Fedex Acquisitions


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  • 1988 - Acquired Flying Tiger Line, creating the largest full-service cargo airline in the world at the time.
  • January 1998 - Acquired Caliber System Inc., including its subsidiaries RPS, Roberts Express, Viking Freight, Caribbean Transportation Services, and Caliber Logistics and Caliber Technology.
  • February 2000 - Acquired international logistics company Tower Group International Inc.
  • February 2000 - Acquired customs duty and tax information company WorldTariff.
  • February 2004 - Acquired Kinko's Inc. and re-branded it as FedEx Kinko's.
  • September 2004 - Acquired parcel consolidator Parcel Direct and re-branded it as FedEx SmartPost.
  • April 2015 - Acquired rival firm TNT Express for €4.4 billion.
  • March 2018 - Acquired last-mile delivery service P2P Mailing Limited for £92 million.
  • December 2020 - Acquired e-commerce platform ShopRunner.


Flying Tiger Line
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In the year 1988, the fledgling delivery company known as Federal Express made a move that would cement their position as a dominant player in the air cargo industry.

They acquired Flying Tiger Line, a venerable air freight company with a decorated history stretching back to the Second World War.

The purchase of Flying Tiger Line instantly made Federal Express, which had only been founded in 1971, the proprietor of the largest full-service cargo airline globally.

It was a watershed moment for the rapidly growing company, granting them unmatched capacity and reach. Overnight, they went from upstart to unrivaled leader in air freight.

The acquisition of Flying Tiger Line is considered pivotal in Federal Express' ascendance.

Some historians even mark it as the transition point, where they transformed from promising startup to industry juggernaut.

With the absorption of Flying Tigers' extensive routes and aircraft into their already burgeoning operations, Federal Express had clearly signaled their intentions—to become the top name in time-definite delivery and logistics. The rest, as they say, is history.


Caliber System Inc.
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The year 1998 saw Federal Express, by then a rapidly expanding player in time-sensitive deliveries, make another decisive move to broaden their services by acquiring Caliber System Incorporated.

Caliber was a holding company that owned a constellation of transportation and logistics providers.

In one fell swoop, Federal Express absorbed Caliber's wide array of subsidiaries, including ground courier RPS, expedited shipping outfit Roberts Express, LTL carrier Viking Freight, Caribbean freight forwarder Caribbean Transportation Services, and logistics providers Caliber Logistics and Caliber Technology.

This momentous purchase effectively allowed Federal Express to expand beyond just air express and offer a diverse portfolio of shipping solutions.

Overnight, their footprint grew substantially in the realms of ground transport, freight, customs brokerage, and third-party logistics.

This is the point where Federal Express began its metamorphosis into FedEx Corporation—the sprawling transportation and business services titan we know today.

By snapping up Caliber, Federal Express gained vital capabilities to round out its portfolio. Once again, their ambitions to dominate the world of shipping and logistics were made clear.


Tower Group International
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The dawn of the new millennium saw the freshly minted FedEx Corporation seek to expand its international reach by acquiring logistics firm Tower Group International.

Based in Miami, Tower Group was a player in global freight forwarding and customs brokerage.

This strategic purchase served to bolster FedEx's capabilities outside of North America.

Overnight, their international shipping competencies grew thanks to Tower Group's worldwide network. Additionally, by absorbing Tower Group and its customs expertise, FedEx gained vital skills to better serve customers with complex cross-border needs.

Buying up Tower Group in 2000 marked another critical move for the rapidly evolving transportation conglomerate, as it continued to diversify into new areas beyond its signature overnight deliveries.

This deal was instrumental in cementing FedEx's stature as a logistics giant fit to compete on a global scale in the 21st century.


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As part of its efforts to expand competencies in the realm of global shipping, the freshly minted FedEx Corporation acquired WorldTariff in the early months of 2000.

WorldTariff was a firm focused on providing customs data and international trade compliance services.

This strategic purchase served to supplement FedEx's growing customs brokerage capabilities, an area they had ventured into following the Caliber System deal two years prior.

WorldTariff's databases and expertise with global trade further bolstered FedEx's burgeoning cross-border shipping solutions.

