s overall supply chain.

Competitors within the U.S. include other package delivery concerns, principally United Parcel Service, Inc. (“UPS”), passenger airlines offering express package services, regional delivery companies, air freight forwarders and the USPS. FedEx Express’s principal international competitors are DHL, UPS, DPD (a subsidiary of France’s La Poste’s GeoPost), General Logistics Systems (a Royal Mail-owned parcel delivery group), foreign postal authorities, passenger airlines, air freight forwarders, regional carriers, and all-cargo airlines. FedEx Express also competes with startup companies that combine technology with crowdsourcing to focus on local market needs. In addition, some high volume package shippers, such as Amazon.com, are developing and implementing in-house delivery capabilities and utilizing independent contractors for deliveries, and may be considered competitors. For example, Amazon.com is investing significant capital to establish a network of hubs, aircraft and vehicles. Many of FedEx Express’s international competitors are government-owned, -controlled or -subsidized carriers, which may have greater resources, lower costs, less profit sensitivity and more favorable operating conditions than FedEx Express.

Employees

Donald F. Colleran is the President and Chief Executive Officer of FedEx Express, which is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee. As of May 31, 2021, FedEx Express employed approximately 228,000 permanent full-time and approximately 61,000 permanent part-time employees.

The pilots of FedEx Express, who are a small number of its total employees, are represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, International (“ALPA”) and are employed under a collective bargaining agreement that took effect in November 2015. The collective bargaining agreement is scheduled to become amendable in November 2021, and bargaining for a successor agreement began in May 2021. See “Item 1A. Risk Factors” of this Annual Report for more information. In addition to our pilots at FedEx Express, certain of FedEx Express’s non-U.S. employees are unionized.

Attempts by other labor organizations to organize certain other groups of FedEx Express employees occur from time to time. Although these organizing attempts have not resulted in any certification of a U.S. domestic collective bargaining representative of FedEx Express employees (other than ALPA), we cannot predict the outcome of these labor activities or their effect, if any, on FedEx Express or its employees. For more information, see “Item 1A. Risk Factors” of this Annual Report. FedEx Express believes its employee relations are excellent.

FedEx Custom Critical

FedEx Custom Critical provides a range of expedited, time-specific freight-shipping services throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Among its services are Surface Expedite, providing exclusive-use shipping and time-definite services; Air Expedite, offering an array of expedited air solutions to meet customers’ critical delivery times; and White Glove Services, for shipments that require extra care in handling, temperature control or specialized security. Service from FedEx Custom Critical is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. FedEx Custom Critical continuously monitors shipments through an integrated proprietary shipment-control system, including two-way satellite communications on exclusive-use shipments.

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FedEx Cross Border

FedEx Cross Border is an e-commerce enabler that provides international cross-border enablement and technology solutions such as duty calculations, package tracking, international shipping costs and currency conversion calculations. Additionally, FedEx Cross Border publishes customs duty and tax information for approximately 200 customs areas worldwide through WorldTariff. The offerings of FedEx Cross Border strategically fit into our global portfolio by allowing us to help retailers and e-tailers reach international e-commerce customers.

FedEx Ground Segment

Overview

By leveraging the FedEx brand, maintaining a low cost structure and efficiently using information technology and advanced automation systems, FedEx Ground continues to enhance its competitive position as a leading provider of business and residential money-back guaranteed ground package delivery services. As of July 15, 2021, the money-back guarantee for all FedEx Ground services remains temporarily suspended as we continue to experience unprecedented volume and customer demand. FedEx Ground serves customers in the North American small-package market, focusing on business and residential delivery of packages weighing up to 150 pounds. Ground service is provided to 100% of the continental U.S. population and overnight service of up to 400 miles to nearly 100% of the continental U.S. population. Service is also provided to nearly 100% of the Canadian population. In addition, FedEx Ground offers service to Alaska and Hawaii through a ground and air network operation coordinated with other transportation providers. In 2021 FedEx Ground expanded seven-day-per-week residential delivery coverage to virtually all of the U.S. population.

FedEx Ground continues to improve the speed, reach and service capabilities of its network by reducing transit time for many of its lanes and introducing and expanding overnight ground service in many metropolitan areas. FedEx Ground’s network expansion has substantially increased the company’s daily pickup capacity through the addition of new hubs featuring the latest automated sorting technology and the expansion or relocation of existing hubs and other facilities. Additionally, FedEx Ground is repurposing former FedEx SmartPost facilities for standard or large package sortation, and adding capacity through new regional sort facilities designed to handle shorter zone volumes into certain markets. FedEx Ground is also making significant operational enhancements to ensure safe and reliable handling of large and heavy items. These changes include designing new facilities, adding equipment to certain facilities and making other operational adjustments.

The company offers our FedEx Home Delivery service, which reaches 100% of U.S. residences. FedEx Home Delivery is dedicated to meeting the delivery needs of residential customers and provides routine Saturday and evening delivery and premium options such as day-specific, appointment and signature delivery. Sunday delivery is also provided for virtually all of the U.S. population. FedEx Home Delivery brings unmatched services to residential shippers and their customers and is the first residential ground package delivery service to have offered a money-back guarantee. The FedEx Ground Economy (formerly FedEx SmartPost) service specializes in the consolidation and delivery of high volumes of low-weight, less time-sensitive business-to-consumer packages to any residential address or PO Box in the U.S. During 2021 we completed the integration of FedEx Ground Economy packages into the standard FedEx Ground operations, generating last-mile efficiency through increased delivery density.

Pricing

FedEx Ground periodically publishes updates to the list prices for the majority of its services in its Service Guide. In general, U.S. shipping rates are based on the service selected, origin, destination, weight, size, any ancillary service charge and whether the customer charged the shipment to a FedEx account. Effective January 4, 2021, FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery implemented a 4.9% average list price increase. FedEx Ground Economy average list prices also increased.

In order to manage demand and capacity constraints in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, beginning June 8, 2020 FedEx Ground implemented a series of surcharges generally applying to shipments that are oversized, unauthorized or require additional handling; to residential packages for customers meeting a certain volume threshold; and to FedEx Ground Economy shipments. Specific applicable surcharges have been adjusted periodically since their implementation, and higher rates applied during the 2021 holiday peak season. Effective January 18, 2021, FedEx Ground made general changes to surcharge criteria for certain packages that require additional handling.

FedEx Ground has an indexed fuel surcharge, which is adjusted on a weekly basis. The fuel surcharge is based on a weekly fuel price from two weeks prior to the week in which it is assessed. On June 21, 2021, we updated the tables used to determine our fuel surcharges at FedEx Ground. See the “Results of Operations and Outlook — Consolidated Results — Fuel” section of “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Results of Operations and Financial Condition” of this Annual Report for a description and discussion of the net impact of fuel on our operating results.

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Operations

FedEx Ground operates a multiple hub-and-spoke sorting and distribution system that consisted of 625 facilities, including 40 hubs, in the U.S. and Canada as of May 31, 2021. FedEx Ground conducts its operations primarily with approximately 96,000 vehicles owned or leased by separate service providers. To provide FedEx Home Delivery service and FedEx Ground Economy service, FedEx Ground leverages its pickup operation and hub and linehaul network.

Advanced automated unloading and sorting technology is used to streamline the handling of millions of packages daily. FedEx Ground yard management systems, which interact with GPS tags on each trailer and create geofences around FedEx Ground facilities, automatically notify the control center when a trailer arrives and departs. Using overhead laser and six-sided camera-based bar code scan technology, hub conveyors electronically guide packages to their appropriate destination chute, where they are loaded for transport to their respective destination stations for local delivery. Autonomous, driverless technologies enable FedEx Ground to handle large, non-conveyable packages. FedEx Ground is also implementing dynamic scheduling tools to match sort staffing headcount with volumes, and is introducing capabilities to allow certain packages to bypass station sortation and proceed directly to vehicles, which helps to maximize station capacity.

During 2021 FedEx Ground finalized the rollout of dynamic route optimization technology, which provides service providers near real-time data that can be used to plan efficient delivery routes and make decisions about vehicle mix and workforce to accommodate the volume associated with e-commerce growth. Additionally, software systems and internet-based applications are deployed to offer customers new ways to connect internal package data with external delivery information. FedEx Ground provides shipment tracing and proof-of-delivery signature functionality through the FedEx website, fedex.com. For additional information regarding FedEx Ground e-commerce tools and solutions, including FedEx Delivery Manager and FedEx Returns Technology, see “FedEx Services Segment — Customer-Driven Technology.”

FedEx Office offers retail access to FedEx Ground shipping services at all of its retail locations. FedEx Ground is also available as a service option at all FedEx Authorized ShipCenters and other FedEx OnSite locations, including at approximately 18,000 Walgreens, Dollar General and Albertsons stores.  

As of May 31, 2021, FedEx Ground employed approximately 56,000 permanent full-time and approximately 125,000 permanent part-time employees. During 2021 we have continued to increase hiring at FedEx Ground to keep pace with demand for residential services caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, FedEx Ground relies on independent small businesses to conduct its linehaul and pickup-and-delivery operations, as the use of these service providers is well suited to the needs of the ground delivery business and its customers.

FedEx Ground is defending lawsuits in which it is alleged that FedEx Ground should be treated as an employer of drivers employed by service providers engaged by FedEx Ground. We continue to believe that FedEx Ground is not an employer or joint employer of the drivers of these independent businesses. For a description of these proceedings, see “Item 1A. Risk Factors” of this Annual Report and Note 19 of the consolidated financial statements included in “Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Annual Report.

John A. Smith is the President and Chief Executive Officer of FedEx Ground. FedEx Ground is headquartered in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area, and its primary competitors are UPS, the USPS and regional delivery carriers. FedEx Ground also competes with startup companies that combine technology with crowdsourcing to focus on local market needs. In addition, some high volume package shippers, such as Amazon.com, are developing and implementing in-house delivery capabilities and utilizing independent contractors for deliveries, and may be considered competitors. For example, Amazon.com is investing significant capital to establish a network of hubs and vehicles.

FedEx Freight Segment

FedEx Freight is a leading North American provider of LTL freight services, offering choice, simplicity and reliability to meet the needs of LTL shippers — FedEx Freight Priority, when speed is critical to meet a customer’s supply chain needs; FedEx Freight Economy, when a customer can trade time for cost savings; and FedEx Freight Direct, a service to meet the needs of the growing e-commerce market for delivery of heavy, bulky products to or through the door for residences and businesses. Through one comprehensive network of service centers and advanced information systems, FedEx Freight provides service to virtually every U.S. ZIP Code (including Alaska and Hawaii) with industry-leading transit times. FedEx Freight Priority has the fastest published transit times of any nationwide LTL service. Internationally, FedEx Freight Canada offers FedEx Freight Priority service, serving most points in Canada, as well as FedEx Freight Priority and FedEx Freight Economy service between Canada and the U.S. In addition, FedEx Freight serves Mexico, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands via alliances. As of July 15, 2021, the money-back guarantee for all FedEx Freight services remains temporarily suspended as we continue to experience unprecedented volume and customer demand.

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Through its many service offerings, FedEx Freight can match customers’ time-critical needs with industry-leading transit times. With the expansion of FedEx electronic solutions, LTL shippers have the convenience of a single shipping and tracking solution for FedEx Freight, FedEx Express and FedEx Ground. These solutions make freight shipping easier and provide customers easy access to their account information. The FedEx Freight Advance Notice feature available on FedEx Freight Priority shipments uses the company’s innovative technology systems to proactively notify FedEx Freight customers via the internet, e-mail or fax when a shipment may be delayed beyond its estimated delivery date, providing customers with greater visibility and control of their LTL freight shipments. Customers can also process cross-border LTL shipments to and from Canada and Mexico, as well as intra-Canada and -Mexico shipments, through FedEx Ship Manager at fedex.com, FedEx Ship Manager Software, FedEx Ship Manager Server and FedEx Web Services. Additionally, FedEx Freight A.M. Delivery offers freight delivery by 10:30 a.m. within and between the U.S. and Canada. FedEx Freight also offers LTL Select, a free cloud-based, multi-carrier transportation management system that provides customers with visibility into all available carriers and their pricing in one location, as well as the ability to book service and make payments.

