Increased FedEx business does not come without a cost - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Increased FedEx business does not come without a cost

(WMC-TV) - Thousands of hands are busy at FedEx delivering a record number of packages, but there is a question as to whether those same hands will be on the job this time next year.

Packages from around the world have funneled through the Mid-South in hopes of getting to their final destination before Christmas.

FedEx predicted Monday would be their busiest day in the 40 year history of the company.  But that business does not come without a cost.

Whether on the ground or in the air, Memphis-based FedEx has been in constant motion for the past 24 hours.

They were planning to ship some 19 million packages at a rate of 200 per second.

"If your package is coming by FedEx ground or home delivery, you've got until next Monday to be guaranteed delivery by Christmas," said FedEx spokesperson Bonnie Kourvelas.

Although business is booming at FedEx, they have still been stared in the face by the tough economy.

In an effort to restructure and increase profits by $1.7 billion, FedEx is offering voluntary buyouts.

Employees eligible to request a voluntary buyout packet will be notified by e-mail in February 2013.

Key terms of the buyout include four weeks of base salary for every year of continuous service and a $25,000 health care credit.

FedEx says a rise in jet fuel, combined with a shift away from air delivery, has allowed them to refocus their efforts.

"Everybody's getting online. This is not just something young people are doing now....it's all age groups. It's easier and faster," said Kourvelas.

"We've been preparing for this day, since the day after Christmas last year, literally planning for this day since then," said FedEx Vice President Paul Tronsor.

In all, FedEx plans to move 280 million packages between the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

That, officials say, would be a 13 percent increase over last year.

Those FedEx employees offered buyouts in mid-February would have until April 1 to make their decisions.

The buyouts themselves are set to begin in June of next year.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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