Friday, November 4, 2011

Memphis Day 3 - FedEx WOC

Today we were given a private tour of the FedEx World Operation & Tech Centre.

Let me sum up what happens here with this cool video that showed up called "The Ant Hill"

It's all the air traffic within the FedEx fleet over a 24hr period. I like watching Memphis and Vancouver.

Here at the WOC, they showed us how all the magic really happens. Here are some highlights from the tons of info and limited notes I could reel off.
  • FexEx Pilots are the only NON Unionised pilots in aviation and make multiples more than commercial pilots.
  • Very soon planes will not even have a pilot!
  • One of the main jobs at the center is to worry about the worst events that can happen to the company so customers can sleep easy. They constantly think about research black swan events such as 911 - they already had a plan in place years before it happened and were the last planes out of the sky and the first planes back up when the FAA shut down air travel.
  • FedEx captures more data than any airline (fuel consumption, repairs).
One question I asked their VP of Marketing was about the movie Castaway, that was basically a 2 hour FedEx commercial. Can you believe it cost FedEx nothing to be in the movie! Actually they charged fees to have filming done on site.
How the story goes is that Fred Smith, the founder of FedEx, and Tom Hanks were at a charity function together and chatting about Tom's new movie. The character of the movie was time obsessed in his job, and then gets stranded in the island, but they had not decided what the character's job was going to be. Fred chimed in and said there is nobody more time obsessed on the planet than a FedEx employee. The rest is history.
Here is a funny spoof commercial on the Castaway movie.