Four years of ascending

Jun. 22, 2013 @ 03:00 PM

Four years after FedEx Corp. touched down in reality with its national cargo hub at Piedmont Triad International Airport, the company has become a major employer in the Piedmont.
But that employment isn’t through the cargo hub alone.
FedEx reports that it has more than 1,100 employees in the greater Greensboro area. The workers are divided among FedEx Express, FedEx Ground and FedEx Office, a corporate spokeswoman told The High Point Enterprise.
The employment figures weren’t broken down for the cargo hub, which opened four years ago this month as the company’s latest national package sorting operation. The last time that the Enterprise reported a figure on employment at the hub itself was August 2011, when the mid-Atlantic package sorting operation had 234 employees.
But today, FedEx also has a major ground package delivery operation in Kernersville that employs several hundred workers.
Economic developers in the Triad tout FedEx’s operations as a way to draw other employers to the region to take advantage of access to nearby, overnight shipping options.
But the cargo hub project at PTIA has been controversial from the moment FedEx announced its plans in April 1998. Residents of western Greensboro and northern High Point worry about what the impact will be from increasing late-night and early-morning cargo flights as the economy recovers and the hub generates more aircraft traffic. Last decade, the airport went through an extensive planning process to implement a series of measures designed to lessen the impact of aircraft noise on nearby neighborhoods, including setting up a jet noise monitoring system around PTIA.
Last week, the Memphis-based international shipping and logistics corporation reported improved and better-than-expected earnings for the fourth quarter of its fiscal year.
Revenue of $6.98 billion increased 3 percent from last quarter’s $6.8 billion. Adjusted operating income of $460 million improved 11 percent from $415 million in the previous fourth quarter. FedEx reports earnings of $2.13 per diluted share for the fourth quarter ended May 31, up from $1.99 per diluted share in the last fourth quarter.
On a corporate level, FedEx remains in a mode of limiting the size of its work force and payroll. Last fall, FedEx rolled out voluntary program for employees to leave the company through an exit benefits package.
“Approximately 3,600 employees will be voluntarily leaving the company in phases to ensure a smooth transition,” FedEx reports in its quarterly earnings report.
The employees leaving the company represent 2.4 percent of the 149,000 workers FedEx had last year.

pjohnson@hpe.com | 888-3528