FedEx Freight Direct addresses the large, bulky and hard-to-handle surging e-commerce market and supports ongoing collaboration between FedEx Freight and FedEx Ground. It has three service levels to meet speed and budget needs, with the basic service level available to 100 percent of the contiguous U.S. population and standard and premium service level offerings available to 90% of the U.S. population.

FedEx Freight periodically publishes updates to the list prices for the majority of its services in its 100 Rules Tariff. In general, shipping rates are based on the service selected, origin, destination, weight, class, any ancillary service charge and whether the customer charged the shipment to a FedEx account. On January 4, 2021, FedEx Freight implemented a 4.9% average list price increase for customers who use FXF PZONE and FXF FZONE rates, and a 5.9% average list price increase for customers who use FXF 1000 and FXF 501 rates for shipments within the U.S. and between the contiguous U.S. and Canada. Effective January 18, 2021, FedEx Freight added a surcharge for shipments under a certain classification of base rates and within select U.S. zip codes.

FedEx Freight has an indexed fuel surcharge, which is adjusted on a weekly basis. The fuel surcharge is based on a weekly fuel price from two days prior to the day in which it is assessed. See the “Results of Operations and Outlook — Consolidated Results — Fuel” section of “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Results of Operations and Financial Condition” of this Annual Report for a description and discussion of the net impact of fuel on our operating results.

As of May 31, 2021, the FedEx Freight segment was operating approximately 29,000 vehicles from a network of nearly 400 service centers and had approximately 44,000 employees. Lance D. Moll is the President and Chief Executive Officer of FedEx Freight, which is based in Memphis, Tennessee. FedEx Freight’s primary competitors are YRC Worldwide Inc. (which includes YRC Regional Transportation and YRC Freight), XPO Logistics, Inc., Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc., ABF Freight (an ArcBest company), SAIA, Inc. and TFI International Inc.

In 2014 and 2015, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (“Teamsters”) petitioned for National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) elections at sixteen FedEx Freight facilities. The Teamsters lost the vote or withdrew the petition prior to the election at twelve facilities and won the vote at four facilities. To date, at three of the four FedEx Freight facilities that originally voted for Teamster representation, the Teamsters have either been decertified by employee vote or voluntarily withdrawn as bargaining representative. We are currently bargaining with the union at the other facility.

FedEx Services Segment

FedEx Services provides our other companies with sales, marketing, information technology, communications, customer service, technical support, billing and collection services, and certain other back-office support. Through FedEx Services, we provide a convenient single point of access for many customer support functions, enabling us to more effectively sell the entire portfolio of transportation services and to help ensure a consistent and outstanding experience for our customers.

Rajesh Subramaniam and Robert B. Carter each serve as the Co-President and Co-Chief Executive Officer of FedEx Services, which is based in Memphis, Tennessee. As of May 31, 2021, the FedEx Services segment had approximately 15,000 employees.

Customer-Driven Technology

FedEx is a world leader in technology, and FedEx founder Frederick W. Smith’s vision that “the information about a package is as important as the delivery of the package itself” remains at the core of our comprehensive technology strategy. We strive to build technology solutions that will solve our customers’ business problems with simplicity, convenience, speed and reliability. Additionally, FedEx stands at the nexus of digital and physical networks, a crucial intersection for the success of e-commerce deliveries. We continue to expand our e-commerce convenience network and explore innovative alternatives to help customers and businesses deliver. During 2021 we continued to advance a major information technology transition from traditional mainframe computing to cloud-based systems, which is delivering significant benefits in terms of flexibility, security, speed to market and resiliency.

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Shipping Management and Precision Tracking

The fedex.com website is widely recognized for its speed, ease of use and customer-focused features. The advanced tracking capability within FedEx Tracking provides customers with a consolidated view of inbound and outbound shipments. FedEx Virtual Assistant on fedex.com is an artificial-intelligence-enabled service that provides answers to customer shipping questions, allowing our customer service representatives and sales professionals to focus on higher-value customer interactions. International Shipping Assist on fedex.com uses artificial intelligence to continually improve the process of completing the complicated paperwork required for international shipping.

FedEx Surround allows any business to enhance visibility into its supply chain by leveraging data to provide near-real-time analytics into shipment tracking, which will drive more precise logistics and inventory management. SenseAware, a FedEx innovation currently available in nearly 90 countries worldwide, allows customers to stay connected to their critical shipments by providing real-time updates regarding current location, precise temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure readings, light exposure and shock events. Additionally, in 2021 we launched FedEx SenseAware ID, a lightweight sensor-based logistics device that delivers a new level of precision tracking. The enhanced location visibility provided by FedEx SenseAware ID will create opportunities for FedEx customers to reimagine their supply chains through real-time updates on a package’s location within the FedEx Express network. An initial round of customers in the healthcare, aerospace and retail industries received access to FedEx SenseAware ID data in November 2020, and FedEx is currently expanding access to additional customers. We plan to eventually make FedEx SenseAware ID available for a broad range of premium FedEx Express services.

FedEx Mobile is a suite of solutions including the FedEx mobile application, FedEx mobile website and SMS text messaging. The FedEx Mobile app provides convenience for recipients to track packages, get quick rates and estimated delivery times, quickly find the nearest FedEx location and easily access FedEx Delivery Manager to customize home deliveries. It is available on Android™ and Apple devices. The FedEx mobile website has expanded to more than 220 countries and territories and 40 languages. FedEx Mobile allows customers to track packages, create shipping labels, view account-specific rate quotes and access drop-off location information. SMS Notifications allows customers to track or follow a package via text messaging, and it is currently available in five countries.

Our FedEx Ship Manager suite of solutions offers a wide range of options to help our customers manage their parcel and LTL shipping and associated processes. Additionally, our state-of-the-art Packaging Lab designs innovative custom packaging solutions to keep shipments protected through transit.

E-Commerce Solutions

FedEx Delivery Manager allows our U.S. residential customers to customize home deliveries to fit their schedule by providing a range of options to schedule dates, locations and times of delivery. Additionally, FedEx Returns Technology, a comprehensive solution for returns management, provides high-volume merchants and e-tailers complete visibility into returns and an easy way to track shipments, manage inventory, analyze returns trends and make more informed decisions based on shoppers’ returns behaviors.

FedEx OnSite, our retail convenience network, utilizes third-party retailers to receive and hold packages for FedEx customers. As of July 15, 2021, the FedEx OnSite network has grown to include approximately 18,000 Walgreens, Dollar General and Albertsons stores in addition to our more than 2,200 FedEx Office locations. In addition to allowing for an easy returns and drop-off experience for shoppers, the FedEx OnSite network is well positioned to serve as a “buy online, pickup in store” network for small and medium merchants without brick-and-mortar locations. We have also added FedEx Returns Technology to the Walgreens retail network, which allows for in-store printing of return shipping labels and eliminates the need to include a return label in every package.

We have expanded e-commerce delivery options for retailers with FedEx Extra Hours, a service that enables participating retailers to fulfill e-commerce orders into the evening and receive late pickups by FedEx Express, with next-day local delivery and two-day shipping to any address in the continental U.S. FedEx Extra Hours, which is currently available to select customers, allows retailers to extend evening order cutoff times by five to eight hours, with some as late as midnight, depending on their current order fulfillment process.

FedEx Dataworks

The size and scale of our global network, and the more than 19 million packages that traverse it every day, gives us a bird’s-eye view of global supply chains and trends. This foundation provides an immense amount of data we can use to build better insights, increase visibility and improve the customer experience. To fully harness the power of this data, in 2021 we launched FedEx Dataworks, a new organization focused on putting our data into context and using it to transform the digital and physical experiences of our customers and team members. FedEx Dataworks will create solutions that build “the network for what’s next” by collaborating across the FedEx enterprise to integrate the technology and services integral to the success of our customers. Further, FedEx Dataworks will help to facilitate an open and collaborative e-commerce ecosystem that helps merchants provide seamless end-to-end experiences for their customers.

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ShopRunner, which we acquired in December 2020, is an e-commerce platform that directly connects brands and merchants with online shoppers. ShopRunner members enjoy benefits that include free two-day shipping, free returns, member-exclusive discounts and seamless checkout. ShopRunner’s data-driven marketing and omnichannel enablement capabilities also help brands and merchants acquire high-value customers and accelerate their digital innovation by using ShopRunner’s e-commerce platform. We believe the complementary nature of ShopRunner’s pre-purchase offerings combined with FedEx’s post-purchase logistics intelligence will enable brands and merchants to attract and engage consumers at scale by providing innovative online shopping experiences.

In April 2021, we announced a new, multi-year collaboration with Adobe, starting with the integration of ShopRunner with Adobe Commerce’s Magento platform, which we expect will be available to Adobe merchants in late calendar 2021. By integrating their online storefronts with ShopRunner, Adobe merchants will be able to offer seamless checkout, two-day shipping, easy returns and exclusive offers to shippers. The collaboration will also give merchants access to FedEx post-purchase logistics intelligence, allowing for better management of supply chains.

Autonomous Delivery Technology

FedEx is exploring the use of autonomous delivery technologies within its operations. Roxo, the FedEx SameDay Bot, an autonomous delivery device designed to help retailers make on-demand same-day and last-mile deliveries to their customers, continues development and testing in select markets. In 2020, we announced our collaboration with two business partners to launch a pilot drone delivery service to explore methods of enhancing last-mile residential delivery service and in June 2021 announced a multi-year, multi-phase agreement to test Nuro’s next-generation autonomous delivery vehicle within FedEx operations. The collaboration with Nuro will explore various use cases for on-road autonomous vehicle logistics such as multi-stop and appointment-based deliveries. We are also working with major national retailers, fast food restaurants and drug stores to help assess different customers’ autonomous delivery needs.

Marketing

The FedEx brand name symbolizes outstanding service, reliability and speed. Emphasis is continually placed on promoting and protecting the FedEx brand, one of our most important assets. As a result, FedEx is one of the most widely recognized brands in the world. In addition to television, print and digital advertising, we promote the FedEx brand through sponsorships and special events. For example, FedEx sponsors:

 

The UEFA Champions League, which is broadcast in over 200 countries and territories worldwide.

 

The season-long FedExCup competition on the PGA TOUR.

 

The World Golf Championships FedEx St. Jude Invitational, a PGA TOUR event that has raised millions of dollars for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and is one of four annual World Golf Championships events.

 

FedExField in the Washington, DC area.

 

The #11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry driven by Denny Hamlin in the NASCAR Cup Series.

 

ATP Tour men’s professional tennis circuit.

 

FedExForum in Memphis, TN.

 

The NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies as the team’s official jersey sponsor.

Additionally, FedEx is the “Official Delivery Service Sponsor” and “Official Office Services Provider” of the NFL, through which we conduct events and other activities to promote the FedEx Brand, such as the “FedEx Air & Ground®” NFL Players of the Week and Players of the Year Awards.

Information Security

FedEx Services has a team of highly qualified professionals dedicated to securing information about our customers’ shipments and protecting our customers’, vendors’ and employees’ privacy, and we strive to provide a safe, secure online environment for our customers. We are committed to compliance with applicable information security laws, regulations and industry standards — including, for example, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, a set of comprehensive requirements for enhancing payment account data security developed by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council, as well as compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, which enforces the security and confidentiality of employee health information. For a description of risks related to information security, see “Item 1A. Risk Factors” of this Annual Report.

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Global ISO 9001 Certification

FedEx Services provides our customers with a high level of service quality, as evidenced by our ISO 9001 certifications for our global express, ground and freight operations. ISO 9001 registration is required by thousands of customers around the world. FedEx’s global certifications, encompassing the processes of FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight and FedEx Services, enhance our single-point-of-access strategy and solidify our reputation as the quality leader in the transportation industry. ISO 9001 is the international standard for Quality Management Systems. ISO standards were developed by the International Organization for Standardization in Geneva, Switzerland to promote and facilitate international trade. Approximately 170 countries, including European Union (“EU”) members, the U.S. and Japan, recognize ISO standards.

