Big news Wednesday from the Memphis area’s biggest employer; FedEx. Company leaders announced a $1 billion-plus investment to expand and modernize the FedEx Memphis Hub.
Company leaders said this years-long expansion will not only add new jobs, but it also solidifies FedEx’s longtime commitment in the area, and the Memphis Hub’s standing as the most important for FedEx around the world.
It’s understandable why FedEx leaders and Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam had a little extra kick in their step Wednesday when they made the announcement.
“We are going to be much oriented towards technology, automation, modernization and it’s going to be transformational,” said FedEx Express President & CEO Dave Cunningham.
This is big news for a company who employs more than 30,000 people in the Memphis area. The Memphis FedEx Hub expansion will allow better handling of oversized shipments, more popular now with the growth of e-commerce.
New FedEx jobs will also be added to develop new sort systems and other improvements.
“What you are going to see is more technical jobs are going to be part of the hub,” said Cunningham. “As you add aircraft, you add technology, short systems, things like that, you need more skilled employees.”
Business experts say the move sent a strong local message.
“FedEx has roots here long term, but they’re going to be here even longer,” said University of Memphis business professor Jeff Wallace. “FedEx isn’t going anywhere. If anything, they are going to grow locally.”
Wallace said this major FedEx expansion will only bolster that positive ripple effect.
“FedEx employees take their incomes and spend them in the local economy,” said Wallace. “They purchase houses, they purchase cars, they do grocery shopping, they send their kids to school, and at each step of the way that becomes someone else’s income.”
Other experts believe a larger Memphis FedEx Hub will lure more companies and jobs linked to shipping, like distribution warehouses and medical supply companies such as Olympus in Bartlett.
“This is just another reinforcement of the fact that we have a lot of offer here and businesses are choosing to locate here or stay and expand here,” said Wallace.
Construction of the expanded Memphis FedEx Hub will start next year and wrap up in 2025. When the work is complete, FedEx leaders said this massive facility will stand alone as the shipping giant’s most important and most up to date.
“This will remain, the largest, the most complex, most capable hub that we have anywhere in the system,” said Cunningham.
Right now, the Memphis FedEx Hub processes nearly half, or 47%, of the company’s worldwide volume each business day
(TN GOVERNOR’S OFFICE RELEASE)
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today joined FedEx Corp. Chairman and CEO Frederick W. Smith to announce the company is making a capital investment of more than $1 billion to modernize its Memphis hub and improve operational efficiency and reliability.
The Memphis hub project includes construction of a new large sort facility and installation of state-of-the-art sort systems, construction of a bulk truck load building, and a new area to improve handling of the oversized shipments that have increased with the growth in e-commerce. Following plan approval, construction is expected to begin in 2019 and be completed by 2025.
“FedEx is known for delivering results across the globe, so we are incredibly grateful it calls Tennessee home and is doubling down here with this major investment,” Haslam said. “As the Memphis area’s largest employer, and a major economic driver across the state, this investment reflects FedEx’s continued commitment to Tennessee and will benefit current employees and the future workforce for years to come.”
“I want to thank Governor Haslam and the state of Tennessee for their support of this investment in a transformational project for the FedEx Express hub in Memphis,” Smith said.
“Modernization and expansion of the Memphis hub will ensure that we continue to provide outstanding service to our customers around the world and make this an even better place to work for the thousands of team members here who keep our operations running every day and night.”
In addition to improving operations, the investment in new systems will improve the environment for the thousands of FedEx team members who work at the Memphis hub, including improved cooling and break rooms, which will drive team member satisfaction.
The FedEx hub in Memphis, which currently has 11,000 team members and 163 aircraft gates, is the largest sort facility in the FedEx Express global network. It processes 47 percent of total FedEx volume and 69 percent of U.S. domestic volume each business day. FedEx employs an estimated total of 30,000 people in the Memphis area.