Continuing its push into cross-border ecommerce to take advantage of rapid growth in that area, FedEx is consolidating a few different business units under existing freight forwarding division FedEx Trade Networks (FTN) as of March 1.
FTN will now pull together FedEx Custom Critical (expedited freight), FedEx Cross Border (formerly Bongo International), FedEx Supply Chain, FedEx Trade Networks Transport & Brokerage and a new unit called FedEx Forward Depots. This last piece covers critical inventory and service parts logistics, 3D printing, a repair center and the FedEx Packaging Lab.
FTN will be headed up by Richard W. Smith, formerly senior vice president of global trade and specialty services for FedEx.
“Richard brings a strong background in working with the unique capabilities that have existed in many parts of the FedEx portfolio for several years and is well suited to lead this new organization that will bring these solutions to customers more seamlessly than ever,” said FedEx president and CEO David J. Bronczek in a release.
In related cross-border ecommerce news, FedEx finally opened its $100 million, 134,000-square-meter hub at Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport earlier this month; it was first announced in 2012. It is the largest hub at the airport, with advanced sortation technology and temperature-controlled storage. The hub will handle 66 flights a day and can process up to 36,000 packages and documents per hour.
“The Asia Pacific region remains the growth driver of the world,” said David L. Cunningham, Jr., president and CEO of FedEx Express, in a separate release. “This new Hub adds yet another major facility to our already comprehensive regional and global network, giving our Asia Pacific customers reliable access to international markets.”
Nearly half of U.S. consumers made a cross-border purchase from an overseas merchant in 2016, according to the latest Pulse of the Online Shopper report from UPS and comScore, up 4% from the prior year, indicating a growing interest in overseas goods. And a separate report from DHL in 2017 called “The 21st Century Spice Trade” pegged cross-border ecommerce growth at 25% per year, with a gross merchandise value of $300 billion.