FedEx Office Operating Segment

As of May 31, 2021, FedEx Office operated approximately 2,200 customer-facing stores, providing convenient access to printing and shipping expertise with reliable service. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, beginning in the fourth quarter of 2020, we temporarily closed a small number of FedEx Office stores, and operated other FedEx Office stores at reduced hours. Normal operations were substantially resumed throughout the course of 2021. As of July 15, 2021, the money-back guarantee for all FedEx Office services remains temporarily suspended.

The FedEx Office brick-and-mortar network features retail stores, centralized production centers, corporate on-site print centers, and on-site business centers at colleges and universities, hotels, convention centers, corporate campuses and healthcare campuses. Many of these locations are open later in the evenings to accommodate urgent printing projects and delivery drop-offs. FedEx Office has designed a suite of printing and shipping management solutions that are flexible and scalable, allowing customers to meet their unique printing and shipping needs. The network provides an adaptable cost model helping to save time, labor and overhead by freeing up resources and avoiding fixed costs associated with large-scale printing and e-commerce parcel volumes. This is especially valuable to our enterprise customers looking to outsource their print supply chain. Services include digital printing, professional finishing, document creation, design services, direct mail, signs and graphics, custom-printed boxes, copying, computer rental, free Wi-Fi, corporate print solutions and expedited U.S. passport processing and renewal through a collaboration with a registered U.S. passport agency.

With the FedEx Office Print Online solution, customers can use their laptops or mobile devices to design their print needs or access their personal cloud accounts, and print directly to any FedEx Office location in the U.S., or have their order delivered right to their door. Customers also have the flexibility of using FedEx Office’s Print & Go solutions to print at self-serve locations from USBs, the cloud or through email. Print & Go solutions allow customers to access files using popular cloud providers Google Drive™, Box, Microsoft OneDrive® and from FedEx Office’s own My Online Documents, making printing easy.

FedEx Office has prioritized our e-commerce offerings as a growth opportunity for the enterprise/large, medium and small business and individual customers we serve. FedEx Office has also made significant investments in new machines and technology, enhancing capabilities in narrow format color, grand format, large format, color management, enhanced finishing and other technologies. FedEx Office has partnered with a content and creative design platform to form a digital design-to-print marketplace offering millions of images and illustrations, an extensive library of templates and a simple drag-and-drop interface to create custom business materials from fedex.com on any device, with next-day printing on many requests available at FedEx Office stores. Additionally, in 2021 FedEx Office partnered with a leading marketing solutions company to introduce an online branded promotional products marketplace that allows businesses to customize and purchase high-quality promotional products.

FedEx Office provides customers convenient access to the full range of FedEx Express and FedEx Ground shipping services. Customers may have their FedEx Express and FedEx Ground packages delivered to any FedEx Office customer-facing location nationwide through the Hold at FedEx Location service, free of charge, and may redirect packages to these locations through Redirect to Hold or AutoRedirect to Hold services. FedEx Office facilitates e-commerce and returns through FedEx Returns Technology, which allows for in-store printing of return shipping labels. Additionally, FedEx SameDay City is available in over 1,800 cities in 34 markets across the U.S., offering door-to-door residential and business delivery of time-sensitive parcels within hours by FedEx Office uniformed team members in branded FedEx Office delivery vehicles. Increasingly, industries such as healthcare, life sciences, manufacturing, finance, perishables, travel and automotive are relying on same-day services for critical delivery needs.

FedEx Office also offers packing services, and packing supplies and boxes are included in its retail offerings. By allowing customers to have items professionally packed by specially trained FedEx Office team members and then shipped using FedEx Ground day-definite shipping or time-definite global FedEx Express shipping services, FedEx Office offers a complete “pack-and-ship” solution. FedEx Office also offers FedEx Pack Plus, which includes custom box building capabilities and techniques, a robust assortment of specialty boxes and additional packing supplies, equipment and tools to serve our customers’ needs.

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Almost all FedEx Office locations provide local pickup-and-delivery service for print jobs completed by FedEx Office. A FedEx courier picks up a customer’s print job at the customer’s location and then returns the finished product to the customer. Options and services vary by location.  

As of May 31, 2021, we operate over 340 FedEx Office locations inside Walmart stores.

Brian D. Philips is the President and Chief Executive Officer of FedEx Office, which is based in Plano, Texas. As of May 31, 2021, FedEx Office had approximately 13,000 employees.

FedEx Office is an operating segment that is included in “Corporate, other and eliminations” in our segment reporting.

FedEx Logistics Operating Segment

The FedEx Logistics operating segment leverages the power of the extensive international FedEx transportation network to provide specialty solutions that complete a simple, seamless and powerful global trade experience for FedEx customers around the world, including customs brokerage and global ocean and air freight forwarding through FedEx Trade Networks Transport & Brokerage and integrated supply chain management solutions through FedEx Supply Chain. Additionally, FedEx Logistics provides international trade advisory services, including assistance with the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism program.

Dr. Udo Lange is the President and Chief Executive Officer of FedEx Logistics, which is based in Memphis, Tennessee. As of May 31, 2021, the FedEx Logistics organization had approximately 21,000 employees. FedEx Supply Chain has a small number of employees who are members of unions.

FedEx Logistics is an operating segment that is included in “Corporate, other and eliminations” in our segment reporting.

FedEx Trade Networks Transport & Brokerage

FedEx Trade Networks Transport & Brokerage provides international trade services, specializing in customs brokerage, global ocean and air freight forwarding and managed transportation. Additionally, FedEx Trade Networks Transport & Brokerage provides customs clearance services for FedEx Express at its major U.S. hub facilities and border customs clearance for FedEx Ground and FedEx Freight. FedEx Trade Networks Transport & Brokerage also offers global door-to-door air charter solutions collaborating with FedEx Express and U.S. import door-to-door less-than-container load ocean solutions collaborating with FedEx Freight.

As trade throughout the world grows, so does the FedEx Trade Networks Transport & Brokerage solutions portfolio. As of May 31, 2021, value-added services of FedEx Trade Networks Transport & Brokerage included approximately 110 freight forwarding offices in 30 countries and Global Trade Data, an information tool that allows customers to track and manage imports. In total, as of May 31, 2021, FedEx Trade Networks Transport & Brokerage had approximately 130 offices in 110 service locations throughout North America and in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, India, Latin America, the Middle East and Australia/New Zealand. FedEx Trade Networks Transport & Brokerage maintains a network of air and ocean freight-forwarding service providers and has entered into strategic alliances to provide services in certain countries in which it does not have owned offices.

In July 2021, FedEx Trade Networks Transport & Brokerage launched FedEx Trade Solutions, which offers customized trade solutions that enable improved compliance practices.

FedEx Supply Chain

FedEx Supply Chain is a supply chain solutions provider specializing in Product Lifecycle Logistics® for technology, retail, consumer and industrial goods and healthcare industries. With more than 14,000 employees at approximately 110 facilities as of May 31, 2021, FedEx Supply Chain provides a comprehensive range of integrated logistics services to enable growth, minimize cost, mitigate supply chain risk and improve customer services. Service offerings include inbound logistics, warehousing and distribution, fulfillment, contract packaging and product configuration, systems integration, returns process and disposition, test, repair, refurbishment and product liquidation.

FedEx Fulfillment is an e-commerce solution that helps small and medium-sized businesses fulfill orders from multiple channels, including websites and online marketplaces, and manage inventory for their retail stores. The FedEx Fulfillment platform is designed to be an easy-to-use and all-in-one logistics solution through which customers have complete visibility into their products, giving them an easy way to track items, manage inventory, analyze trends and make more informed decisions by better understanding shoppers’ spending behaviors.

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Seasonality

For information on the seasonality of our business, see the “Results of Operations and Outlook — Consolidated Results — Seasonality of Business” section of “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Results of Operations and Financial Condition” of this Annual Report.

Trademarks

The “FedEx” trademark, service mark and trade name are essential to our worldwide business. FedEx, FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight, FedEx Office, FedEx Services, FedEx Logistics, FedEx Trade Networks Transport & Brokerage, FedEx Cross Border, FedEx Supply Chain, FedEx Custom Critical, FedEx Dataworks, ShopRunner and TNT Express, among others, are trademarks, service marks and trade names of Federal Express Corporation or the respective companies for which registrations, or applications for registration, are on file, as applicable. We have authorized, through licensing arrangements, the use of certain of our trademarks, service marks and trade names by our contractors and Global Service Participants to support our business. In addition, we license the use of certain of our trademarks, service marks and trade names on promotional items for the primary purpose of enhancing brand awareness.

Regulation

Air. Under the Federal Aviation Act of 1958, as amended (the “Federal Aviation Act”), both the U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”) and the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) exercise regulatory authority over FedEx Express.

The FAA’s regulatory authority relates primarily to operational aspects of air transportation, including aircraft standards and maintenance, as well as personnel and ground facilities, which may from time to time affect the ability of FedEx Express to operate its aircraft in the most efficient manner. FedEx Express holds an air carrier certificate granted by the FAA pursuant to Part 119 of the federal aviation regulations. This certificate is of unlimited duration and remains in effect so long as FedEx Express maintains its standards of safety and meets the operational requirements of the regulations.

The DOT’s authority relates primarily to economic aspects of air transportation. The DOT’s jurisdiction extends to aviation route authority and to other regulatory matters, including the transfer of route authority between carriers. FedEx Express holds various certificates issued by the DOT, authorizing FedEx Express to engage in U.S. and international air transportation of property and mail on a worldwide basis.

Under the Aviation and Transportation Security Act of 2001, as amended, the Transportation Security Administration (“TSA”), an agency within the Department of Homeland Security, has responsibility for aviation security. The TSA requires FedEx Express to comply with a Full All-Cargo Aircraft Operator Standard Security Plan, which contains evolving and strict security requirements. These requirements are not static, but change periodically as the result of regulatory and legislative requirements, imposing additional security costs and creating a level of uncertainty for our operations. It is reasonably possible that these rules or other future security requirements could impose material costs on us.

FedEx Express participates in the Civil Reserve Air Fleet (“CRAF”) program. Under this program, the U.S. Department of Defense may requisition for military use certain of FedEx Express’s wide-bodied aircraft in the event of a declared need, including a national emergency. FedEx Express is compensated for the operation of any aircraft requisitioned under the CRAF program at standard contract rates established each year in the normal course of awarding contracts. Through its participation in the CRAF program, FedEx Express is entitled to bid on peacetime military cargo charter business. FedEx Express, together with a consortium of other carriers, currently contracts with the U.S. government for such charter flights.

See “Item 1A. Risk Factors” of this Annual Report for discussion of regulations related to pilots, including the proposed pilot flight and duty time regulations, that could affect our business.

Ground. The ground transportation performed by FedEx Express is integral to its air transportation services. The enactment of the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 abrogated the authority of states to regulate the rates, routes or services of intermodal all-cargo air carriers and most motor carriers. States may now only exercise jurisdiction over safety and insurance. FedEx Express is registered in those states that require registration.

The operations of FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight and FedEx Custom Critical in interstate commerce are currently regulated by the DOT and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which retain limited oversight authority over motor carriers. Federal legislation preempts regulation by the states of rates, routes and services in intrastate freight transportation.

Like other interstate motor carriers, our operations, including those at FedEx Express, are subject to certain DOT safety requirements governing interstate operations. In addition, vehicle weight and dimensions remain subject to both federal and state regulations.

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International. FedEx Express’s international authority permits it to carry cargo and mail from points in its U.S. route system to numerous points throughout the world. The DOT regulates international routes and practices and is authorized to investigate and take action against discriminatory treatment of U.S. air carriers abroad. The right of a U.S. carrier to serve foreign points is subject to the DOT’s approval and generally requires a bilateral agreement between the U.S. and the foreign government. In addition, the carrier must then be granted the permission of such foreign government to provide specific flights and services. The regulatory environment for global aviation rights may from time to time impair the ability of FedEx Express to operate its air network in the most efficient manner, and efficient operations often utilize open skies provisions of aviation agreements. Additionally, global air cargo carriers, such as FedEx Express, are subject to current and potential additional aviation security regulation by U.S. and foreign governments.