Historians cite the WorldTariff acquisition as yet another critical building block as FedEx pieced together the components to become a diversified logistics powerhouse suited for the era of globalization.

The purchase granted important new competencies to address the complex duties and regulations involved with international deliveries.


Kinko's Inc.
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In February of 2004, FedEx sought to expand its retail footprint by acquiring popular American copy chain Kinko's Incorporated.

With over 1,200 locations across the states providing printing, business services, and shipping solutions, Kinko's represented an opportunity for FedEx to gain greater public access.

After the purchase, FedEx swiftly moved to rebrand the chain as FedEx Kinko's—markings its efforts to integrate the stores under its corporate banner.

This deal is emblematic of a period when FedEx aggressively moved into new sectors through strategic acquisitions, having evolved beyond its origins as strictly an express courier.

Gaining Kinko's allowed FedEx to tune its retail strategy and offered valuable real estate for consumers to access its now wide-ranging delivery services firsthand.

The Kinko's deal was an integral step in FedEx's maturation into the diversified logistics empire they are today.


Parcel Direct
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In September of 2004, FedEx purchased a small parcel consolidator named Parcel Direct, which was owned by printing firm Quad Graphics.

Parcel Direct specialized in aggregating high volumes of small packages from retailers and e-commerce sellers for efficient delivery.

After the acquisition, FedEx swiftly moved to rebrand the outfit as FedEx SmartPost - integrating it into their rapidly diversifying array of shipping solutions.

This was a strategic acquisition as an early effort by FedEx to cater towards booming online retail, by offering efficient consolidation services.

By purchasing Parcel Direct, FedEx gained technology and infrastructure that would allow it to cost-effectively handle huge e-commerce package volumes.

Rebranding it SmartPost reflected ambitions to be the go-to service for major e-tailers.


TNT Express
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In April of 2015, FedEx announced its biggest acquisition yet, purchasing Dutch delivery firm TNT Express for €4.4 billion euros.

TNT was one of Europe's leading courier services, with extensive operations across the continent. Historians view this blockbuster deal as reflective of FedEx's ambitions to be a truly dominant GLOBAL player in logistics.

Gaining TNT's well-established European infrastructure allowed FedEx to dramatically bolster international services.

Overnight they absorbed robust air and road networks spanning over 200 countries. Given TNT's strong European clientele and operations—this megamerger was instrumental in FedEx cementing itself as a transatlantic shipping titan fit for the 21st century’s globalized economy.

The multi-billion dollar TNT Express deal marked FedEx's largest effort yet to reinforce their position as the premiere player in worldwide delivery solutions.


P2P Mailing Limited
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As e-commerce grew explosively in the late 2010s, FedEx moved to bolster its last-mile delivery capabilities by acquiring UK firm P2P Mailing Limited for £92 million pounds sterling.

P2P was an emerging player specializing in local courier solutions, connecting retailers with customers' doorsteps.

This 2018 deal was consistent with FedEx efforts to continually evolve with the times.

By purchasing P2P Mailing, FedEx snapped up technology and infrastructure for more efficient local delivery routes amidst booming online shopping. Boosting its last-mile competency was clearly aimed at capturing growth from internet retailers' burgeoning small-package volume.

Thus the P2P Mailing deal marked another instance of FedEx strategically acquiring assets to sharpen its competitive edge in an evolving landscape.

Possessing robust last-mile networks primed FedEx to thrive as e-commerce required rapid, high-volume residential delivery. Once again, FedEx showed its knack for staying ahead of trends.


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As online shopping accelerated explosively during the COVID-19 pandemic, FedEx further bolstered its e-commerce competencies by acquiring ShopRunner in December 2020.

ShopRunner was an e-commerce platform providing membership-based services for retailers.

This deal aligned with FedEx’s efforts to become deeply integrated with major internet merchants’ operations. Possessing ShopRunner’s relationships and technology stacks allowed FedEx to tightly interweave itself into the e-commerce ecosystem's backbone.

The ShopRunner deal was the latest move in FedEx’s continual efforts to shape industry trends by strategically acquiring key capabilities.

Obtaining such a niche but well-networked e-commerce specialist reflected ambitions to dominate online retail shipping through deeply embedded partnerships. Once again, FedEx showed its foresight in evolving along with the times.