Inside a FedEx Ground hub

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WOODBRIDGE, NJ - FedEx Corp. isn't just about FedEx Express. The Memphis, TN-based carrier also has a small-package ground division called FedEx Ground, which operates a network of automated facilities that ships more than 2.6 million packages every business day.

FedEx Ground began in 1985 as RPS (Roadway Package System), a division of Roadway Services, which became Caliber System Inc. in 1996. Following the acquisition of the Caliber companies by FDX Corp. in 1998, RPS was officially rebranded FedEx Ground in January 2000. Later that year, the company launched FedEx Home Delivery, a business-to-consumer service designed to help catalog and online retailers meet the needs of the residential market with standard features such as evening and Saturday deliveries.

In September 2002, FedEx Home Delivery completed its expansion and is now available nationwide, serving virtually every U.S. address. In September 2004, Parcel Direct became a subsidiary of FedEx Ground after FedEx acquired the leading parcel consolidator. The service was later rebranded FedEx SmartPost and currently provides a cost-effective solution for low-weight, less time-sensitive residential shipments.

Today, the FedEx Ground network encompasses more than 500 operations dedicated to either deliveries to businesses (FedEx Ground) or residential service (FedEx Home Delivery) throughout the U.S. and Canada. Packages travel from a customer's pickup location to one of 27 centralized hubs where they are sorted and, based on destination ZIP codes, sent to local FedEx Ground or FedEx Home Delivery facilities. At these local sites, they are loaded for delivery onto the familiar white vans.

FedEx Ground offers small-package delivery in one to five business days in the continental U.S. and in three to five business days to Alaska and Hawaii.

DM News also toured FedEx Ground's Woodbridge hub here, which is FedEx Ground's largest facility using state-of-the-art automated package processing and material handling technology.

The cornerstone of all this technology is the barcoding that FedEx Ground introduced to the small-package ground market. A barcode label on every package ensures efficient routing through the FedEx Ground network. Optimizing the data that barcodes provide is a part of the company's commitment to improve small-package ground service and dramatically enhance the level of information customers can access about their shipments.

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