Our operations outside of the U.S., such as FedEx Express’s international domestic operations, are also subject to current and potential regulations, including certain postal regulations and licensing requirements, that restrict, make difficult and sometimes prohibit, the ability of foreign-owned companies such as FedEx Express to compete effectively in parts of the international domestic transportation and logistics market.

Communication. Because of the extensive use of radio and other communication facilities in its aircraft and ground transportation operations, FedEx Express is subject to the Federal Communications Commission Act of 1934, as amended. Additionally, the Federal Communications Commission regulates and licenses FedEx Express’s activities pertaining to satellite communications.

Environmental. Pursuant to the Federal Aviation Act, the FAA, with the assistance of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), is authorized to establish standards governing aircraft noise. FedEx Express’s aircraft fleet is in compliance with current noise standards of the federal aviation regulations. In addition to federal regulation of aircraft noise, certain airport operators have local noise regulations, which limit aircraft operations by type of aircraft and time of day. These regulations have had a restrictive effect on FedEx Express’s aircraft operations in some of the localities where they apply but do not have a material effect in any of FedEx Express’s significant markets. Congress’s passage of the Airport Noise and Capacity Act of 1990 established a National Noise Policy, which enabled FedEx Express to plan for noise reduction and better respond to local noise constraints. FedEx Express’s international operations are also subject to noise regulations in certain of the countries in which it operates.

Concern over climate change, including the impact of global warming, has led to significant U.S. and international legislative and regulatory efforts to limit GHG emissions, including our aircraft and vehicle engine emissions. Increasingly, state and local governments are also considering GHG regulatory requirements.

Compliance with such regulation and the associated potential cost is complicated by the fact that various countries and regions are following different approaches to the regulation of climate change. For example, the EU has established the Emissions Trading System (“ETS”) to regulate GHG emissions in the EU and adopted a directive in 2008 requiring each EU member state to extend the ETS to aviation operations. Efforts by the EU in 2009 to regulate flights arriving from or departing for airports outside of the EU were postponed. The EU extended its stay on the extra-territorial application of the EU ETS as applied to international flights to and from the European Economic Area (“EEA”) through the end of calendar 2023, contingent on successful implementation of the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (“CORSIA”).

In 2016, the International Civil Aviation Organization (“ICAO”) passed a resolution adopting CORSIA, which is a global, market-based measure for purchasing credits to offset carbon dioxide emissions and intended to aid in meeting the ICAO’s goal of carbon neutral growth starting in calendar 2020 by complementing industry efforts in infrastructure upgrades, technology, operations and sustainable aviation fuel. In June 2018, the ICAO adopted standards pertaining to country-by-country implementation including the collection and reporting of information on international aviation emissions beginning in calendar 2019. In furtherance of these efforts, in March 2019 the FAA issued notice of a CORSIA program permitting U.S. carriers to submit emissions data on a voluntary basis. Data reported will be used to set the initial emissions baseline, and beginning in calendar 2021 carriers subject to the requirements of CORSIA will be responsible for purchasing and retiring carbon credits to offset emissions in excess of the initial baseline. In response to the creation of the CORSIA program, in December 2017, the EU adopted a proposal that indefinitely excludes from the ETS flights operating fully or partly outside the EU and gradually reduces the number of aviation allowances from calendar 2021. The EU has indicated that it will assess CORSIA implementation and determine the future status of the ETS as applied to international aviation to and from the EEA. We expect compliance with CORSIA to increase FedEx operating expenses beginning in calendar 2021. The amount of such increase will ultimately depend on a number of factors, including the number of our flights subject to CORSIA, the fuel efficiency of our fleet, the average growth of the aviation sector, our ability to utilize sustainable aviation fuels in the future and the price of ICAO-eligible emission units or offsets required to be purchased by FedEx.

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Additionally, in calendar 2016, the EPA issued a finding that aircraft engine GHG emissions cause or contribute to air pollution that may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare. In March 2017, ICAO adopted new carbon dioxide emissions standards that would apply not only to new aircraft types as of calendar 2020, but also to new deliveries of current in-production aircraft types from calendar 2023. Additionally, a cutoff date of calendar 2028 for production of aircraft that do not comply with proposed standards was adopted. These standards are considered to be especially stringent for larger aircraft weighing over 60 tons. In December 2020, the EPA adopted its own aircraft and aircraft engine GHG emissions standards, which are aligned with the 2017 ICAO emissions standards. In the past, the U.S. Congress has also considered bills that would regulate GHG emissions, and some form of federal climate change legislation is possible in the future. In 2021 the U.S. reentered the Paris climate accord, an agreement among 197 countries to reduce GHG emissions. The effect of the reentry on future U.S. policy regarding GHG emissions and on other GHG regulation is uncertain. Additionally, the extent to which other countries implement that agreement could have an adverse direct or indirect effect on our business.

We are also subject to federal, state and local environmental laws and regulations relating to, among other things, the shipment of dangerous goods and contingency planning for spills of petroleum products. Additionally, we are subject to numerous regulations dealing with underground fuel storage tanks, hazardous waste handling, vehicle and equipment emissions and noise and the discharge of effluents from our properties and equipment. We have environmental management programs designed to ensure compliance with these regulations.

Export Controls. In recent years, the U.S. government has increased the number of companies and persons subject to U.S. export control regulations. Such regulations can restrict the types of items that FedEx customers are permitted to ship to certain entities, and in some instances may prohibit FedEx from serving certain entities altogether. Violations of these regulations can result in significant monetary and other penalties. For example, the Export Control Reform Act of 2018 (the “ECRA”) and its implementing regulations, the Export Administration Regulations (the “EARs”), hold carriers such as FedEx strictly liable for shipments that may violate the EARs without requiring evidence that the carriers had knowledge of any violations. Violations of the ECRA can result in criminal penalties of up to $1 million and civil penalties of $305,000 (or twice the value of the transaction) per individual violation. FedEx is investing in improvements and updates to its export control compliance programs. However, the heightened focus on export controls by the U.S. government increases FedEx’s exposure to potential regulatory penalties and could result in higher compliance costs.

In June 2019 FedEx filed suit in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia seeking to enjoin the U.S. Department of Commerce (the “DOC”) from enforcing prohibitions contained in the EARs against FedEx. FedEx believes that the EARs violate common carriers’ rights to due process under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as they unreasonably hold common carriers strictly liable for shipments that may violate the EARs without requiring evidence that the carriers had knowledge of any violations. In September 2020 the court granted the DOC’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit. In November 2020 we appealed this decision.

Customs. Our activities, including customs brokerage and freight forwarding, are subject to regulation by U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the TSA within the Department of Homeland Security (customs brokerage and security issues), the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (ocean freight forwarding) and the DOT (air freight forwarding). Our offshore operations are subject to similar regulation by the regulatory authorities of foreign jurisdictions.

Labor. All U.S. employees at FedEx Express are covered by the Railway Labor Act of 1926, as amended (the “RLA”), while labor relations within the U.S. at our other companies are governed by the National Labor Relations Act of 1935, as amended (the “NLRA”). Under the RLA, groups that wish to unionize must do so across nationwide classes of employees. The RLA also requires mandatory government-led mediation of contract disputes supervised by the National Mediation Board before a union can strike or an employer can replace employees or impose contract terms. This part of the RLA helps minimize the risk of strikes that would shut down large portions of the economy. Under the NLRA, employees can unionize in small localized groups, and government-led mediation is not a required step in the negotiation process.

The RLA was originally passed to govern railroad and express carrier labor negotiations. As transportation systems evolved, the law expanded to cover airlines, which are the dominant national transportation systems of today. As an air express carrier with an integrated air/ground network, FedEx Express and its employees have been covered by the RLA since the founding of the company in 1971. The purpose of the RLA is to offer employees a process by which to unionize (if they choose) and engage in collective bargaining while also protecting global commerce from damaging work stoppages and delays. Specifically, the RLA ensures that an entire transportation system, such as at FedEx Express, cannot be shut down by the actions of a local segment of the network.

The U.S. Congress has, in the past, considered adopting changes in labor laws that would make it easier for unions to organize units of our employees. For example, there is always a possibility that Congress could remove most FedEx Express employees from the jurisdiction of the RLA, thereby exposing the FedEx Express network to sporadic labor disputes and the risk that small groups of employees could disrupt the entire air/ground network. In addition, federal and state governmental agencies, such as the National Mediation Board and the NLRB, have and may continue to take actions that could make it easier for our employees to organize under the RLA or NLRA. For a description of these and other potential labor law changes, see “Item 1A. Risk Factors” of this Annual Report.

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Data Protection. Recently, there has been heightened regulatory and enforcement focus on data protection in the U.S. (at both the state and federal level) and abroad. For example, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), which became effective in 2018, greatly increases the jurisdictional reach of EU law and adds a broad array of requirements related to personal data, including individual notice and opt-out preferences and the public disclosure of significant data breaches. Additionally, violations of the GDPR can result in fines of as much as 4% of a company’s annual revenue. Other governments have enacted or are enacting similar data protection laws, including data localization laws that require data to stay within their borders. For more information regarding data protection regulation, see Item 1A. Risk Factors” of this Annual Report.

ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS

 

In addition to the other information set forth in this Annual Report, you should carefully consider the following factors, which could materially affect our business, results of operations, financial condition and the price of our common stock. Additional risks not currently known to us or that we currently deem to be immaterial also may materially affect our business, results of operations, financial condition and the price of our common stock.

 

Macroeconomic and Market Risks

 

We are directly affected by the state of the global economy and anti-trade measures. While macroeconomic risks apply to most companies, we are particularly vulnerable. The transportation industry is highly cyclical and especially susceptible to trends in economic activity. Our primary business is to transport goods, so our business levels are directly tied to the purchase and production of goods — key macroeconomic measurements influenced by, among other things, inflation and deflation, supply chain disruptions, interest rates and currency exchange rates, labor costs, fuel and energy prices, buying patterns, debt levels, credit availability and disposable income. When individuals and companies purchase and produce fewer goods, we transport fewer goods, and as companies move manufacturing closer to consumer markets and expand the number of distribution centers, we transport goods shorter distances. Certain retailers are making investments to house goods in closer proximity to customers in connection with the recent growth in e-commerce demand, and we expect this trend to continue. In addition, we have a relatively high fixed-cost structure, which is difficult to quickly adjust to match shifting volume levels. Moreover, as we continue to grow our international business, we are increasingly affected by the health of the global economy, the rate of growth of global trade, world trade policies, international taxes, government-to-government relations and the typically more volatile economies of emerging markets. For instance, anti-trade and protectionist measures adopted by the U.S. or other countries in which we do business, such as trade controls, tariffs, quotas, embargoes, sanctions, or retaliation by another country against such measures, could result in economic uncertainty and instability, resulting in fewer goods being transported globally.

The uncertainty regarding the status of the United Kingdom’s exit from the EU (“Brexit”) has negatively impacted the United Kingdom’s and the EU’s economies. This negative impact will likely continue until the United Kingdom and EU complete a post-Brexit trade deal, which is still in the process of being implemented. Any additional impact of Brexit will depend on application of the terms of the trade deal. Further discussion between the parties on implementation of the trade deal could trigger significant market and economic disruption, and the demand for our services could be depressed. Following Brexit, the movement of goods between the United Kingdom and the remaining member states of the EU has become subject to additional inspections and documentation checks, which may create delays at ports of entry and departure and potentially impact our ability to effectively provide our services. Additionally, depending on the application of the terms of the trade deal we may face new regulations regarding trade, aviation, tax, security and employees, among others, in the United Kingdom. Compliance with such regulations could be costly, negatively impacting our business, results of operations and financial condition. The post-Brexit trade deal could also adversely affect European and worldwide economic and market conditions and could contribute to instability in global financial and foreign exchange markets, including volatility in the value of the euro and the British pound.

We expect continued uncertainty in the global economy during 2022. Additionally, we incurred higher costs due to labor market challenges in 2021, and we expect such conditions to continue to be present in 2022. For more information, see “Our failure to retain or attract employee talent or maintain our company culture, as well as increases in labor and purchased transportation costs, could adversely impact our business and results of operations.” below and “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Results of Operations and Financial Condition” of this Annual Report.

 

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Additional changes in international trade policies and relations could significantly reduce the volume of goods transported globally and adversely affect our business and results of operations. The U.S. government has made and maintained significant changes in U.S. trade policy and has taken certain actions that have negatively impacted U.S. trade, including imposing tariffs on certain goods imported into the U.S. Several governments, including the EU, China and India, have imposed tariffs on certain goods imported from the U.S. These actions contributed to weakness in the global economy that adversely affected our results of operations in recent years. Any further changes in U.S. or international trade policy could trigger additional retaliatory actions by affected countries, resulting in “trade wars” and further increased costs for goods transported globally, which may reduce customer demand for these products if the parties having to pay those tariffs increase their prices, or in trading partners limiting their trade with countries that impose anti-trade measures. Political uncertainty surrounding international trade and other disputes could also have a negative effect on business and consumer confidence and spending. Such conditions could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition, as well as on the price of our common stock.

 

Additionally, the U.S. government has taken action to limit the ability of domestic companies to engage in commerce with certain foreign entities under certain circumstances, and foreign governments may investigate our compliance with these restrictions. Furthermore, given the nature of our business and our global recognizability, foreign governments may target FedEx by limiting the ability of foreign entities to do business with us in certain instances, imposing monetary or other penalties or taking other retaliatory action, which could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition, as well as on the price of our common stock.

Our transportation businesses are impacted by the price and availability of jet and vehicle fuel. We must purchase large quantities of fuel to operate our aircraft and vehicles, and the price and availability of fuel is beyond our control and can be highly volatile. In addition, our purchased transportation expense may be impacted by fuel costs. To date, we have been mostly successful in mitigating over time the expense impact of higher fuel costs through our indexed fuel surcharges, as the amount of the surcharges is closely linked to the market prices for fuel. If we are unable to maintain or increase our fuel surcharges because of competitive pricing pressures or some other reason, fuel costs could adversely impact our operating results. As of May 31, 2021, we had no derivative financial instruments to reduce our exposure to fuel price fluctuations. Even if we are able to offset the cost of fuel with our surcharges, high fuel surcharges could move our customers away from our higher-yielding express services to our lower-yielding deferred or ground services or even reduce customer demand for our services altogether. In addition, disruptions in the supply of fuel could have a negative impact on our ability to operate our transportation networks. Weather-related events, natural disasters, political disruptions or wars involving oil-producing countries, economic sanctions imposed against oil-producing countries or specific industry participants, changes in governmental policy concerning fuel production, transportation, taxes or marketing, changes in refining capacity, environmental concerns, cyberattacks and other unpredictable events may impact fuel supply and could result in shortages and price increases in the future.

Operating Risks

A significant data breach or other disruption to our technology infrastructure could disrupt our operations and result in the loss of critical confidential information, adversely impacting our reputation, business or results of operations. Our ability to attract and retain customers, to efficiently operate our businesses, and to compete effectively depends in part upon the sophistication, security and reliability of our technology network, including our ability to provide features of service that are important to our customers, to protect our confidential business information and the information provided by our customers, and to maintain customer confidence in our ability to protect our systems and to provide services consistent with their expectations. For example, we rely on information technology to receive package level information in advance of physical receipt of packages, to track items that move through our delivery systems, to efficiently plan deliveries, to execute billing processes, and to track and report financial and operational data. We are subject to risks imposed by data breaches and operational disruptions, including through cyberattack or cyber-intrusion, including by computer hackers, foreign governments, cyber terrorists, cyber criminals and malicious employees or other insiders of FedEx or third-party service providers. Data breaches of companies and governments have increased in recent years as the number, intensity and sophistication of attempted attacks and intrusions from around the world have increased and we, our customers and third parties increasingly store and transmit data by means of connected information technology systems. Additionally, risks such as code anomalies, “Acts of God,” transitional challenges in migrating operating company functionality to our FedEx enterprise automation platforms, data leakage, cyber-fraud and human error pose a direct threat to our products, services, systems and data and could result in unauthorized or block legitimate access to sensitive or confidential data regarding our operations, customers, employees and suppliers, including personal information.

 

The technology infrastructure of acquired businesses, as well as their practices related to the use and maintenance of data, could also present issues that we were not able to identify prior to the acquisition. See “Failure to successfully implement our business strategy and effectively respond to changes in market dynamics and customer preferences will cause our future financial results to suffer.” below for additional information on risks related to our recent acquisition of ShopRunner and launch of FedEx Dataworks.

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We also depend on and interact with the technology and systems of third parties, including our customers and third-party service providers such as cloud service providers and delivery services. Such third parties may host, process or have access to information we maintain about our company, customers, employees and vendors or operate systems that are critical to our business operations and services. Like us, these third parties are subject to risks imposed by data breaches, cyberattacks and other events or actions that could damage, disrupt or close down their networks or systems. We have security processes, protocols and standards in place, including contractual provisions requiring such security measures, that are applicable to such third parties and are designed to protect information that is held by them, or to which they have access, as a result of their engagements with us. Nevertheless, a cyberattack could defeat one or more of such third parties’ security measures, allowing an attacker to obtain information about our company, customers, employees and vendors or disrupt our operations. These third parties may also experience operational disruptions or human error that could result in unauthorized access to sensitive or confidential data regarding our operations, customers, employees and suppliers, including personal information.

 

A disruption to our complex, global technology infrastructure, including those impacting our computer systems and websites, could result in the loss of confidential business or customer information, require substantial repairs or replacements, resulting in significant costs, and lead to the temporary or permanent transfer by customers of some or all of their business to our competitors. The foregoing could harm our reputation and adversely impact our operations, customer service and results of operations. Additionally, a security breach could require us to devote significant management resources to address the problems created. These types of adverse impacts could also occur in the event the confidentiality, integrity or availability of company and customer information was compromised due to a data loss by FedEx or a trusted third party. We or the third parties with which we share information may not discover any security breach and loss of information for a significant period of time after the security breach occurs.

We have invested and continue to invest in technology security initiatives, information-technology risk management, business continuity and disaster recovery plans, including investments to retire and replace end-of-life systems. The development and maintenance of these measures is costly and requires ongoing monitoring and updating as technologies change and efforts to overcome security measures become increasingly more frequent, intense and sophisticated. Despite our efforts, we are not fully insulated from data breaches, technology disruptions, data loss and cyber-fraud, which could adversely impact our competitiveness and results of operations. For instance, in 2017 TNT Express worldwide operations were significantly affected due to the infiltration of an information-technology virus known as NotPetya. In 2017 FedEx was one of many companies attacked by the rapidly spreading ransomware described as WannaCry that exploited vulnerability in a third-party software program and infected computers using that program, encrypting files and holding them for ransom. During 2018, we discovered an unsecured server hosted by one of our third-party cloud service providers, which exposed some archived account information related to a service discontinued after our 2015 acquisition of Bongo International, LLC. The server has been secured, and we have found no indication that any information has been misappropriated in connection with the incident. Additionally, we have experienced continual attempts by cyber criminals, some of which were successful, to gain access to customer accounts for the purposes of fraudulently diverting and misappropriating items being transported in our network. None of the WannaCry ransomware attack, unsecured server or fraudulent cyber activities caused a material disruption to our systems or resulted in any material costs to FedEx.

While we have significant security processes and initiatives in place, we may be unable to detect or prevent a breach or disruption in the future. Additionally, while we have insurance coverage designed to address certain aspects of cyber risks in place, such insurance coverage may be insufficient to cover all losses or all types of claims that may arise. See “Our business is subject to complex and evolving U.S. and foreign laws and regulations regarding data protection.” below for additional information on risks related to legal and regulatory developments with respect to data protection.

The continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business, results of operations and financial condition is highly unpredictable. The COVID-19 pandemic has had varying impacts on the demand for our services, our business operations and the global economy and supply chains. There is considerable uncertainty regarding the extent to which COVID-19 will continue to spread in certain regions of the world and the extent and duration of measures to try to contain the virus, such as travel bans and restrictions, quarantines, shelter-in-place orders, business and government shutdowns and other restrictions. This uncertainty is expected to continue to impact our business in 2022.

We have experienced unprecedented demand for our residential delivery services, rivaling our peak holiday season traffic. We have incurred increased costs associated with this demand and lower composite yields than our typical service mix. In addition, demand for our commercial service offerings increased throughout 2021 as COVID-19 restrictions moderated globally while air freight capacity remained constrained. Our business is labor and capital intensive in nature, which has required us to incur higher costs to operate our networks during the pandemic. If we are unable to remain agile and continue to flex our networks to align with shipping volumes, customer needs, disrupted global supply chains and other network inefficiencies, market demands and operating conditions, or are unable to continuously respond to evolving governmental policies for the duration of a prolonged period of economic recovery, our business operations could be negatively impacted, which could have a further adverse effect on our results of operations.

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We have also incurred increased operating expenses related to personal protective equipment and medical/safety supplies, as well as additional security and cleaning services, in order to protect our team members and customers. Due to the size, scope and geographically dispersed nature of our operations, the expenses we incur to protect the health and safety of certain of our employees may be higher than similar expenses incurred by companies in other industries.

Additionally, a significant number of our employees as well as customers and others with whom we do business continue to work remotely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our business operations may be disrupted, and we may experience increased risk of adverse effects on our business, if a significant portion of our workforce or certain business operations are negatively impacted as a result of remote work arrangements, including due to cyber risks or other disruption to our technology infrastructure.

The continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the extent of its effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition as well as the global economy, will be dictated by future developments that remain uncertain and cannot be predicted, such as its duration and spread, the success of efforts to contain it and treat its impact, the possibility of additional subsequent widespread outbreaks and variant strains and the impact of actions taken in response, resulting effects on the economic conditions in the global markets in which we operate, the future rate of e-commerce growth and the timeline for recovery of passenger airline cargo capacity. Certain financial and operating metrics that we reported for 2021 may not be indicative of results for future periods once the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.

 

To the extent the COVID-19 pandemic adversely affects our business and financial results, it may also have the effect of heightening many other risks described in this section, any of which could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. Such risks include, but are not limited to, additional changes in the state of the global economy and international trade policies and relations; our ability to implement our business strategy and effectively respond to changes in market dynamics and customer preferences; our strong reputation and the value of the FedEx brand; our ability to meet our labor and purchased transportation needs while controlling related costs; our ability to execute and effectively operate, integrate, leverage, and grow acquired businesses; changes in the business and financial soundness of the USPS; our ability to achieve our goal of carbon neutrality for our global operations by calendar 2040; and the impact of litigation or claims from customers, team members, suppliers, regulators or other third parties relating to the COVID-19 pandemic or our actions in response to the pandemic.

 

For more information about the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition, see “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Results of Operations and Financial Condition—Results of Operations and Outlook—Consolidated Results—Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic” of this Annual Report.

We are self-insured for certain costs associated with our operations, and insurance and claims expenses could have a material adverse effect on us. We are self-insured up to certain limits that vary by type of risk for costs associated with workers’ compensation claims, vehicle accidents, property and cargo loss, general business liabilities and benefits paid under employee healthcare and disability programs. Our reserves are established for estimates of loss on all incurred claims, including incurred-but-not-reported claims. Our self-insurance accruals are primarily based on estimated costs determined by actuarial methods. Estimated costs include consideration of a variety of factors and related assumptions such as the severity of claims, frequency and volume of claims, healthcare inflation, seasonality and plan designs, which may be subject to a high degree of variability. However, the use of any estimation technique in this area is inherently sensitive. Material increases in the magnitude of claims, changes to healthcare costs, accident frequency and severity, insurance retention levels, judgment and settlement amounts, associated legal expenses and other factors could result in unfavorable differences between actual self-insurance costs and our reserve estimates. As a result, our insurance and claims costs could increase materially which could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition. During 2021, higher self-insurance accruals at FedEx Ground negatively impacted our results of operations. See “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Results of Operations and Financial Condition” of this Annual Report for more information.

As a supplement to our self-insurance program, we maintain coverage with excess insurance carriers for potential losses that exceed the amounts we self-insure. Periodically, we evaluate the level of insurance coverage and adjust insurance levels based on risk tolerance, risk volatility and premium expense. Although we believe our aggregate insurance limits should be sufficient to cover our historic claims amounts, the commercial trucking industry has experienced a wave of blockbuster or so-called “nuclear” verdicts, including some instances in which juries have awarded hundreds of millions of dollars to those injured in accidents and their families. Given this recent trend, it is possible that one or more claims could exceed our aggregate coverage limits. If any claim were to exceed our aggregate insurance coverage, we would bear the excess in addition to our other self-insured amounts.

Given the current claims environment, the amount of coverage available from excess insurance carriers is decreasing and the premiums for this excess coverage are increasing significantly. Accordingly, our excess insurance and claims expenses may increase, or we could increase our self-insured retention as policies are renewed or replaced. Our results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected if our costs or losses significantly exceed our aggregate coverage limits, we are unable to obtain excess insurance coverage in amounts we deem sufficient, our insurance carriers fail to pay on our insurance claims, or we experience a claim for which coverage is not provided.

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The transportation infrastructure continues to be a target of terrorist activities. Because transportation assets continue to be a target of terrorist activities, governments around the world are adopting or are considering adopting stricter security requirements that will increase operating costs and potentially slow service for businesses, including those in the transportation industry. These security requirements are not static, but change periodically as the result of regulatory and legislative requirements, imposing additional security costs and creating a level of uncertainty for our operations. For example, the TSA requires FedEx Express to comply with a Full All-Cargo Aircraft Operator Standard Security Plan, which contains evolving and strict security requirements. Additionally, the ICAO’s standard that previously allowed a member state to permit carriers and other entities to determine, without government oversight, which shippers and shipments are secure for purposes of putting those shipments on all-cargo aircraft was modified effective July 1, 2021. As a result, we are now required to undertake additional security measures for international outbound shipments. It is reasonably possible that these rules or other future security requirements could impose material costs on us or slow our service to our customers. The impact on our operations of avoiding areas of the world, including airspace, in which there are geopolitical conflicts and the targeting of aircraft by parties to those conflicts can also be significant. Moreover, a terrorist attack directed at FedEx or other aspects of the transportation infrastructure could disrupt our operations and adversely impact demand for our services.  

Strategic Risks

Failure to successfully implement our business strategy and effectively respond to changes in market dynamics and customer preferences will cause our future financial results to suffer. We are making significant investments and other decisions in connection with our long-term business strategy, such as investments in aircraft fleet modernization, strategic investments to increase capacity and improve productivity and safety, and the FedEx Express Indianapolis and Memphis hub modernization and expansion programs. Additionally, we are executing initiatives to use data to transform the digital and physical experiences of our customers and team members, as well as to transform and optimize the FedEx Express international business, particularly in Europe. See “Item 1. Business” and “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Results of Operations and Financial Condition” of this Annual Report for additional information.

Such initiatives and enhancements may require us to make significant capital expenditures. We have also incurred, and may continue to incur, increased operating expenses in connection with certain changes to our business strategy. We may not be able to derive the expected value from our strategic investments and other decisions. For example, in 2021 we announced proposals to resize our European workforce as FedEx Express nears the completion of the network integration of TNT Express, including through consultations with works council representatives from across the region. The actual amount and timing of cost savings resulting from the workforce reduction plan are dependent on local country consultation processes and regulations and negotiated social plans may differ from our current expectations and estimates. If we are not able to successfully implement this plan, our future financial results may suffer.

Changes in our business strategy may also expose us to new and heightened risks. For example, ShopRunner, which we acquired in December 2020, collects and stores certain personal data of its merchants and their buyers, its partners, consumers with whom it has a direct relationship and users of its applications. Additionally, it uses third-party service providers and subprocessors to help deliver services to merchants and their buyers. These service providers and subprocessors may store or access personal data, including payment information and/or other confidential information. The foregoing factors increase the risk of data incidents and the amount of potential exposure in the event of a data breach. Developing privacy legislation within the U.S. may also create limitations or added requirements on the use of personal data within and among FedEx Dataworks, ShopRunner and the other FedEx operating companies.

Further, in developing our business strategy, we make certain assumptions including, but not limited to, those related to customer demand and the mix of services to be purchased by our customers, the future rate of e-commerce growth, competition and the global economy, and actual market, economic and other conditions may be different from our assumptions. As technology, customer behavior and market conditions continue to evolve, it is important that we maintain the relevance of our brand and service offerings to our customers. If we are not able to successfully implement our business strategy and effectively respond to changes in market dynamics and customer preferences, our future financial results will suffer. For additional discussion, see “Item 1. Business” of this Annual Report under the caption “Strategy.”

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Our businesses depend on our strong reputation and the value of the FedEx brand. The FedEx brand name symbolizes high-quality service, reliability and speed. FedEx is one of the most widely recognized, trusted and respected brands in the world, and the FedEx brand is one of our most important and valuable assets. In addition, we have a strong reputation among customers and the general public for high standards of social and environmental responsibility and corporate governance and ethics. The FedEx brand name and our corporate reputation are powerful sales and marketing tools, and we devote significant resources to promoting and protecting them. Adverse publicity (whether or not justified) relating to activities by our team members or others with whom we do business, such as customer service mishaps, accidents, catastrophes or incidents involving aircraft, vehicles or facilities operated by us; low service or safety levels; data breaches or technology infrastructure disruptions; noncompliance with laws; the shipment of certain items pursuant to our obligation as a common carrier operating under federal law; or our advertising campaigns, sponsorship arrangements or marketing programs, could tarnish our reputation and reduce the value of our brand. With the increase in the use of social media outlets such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok, adverse publicity can be disseminated quickly and broadly without context, making it increasingly difficult for us to effectively respond. Further, our actual or perceived position or lack of position on social, environmental, political, public policy or other sensitive issues, and any perceived lack of transparency about those matters, could harm our reputation with certain groups. Damage to our reputation and loss of brand equity could reduce demand for our services and thus have an adverse effect on our financial condition, liquidity and results of operations, as well as require additional resources to rebuild our reputation and restore the value of our brand.

Changes in the business or financial soundness of the USPS could have an adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. The USPS is the largest customer of FedEx Express, which provides domestic air transportation services for the USPS’s First Class Mail, Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail and transportation and delivery for the USPS’s international delivery service. The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted the USPS. Additionally, the USPS continues to experience budgetary uncertainty as well as increased political debate regarding potential privatization or restructuring of its operations. The USPS is currently implementing strategic changes to its operations to reduce its reliance on the air networks of FedEx Express and other transportation providers. These or additional difficulties or changes in the USPS’s business, including its ability to access capital, any structural changes to its operations, network, volume levels, service offerings, service commitments or pricing, could negatively impact our revenue, results of operations and financial condition. Further, a decision by the USPS to terminate early or not renew its contract with FedEx Express for domestic services, which expires in September 2024, would negatively impact our profitability.

Our businesses are capital intensive, and we must make capital decisions based upon projected volume levels. We make significant investments in aircraft, package handling facilities, vehicles, technology, sort equipment and other assets to support our transportation and business networks. We also make significant investments to rebrand, integrate and grow the companies that we acquire. The amount and timing of capital investments depend on various factors, including our anticipated volume growth. We must make commitments to purchase or modify aircraft years before the aircraft are actually needed. We must predict volume levels and fleet requirements and make commitments for aircraft based on those projections. Missing our projections could result in too much or too little capacity relative to our shipping volumes. Overcapacity could lead to below-market asset dispositions or write-downs, as well as negatively impact operating margins, and undercapacity could negatively impact service levels.

We face intense competition. The transportation and business services markets are both highly competitive and sensitive to price and service, especially in periods of little or no macroeconomic growth. Some of our competitors have more financial resources and competitive advantages than we do, appear willing to operate at little or no margin to gain market share, or they are owned, controlled or subsidized by foreign governments, which enables them to raise capital more easily. We also compete with regional transportation providers that operate smaller and less capital-intensive transportation networks and startup companies that combine technology with crowdsourcing to focus on local market needs. In addition, some high-volume package shippers are developing and implementing in-house delivery capabilities and utilizing independent contractors for deliveries, which could in turn reduce our revenues and market share. For example, Amazon.com is investing significant capital to establish a network of hubs, aircraft and vehicles.

We believe we compete effectively with these companies — for example, by providing more reliable service at compensatory prices. However, the existence of an irrational pricing environment could limit our ability not only to maintain or increase our prices (including our fuel surcharges in response to rising fuel costs), but also to maintain or grow our revenues and market share. While we believe we compete effectively through our current and planned service offerings, if our current competitors or potential future competitors offer a broader range of services, more effectively bundle their services, or offer services at lower prices, it could impede our ability to maintain or grow our market share. Continued transportation industry consolidation may further increase competition. Moreover, if high-volume package shippers further develop or expand internal capabilities for the services we provide, it may reduce our revenue and could negatively impact our financial condition and results of operations. These impacts could be exacerbated if high-volume package shippers attempt to offer such capabilities to third parties. News regarding such developments or expansions could also negatively impact the price of our common stock.

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Additionally, advancements in technology, such as advanced safety systems; automated package sorting, handling and delivery; autonomous delivery; vehicle platooning; alternative fuel vehicles; and digitization of freight services, may necessitate that we increase investments in order to remain competitive, and our customers may not be willing to accept higher rates to cover the cost of these investments.

Our inability to execute and effectively operate, integrate, leverage and grow acquired businesses and realize the anticipated benefits of acquisitions, joint ventures or strategic alliances could materially adversely affect us. Our strategy for long-term growth, productivity and profitability depends in part on our ability to make prudent strategic acquisitions, form joint ventures or strategic alliances and realize the expected benefits from these transactions. We have acquired businesses in Europe, Latin America, Africa, the U.S., Asia and Australia over the past several years, including TNT Express. Expected TNT Express integration costs have increased significantly since the acquisition was completed in 2016, and parts of the integration have taken longer than initially expected. In order to fully leverage the capabilities that TNT Express adds to our portfolio, we must complete the final phase of FedEx Express and TNT Express international air network interoperability.

Acquisitions and other strategic transactions involve special accounting, regulatory, compliance, information technology, human resources, cultural and other risks. Additionally, we may be required to make significant capital expenditures and/or incur certain operating expenses following the completion of certain transactions, which may be higher than initially expected. For example, existing and future customer data in the systems and business of FedEx and ShopRunner, which we acquired in December 2020, may not be immediately interoperable, or may not be interoperable without significant added expense.

While we expect our past and future acquisitions and strategic transactions to enhance our value proposition to customers and improve our business and long-term profitability, there can be no assurance that we will realize our expectations within the time frame we have established, if at all, or that we can continue to support the value we allocate to acquired businesses, including their goodwill or other intangible assets. In 2020 we incurred goodwill impairment charges of $358 million related to FedEx Office and FedEx Supply Chain, eliminating all of the goodwill attributable to these reporting units. For additional information, see “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Results of Operations and Financial Condition—Results of Operations and Outlook—Consolidated Results—Goodwill and Other Asset Impairment Charges” of this Annual Report.

Our autonomous delivery strategy is dependent upon our ability to successfully mitigate unique technological, operational and regulatory risks. As discussed further in “Item 1. Business” under “FedEx Services Segment—Customer Driven Technology—Autonomous Delivery Technology,” we are exploring the use of autonomous delivery technologies within our operations. Autonomous delivery is a new and evolving market, which makes it difficult to predict its acceptance, growth, the magnitude and timing of necessary investments and other trends. This aspect of our business strategy is subject to a variety of risks inherent with the development of new technologies, including: the ability to continue to develop autonomous delivery software and hardware; access to sufficient capital; our ability to develop and maintain necessary partnerships; risks related to the manufacture of autonomous devices; and significant competition from other companies, some of which may have more resources and capital to devote to autonomous delivery technologies than we do.

In addition, we face risks related to the commercial deployment of autonomous delivery devices on our targeted timeline or at all, including consumer acceptance, achievement of adequate safety and other performance standards and compliance with uncertain, evolving and potentially conflicting federal and state regulations. To the extent accidents, cybersecurity breaches or other adverse events associated with our autonomous delivery devices occur, we could be subject to liability, government scrutiny, further regulation and reputational damage. Any of the foregoing could adversely impact our results of operations, financial condition and growth prospects.

Human Resource Management Risks

Our failure to retain or attract employee talent or maintain our company culture, as well as increases in labor and purchased transportation costs, could adversely impact our business and results of operations. Our success depends upon the efforts and abilities of our high-quality employees, many of whom are longstanding FedEx team members. Difficulties in motivating, rewarding, retaining and recruiting employee talent, including successors to members of senior management, or the unexpected loss of such individuals resulting in the depletion of our institutional knowledge base, could have an adverse impact on our business, results of operations, reputation and the price of our common stock. Certain positions at FedEx have historically experienced high turnover rates, which can lead to increased recruiting, training and retention costs. Additionally, our company culture is important to providing high-quality customer service and having a productive workforce and could be adversely affected by our growing operations and other factors. If we fail to maintain the strength of our company culture, our competitive ability and our business may be harmed.

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Our business is labor intensive in nature, and our ability to meet our labor and purchased transportation needs while controlling related costs is generally subject to numerous external factors, including the availability of a sufficient number of qualified persons in the markets where we and contracted service providers operate, inflation, unemployment levels within these markets, prevailing wage rates, behavioral changes, health and other insurance costs, safety levels of our operations, adoption of new or revised employment and labor laws and regulations (including increased minimum wage requirements) or government programs and our reputation within the labor market. We incurred higher costs due to labor market challenges in 2021, and we expect such conditions to continue to be present in 2022. Additionally, we are incurring increased wage rates and costs for additional personnel in place to support our operations and meet regulatory requirements in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Results of Operations and Financial Condition” of this Annual Report for more information. Our inability to effectively meet our labor and purchased transportation needs can hinder our ability to execute our business strategy, negatively impact service levels and adversely affect our business and results of operations.

Labor organizations attempt to organize groups of our employees from time to time, and potential changes in labor laws could make it easier for them to do so. If we are unable to continue to maintain good relationships with our employees and avoid having labor organizations organize groups of our employees, our operating costs could significantly increase and our operational flexibility could be significantly reduced. Despite continual organizing attempts by labor unions, other than the pilots at FedEx Express and drivers at one FedEx Freight, Inc. facility, our U.S. employees have thus far chosen not to unionize (we acquired FedEx Supply Chain in 2015, which already had a small number of employees who are members of unions). Additionally, certain of FedEx Express’s non-U.S. employees are unionized.

Our collective bargaining agreement with the ALPA, which represents the pilots of FedEx Express, is scheduled to become amendable in November 2021. Bargaining for a successor agreement began in May 2021. While collective bargaining agreements under the RLA, which covers the pilots at FedEx Express, do not expire, we may be unable to maintain certain favorable terms included in the current collective bargaining agreement following negotiations with the ALPA. Our inability to successfully reach new collective bargaining agreements with the ALPA and other unions representing FedEx employees could adversely affect our business and results of operations.

The U.S. Congress has, in the past, considered adopting changes in labor laws, however, that would make it easier for unions to organize units of our employees. For example, there is always a possibility that Congress could remove most FedEx Express employees from the jurisdiction of the RLA. For additional discussion of the RLA, see “Item 1. Business” of this Annual Report under the caption “Regulation.” Such legislation could expose our customers to the type of service disruptions that the RLA was designed to prevent — local work stoppages in key areas that interrupt the timely flow of shipments of time-sensitive, high-value goods throughout our global network. Such disruptions could threaten our ability to provide competitively priced shipping options and ready access to global markets.

There is also the possibility that Congress could pass other labor legislation that could adversely affect our companies, such as FedEx Ground and FedEx Freight, whose employees are governed by the NLRA. In addition, federal and state governmental agencies, such as the National Mediation Board and the National Labor Relations Board, have and may continue to take actions that could make it easier for our employees to organize under the RLA or NLRA. Finally, changes to federal or state laws governing employee classification could impact the status of FedEx Ground’s service providers as independent employers of drivers. If FedEx Ground is deemed to be an employer or joint employer of the drivers of these service providers, labor organizations could more easily organize these individuals, our operating costs could increase materially and we could incur significant capital outlays.

FedEx Ground relies on service providers to conduct its linehaul and pickup-and-delivery operations, and the status of these service providers as direct employers of drivers providing these services is being challenged. We are defending joint-employer cases where it is alleged that FedEx Ground should be treated as an employer of the drivers employed by service providers engaged by FedEx Ground. We incur certain costs, including legal fees, in defending the status of service providers engaged by FedEx Ground as direct employers of their drivers. We continue to believe that FedEx Ground is not an employer or joint employer of the drivers of these independent businesses. However, adverse determinations in these matters or regulatory developments could, among other things, entitle service providers’ drivers to certain wage payments from the service providers and FedEx Ground, and result in employment and withholding tax and benefit liability for FedEx Ground.

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Proposed pilot flight and duty time regulations could impair our operations and impose substantial costs on us. In 2010, the FAA proposed regulations that would change the flight and duty time rules applicable to all-cargo air carriers. When the FAA issued final regulations in 2011 (the “2011 regulations”), all-cargo carriers, including FedEx Express, were exempt from these new requirements. Instead, all-cargo carriers were required to continue complying with previously enacted flight and duty time rules and allowed to pursue the development of fatigue risk management systems to develop fatigue mitigations unique to each operation. In 2012, the FAA reaffirmed the exclusion of all-cargo carriers from the 2011 regulations, and litigation in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia affirmed the FAA’s decision. However, this issue remains a policy priority for certain labor groups, and the U.S. Congress is currently considering legislation that, if adopted, would require all-cargo carriers to comply with the 2011 regulations. Required compliance with the 2011 regulations would make it more difficult to avoid pilot fatigue and could impose substantial costs on us in order to maintain operational reliability.

Increasing costs, the volatility of costs and funding requirements and other legal mandates for employee benefits, especially pension and healthcare benefits, could adversely impact our results of operations, financial condition and liquidity. We sponsor programs that provide retirement benefits to most of our employees. These programs include defined benefit pension plans, defined contribution plans and postretirement healthcare plans. The costs of providing pension and other retirement benefit plans are dependent on numerous assumptions, such as discount rates, investment returns on plan assets, salary increases, expected retirement, mortality, employee turnover and future increases in healthcare costs. Changes in actuarial assumptions and differences between the assumptions and actual values, as well as significant declines in the value of investments that fund our pension and other postretirement plans, if not offset or mitigated by a decline in plan liabilities, could increase pension and other postretirement expense, and we could be required from time to time to fund the pension plans with significant amounts of cash. Such cash funding obligations could adversely affect our results of operations and liquidity. Additionally, the rules for pension and retirement benefit plan accounting are complex, involve numerous assumptions and can produce volatility in our results of operations, financial condition and liquidity. For example, our fourth quarter mark-to-market (“MTM”) retirement plans accounting adjustment resulted in a pre-tax noncash $1.2 billion gain ($936 million, net of tax, or $3.48 per diluted share) in 2021 and a pre-tax noncash $794 million loss ($583 million, net of tax, or $2.22 per diluted share) in 2020. For additional information on our MTM retirement plans accounting adjustments, see “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Results of Operations and Financial Condition—Results of Operations and Outlook—Consolidated Results—Retirement Plans MTM Adjustments” and Note 14 of the consolidated financial statements included in “Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Annual Report.

Environmental, Climate and Weather Risks

We may be affected by global climate change or by legal, regulatory or market responses to such change. Concern over climate change, including the impact of global warming, has led to significant U.S. and international legislative and regulatory efforts to limit GHG emissions, including our aircraft and vehicle engine emissions. Increasingly, state and local governments are also considering GHG regulatory requirements. Compliance with such regulation and the associated potential cost is complicated by the fact that various countries and regions are following different approaches to the regulation of climate change. Increased regulation regarding GHG emissions, especially aircraft or vehicle engine emissions, could impose substantial costs on us, especially at FedEx Express. These costs include an increase in the cost of the fuel and other energy we purchase and capital costs associated with updating or replacing our aircraft or vehicles prematurely. Until the timing, scope and extent of such possible regulation becomes known, we cannot predict its effect on our cost structure or our operating results. It is reasonably possible, however, that it could materially increase our operating expenses and have an adverse direct or indirect effect on our business, if instituted. For additional discussion of regulatory responses to climate change, including CORSIA and the U.S.’s recent re-entry into the Paris climate accord, see “Item 1. Business” of this Annual Report under the caption “Regulation.”

Moreover, even without such regulation, increased awareness and any adverse publicity in the global marketplace about the GHGs emitted by companies in the airline and transportation industries could harm our reputation and reduce customer demand for our services, especially our air express services. Finally, given the broad and global scope of our operations and our susceptibility to global macroeconomic trends, we are particularly vulnerable to the physical risks of climate change that could affect all of humankind, such as shifts in weather patterns and world ecosystems.

 

We may be unable to achieve our goal of carbon neutrality for our global operations by calendar 2040. In March 2021, we announced a goal to achieve carbon neutrality for our global operations by calendar 2040. Achievement of this goal depends on our execution of operational strategies relating to vehicle electrification, development of sustainable customer solutions, identification and investment in alternative fuels, fuel conservation and aircraft modernization programs, and investments in our facilities and natural carbon sequestration.

 

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Execution of these strategies and achievement of our calendar 2040 goal is subject to risks and uncertainties, many of which are outside of our control. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: our ability to execute our strategies and achieve our goals within the currently projected costs and the expected timeframes; the availability and cost of zero-emission electric vehicles, alternative fuels, fuel-efficient aircraft, global electrical charging infrastructure, off-site renewable energy and other materials and components; unforeseen production, design, operational and technological difficulties; the outcome of research efforts and future technology developments, including the ability to scale projects and technologies on a commercially competitive basis such as carbon sequestration and/or other related processes; compliance with, and changes or additions to, global and regional regulations, taxes, charges, mandates or requirements relating to GHG emissions, carbon costs or climate-related goals; labor-related regulations and requirements that restrict or prohibit our ability to impose requirements on third parties who provide contracted transportation for our transportation networks; adapting products to customer preferences and customer acceptance of sustainable supply chain solutions; the actions of competitors and competitive pressures; and the pace of regional and global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

There is no assurance that we will be able to successfully execute our strategies and achieve our calendar 2040 goal of carbon neutrality for our global operations. Failure to achieve our calendar 2040 goal could damage our reputation and customer and other stakeholder relationships. Further, given investors’ increased focus related to environmental, social and governance matters, such a failure could cause large stockholders to reduce their ownership of FedEx common stock and limit our access to financing. Such conditions could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition, as well as on the price of our common stock.

Our inability to quickly and effectively restore operations following adverse weather or a localized disaster or disturbance in a key geography could adversely impact our business and results of operations. While we operate several integrated networks with assets distributed throughout the world, there are concentrations of key assets within our networks that are exposed to adverse weather conditions or localized risks from natural or manmade disasters such as earthquakes, volcanoes, wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, severe winter weather, conflicts or unrest, terrorist attacks or other disturbances, actual or threatened. Additionally, shifts in weather patterns caused by climate change could increase the frequency, severity or duration of certain adverse weather conditions. Prolonged interruptions or disruptions at a key location such as our FedEx Express Memphis World Hub or one of our information-technology centers could adversely impact our business and results of operations. We also may incur significant costs to reestablish or relocate these functions. Moreover, resulting economic dislocations, including supply chain and fuel disruptions, could adversely impact demand for our services resulting in an adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

Other Legal, Regulatory and Miscellaneous Risks

Government regulation and enforcement are evolving and unfavorable changes could harm our business. We are subject to regulation under a wide variety of U.S. federal, state and local and non-U.S. government regulations, laws, policies and actions. There can be no assurance that such regulations, laws, policies and actions will not be changed in ways that will decrease the demand for our services, subject us to escalating costs or require us to modify our business models and objectives, harming our financial results. In particular, legislative, regulatory or other actions that U.S. and non-U.S. governments have undertaken or are considering in areas such as data privacy and sovereignty, the use of new technology, taxes, foreign exchange intervention in response to currency volatility, currency controls that could restrict the movement of liquidity from particular jurisdictions, trade controls, tariffs, quotas, embargoes or sanctions in the U.S. or other countries, complex economic sanctions, export controls, additional security or workplace and transportation safety requirements, labor and employment standards (including with respect to our pilots) and benefits, government contracting, environmental standards and accounting may have an adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition, capital requirements, effective tax rate and performance. For additional discussion, see “Item 1. Business” of this Annual Report under the caption “Regulation.” Additionally, the new U.S. presidential administration has indicated a desire to reform various aspects of existing laws, regulations and enforcement priorities and strategies that could, among other things, lead to comprehensive tax reform, broadly increase the U.S. minimum wage to $15 per hour, make it easier for unions to organize our U.S. employees and alter the employment relationship between service providers engaged by FedEx Ground and the drivers employed by those service providers.

We could be subject to adverse changes in regulations and interpretations or challenges to our tax positions. We are subject to taxation in the U.S. and numerous foreign jurisdictions. From time to time, changes in tax laws or regulations may be enacted that could significantly affect our overall tax liabilities and our effective tax rate. U.S. and foreign governmental agencies maintain focus on the taxation of multinational companies, including statutory tax rates, global minimum taxes, digital taxes and transactions between affiliated companies. Such changes may require new and complex computations to be performed, significant judgments, estimates and calculations to be made and the preparation and analysis of information not previously relevant or regularly produced.

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Standard-setting bodies could interpret or issue guidance on how provisions of certain tax laws and regulations will be applied or otherwise administered that is different from our interpretation, and we may be required to make adjustments to amounts that we have recorded that may adversely impact our results of operations and financial condition. For example, in 2019, the U.S. Treasury Department issued final regulations covering the one-time transition tax on unrepatriated foreign earnings, which was enacted as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Certain guidance included in these final regulations is inconsistent with our interpretation that led to the recognition of a $233 million cumulative benefit through 2019. During 2021, we filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee challenging the validity of this tax regulation. Our lawsuit seeks to have the court declare this regulation invalid and order the refund of overpayments of U.S. federal income taxes for 2018 and 2019 attributable to the denial of foreign tax credits under the regulation. We continue to pursue this lawsuit; however, if we are ultimately unsuccessful in defending our position, we may be required to reverse the benefit previously recorded.

Our business is subject to complex and evolving U.S. and foreign laws and regulations regarding data protection. There has recently been heightened regulatory and enforcement focus on data protection in the U.S. (at both the state and federal level) and abroad, and an actual or alleged failure to comply with applicable U.S. or foreign data protection laws, regulations or other data protection standards may expose us to litigation (including, in some instances, class action litigation), fines, sanctions or other penalties, which could harm our reputation and adversely impact our business, results of operations and financial condition. This regulatory environment is increasingly challenging and may present material obligations and risks to our business, including significantly expanded compliance burdens, costs and enforcement risks. For example, the GDPR, which became effective in 2018, greatly increases the jurisdictional reach of EU law and adds a broad array of requirements related to personal data, including individual notice and opt-out preferences and the public disclosure of significant data breaches. Additionally, violations of the GDPR can result in fines of as much as 4% of a company’s annual revenue. Other governments have enacted or are enacting similar data protection laws, including data localization laws that require data to stay within their borders. All of these evolving compliance and operational requirements, as well as the uncertain interpretation and enforcement of laws, impose significant costs and regulatory risks that are likely to increase over time. See “Failure to successfully implement our business strategy and effectively respond to changes in market dynamics and customer preferences will cause our future financial results to suffer.” above for additional information on data protection risks related to our recent acquisition of ShopRunner and launch of FedEx Dataworks.

The regulatory environment for global aviation or other transportation rights may impact our operations and increase our operating costs. Our extensive air network is critical to our success. Our right to serve foreign points is subject to the approval of the Department of Transportation and generally requires a bilateral agreement between the U.S. and foreign governments. In addition, we must obtain the permission of foreign governments to provide specific flights and services. Our operations outside of the U.S., such as FedEx Express’s international domestic operations, are also subject to current and potential regulations, including certain postal regulations and licensing requirements, that restrict, make difficult and sometimes prohibit, the ability of foreign-owned companies such as FedEx Express to compete effectively in parts of the international domestic transportation and logistics market. Regulatory or executive actions affecting global aviation or transportation rights or a failure to obtain or maintain aviation or other transportation rights in important international markets could impair our ability to operate our networks. Further, our ability to obtain or maintain aviation or other transportation rights internationally may be adversely affected by changes in international trade policies and relations.

We are subject to other extensive regulatory and legal compliance requirements that may result in significant costs. For instance, the FAA from time to time issues directives and other regulations relating to the maintenance and operation of aircraft that require significant expenditures in order to comply. High-profile accidents, catastrophes or incidents involving aircraft may trigger increased regulatory and legal compliance requirements. These requirements can be issued with little or no notice, or can otherwise impact our ability to efficiently or fully utilize our aircraft, and in some instances have resulted in the temporary grounding of aircraft types altogether. Further, our business may be adversely impacted when government agencies cease to operate as expected, including due to partial shutdowns, sequestrations or similar events, which may result in, among other things, disruption in the ability of government agencies to grant required regulatory approvals. For additional discussion, see “Item 1. Business” of this Annual Report under the caption “Regulation.”

We are also subject to other risks and uncertainties, including:

 

widespread outbreak of an illness or any other communicable disease, or any other public health crisis;

 

the increasing costs of compliance with federal, state and foreign governmental agency mandates (including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the U.K. Bribery Act) and defending against inappropriate or unjustified enforcement or other actions by such agencies;

 

changes in foreign currency exchange rates, especially in the euro, Chinese yuan, British pound, Canadian dollar, Australian dollar, Hong Kong dollar, Mexican peso, Japanese yen and Brazilian real, which can affect our sales levels and foreign currency sales prices;

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any liability resulting from and the costs of defending against class-action, derivative and other litigation, such as wage-and-hour, joint employment, securities and discrimination and retaliation claims, and any other legal or governmental proceedings, including the matters discussed in Note 19 of the consolidated financial statements included in Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Annual Report;

 

the impact of technology developments on our operations and on demand for our services, and our ability to continue to identify and eliminate unnecessary information-technology redundancy and complexity throughout the organization;

 

governmental underinvestment in transportation infrastructure, which could increase our costs and adversely impact our service levels due to traffic congestion, prolonged closure of key thoroughfares or sub-optimal routing of our vehicles and aircraft;

 

disruptions in global supply chains, which can limit the access of FedEx and our service providers to vehicles and other key capital resources and increase our costs;

 

stockholder activism, which could divert the attention of management and our board of directors from our business, hinder execution of our business strategy, give rise to perceived uncertainties as to our future and cause the price of our common stock to fluctuate significantly;

 

constraints, volatility or disruption in the capital markets, our ability to maintain our current credit ratings, commercial paper ratings, and senior unsecured debt and pass-through certificate credit ratings, and our ability to meet credit agreement financial covenants; and

 

the alternative interest rates we are able to negotiate with counterparties pursuant to the relevant provisions of our credit agreements following cessation of the publication of the London Interbank Offered Rate in the event the euro interbank offered rate also ceases to exist and we make borrowings under the agreements.

ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

None.

ITEM 2. PROPERTIES

FedEx Express Segment

FedEx Express’s principal owned and leased properties include its aircraft, vehicles, major sorting and handling facilities, administration buildings, FedEx Drop Boxes and data processing and telecommunications equipment.

Aircraft and Vehicles

As of May 31, 2021, FedEx Express’s aircraft fleet consisted of the following:

 

Description

 

Owned

 

 

 

Leased

 

 

 

Total

 

 

 

Maximum Gross

Structural Payload

(Pounds per Aircraft)

 

 

Boeing B777F

 

 

 

44

 

 

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

 

 

47

 

 

 

 

 

233,300

 

 

Boeing MD11

 

 

 

50

 

 

 

 

 

7

 

 

 

 

 

57

 

 

 

 

 

192,600

 

 

Boeing MD10-30

 

 

 

13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13

 

 

 

 

 

175,900

 

 

Boeing 767F

 

 

 

102

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

102

 

 

 

 

 

127,100

 

 

Airbus A300-600

 

 

 

56

 

 

 

 

 

12

 

 

 

 

 

68

 

 

 

 

 

106,600

 

 

Boeing 757-200

 

 

 

119

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

119

 

 

 

 

 

63,000

 

 

ATR-72

 

 

 

21

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

21

 

 

 

 

 

17,970

 

 

ATR-72 600F

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

 

 

19,290

 

 

ATR-42

 

 

 

20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20

 

 

 

 

 

12,070

 

 

Cessna 208B

 

 

 

235

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

235

 

 

 

 

 

2,830

 

 

Total

 

 

 

662

 

 

 

 

 

22

 

 

 

 

 

684

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At May 31, 2021, FedEx Express operated approximately 87,000 vehicles in its global network.

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Aircraft Purchase Commitments

The following table is a summary of the number and type of aircraft we were committed to purchase as of July 15, 2021, with the year of expected delivery:

 

 

 

Cessna

SkyCourier 408

 

 

ATR 72-600F

 

 

B767F(1)

 

 

B777F(2)

 

 

Total

 

2022

 

 

9

 

 

 

9

 

 

 

9

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

30

 

2023

 

 

12

 

 

 

6

 

 

 

13

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

33

 

2024

 

 

12

 

 

 

6

 

 

 

14

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

36

 

2025

 

 

12

 

 

 

6

 

 

 

10

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

30

 

2026

 

 

5

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6

 

Thereafter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

 

50

 

 

 

28

 

 

 

46

 

 

 

11

 

 

 

135

 

 

(1)

On June 22, 2021, FedEx Express exercised options to purchase an additional 20 B767F aircraft, ten of which will be delivered in 2024 and ten of which will be delivered in 2025. These aircraft are reflected in the table above. As of July 15, 2021, our obligation to purchase two B767F aircraft is conditioned upon there being no event that causes FedEx Express or its employees not to be covered by the RLA.

(2)

As of July 15, 2021, our obligation to purchase four B777F aircraft is conditioned upon there being no event that causes FedEx Express or its employees not to be covered by the RLA.

As of May 31, 2021, we had $948 million in deposits and progress payments on aircraft purchases and other planned aircraft-related transactions. See Note 18 of the accompanying consolidated financial statements for more information about our purchase commitments and options.

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Sorting and Handling Facilities

At May 31, 2021, FedEx Express operated the following major sorting and handling facilities:

 

Location

 

Acres

 

 

Square

Feet

 

 

Sorting

Capacity

(per hour)(1)

 

 

Lessor

 

Lease

Expiration

Calendar Year

Primary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Memphis, Tennessee

 

 

800

 

 

 

3,607,973

 

 

 

484,000

 

 

Memphis-Shelby County

Airport Authority

 

2036

National

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indianapolis, Indiana

 

 

482

 

 

 

2,509,000

 

 

 

120,000

 

 

Indianapolis Airport

Authority

 

2053

Miami, Florida(2)

 

 

29

 

 

 

143,322

 

 

 

7,000

 

 

Aero Miami FX, LLC

 

2028

Regional

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fort Worth, Texas

 

 

168

 

 

 

948,000

 

 

 

76,000

 

 

Fort Worth Alliance Airport

Authority

 

2041

Newark, New Jersey

 

 

70

 

 

 

595,000

 

 

 

156,000

 

 

Port Authority of New York

and New Jersey

 

2030

Oakland, California

 

 

75

 

 

 

587,700

 

 

 

63,000

 

 

Port of Oakland

 

2036

Greensboro, N. Carolina

 

 

165

 

 

 

593,000

 

 

 

23,000