FedEx CEO Blames Customers for Poor Holiday Delivery Performance

Fedex logoFedEx CEO Fred Smith blamed the company’s disappointing holiday performance on a combination of bad weather and sloppy customers yesterday.

From the Wall Street Journal:

FedEx Corp. Chief Executive Fred Smith took a tough line with e-commerce companies on Wednesday, saying they need to shape up sloppy shipping practices or risk losing customers.

A significant part of the industry’s Christmas-delivery mess, he said, stemmed from problems on the part of retailers.

Retailers, he said, claimed that packages had been tendered to FedEx and rival United Parcel Service Inc. for delivery to their customers before they actually were. In addition, labels were often affixed incorrectly or items weren’t properly packaged and subject to damage, the executive added, sounding like the Marine Corps veteran that he is, while speaking on an earnings conference call with analysts.

Retailers’ shortcomings on their side of the delivery equation “is a big part of the e-commerce business that really didn’t get enough publicity last year because they were an integral part of the problem even more than the weather and the carrier performance,” the FedEx chief said.

Read more: Wall Street Journal

  • Tony

    C ‘mon Freddy! You’re company wasn’t ready and underestimated the work load period.

    • scoopy

      Not even close Tony – shippers have a huge hand in the quality of data and packages they send to the network, and a bad link in the upstream chain causes problems for a world-class organization like FedEx. On top of that, retailers over-promised delivery times on shipments and then just dropped it in FedEx’s hands and hoped for the best. Mr. Smith laid the hammer down, properly I might add, on these companies that did everything they could to drum up business but failed to think of the downstream consequences.

      • JG4th

        How come the USPS didn’t have near the issues that FedEx and UPS had? could it be that their processing model of a centralized hub isn’t as good as they thought?

        • Bill Garbe

          please JG4th let’s not state the obvious. FEDEX and UPS promises dates they can’t follow through on and blame the customer. The only promise we make is our Express shipping method. USPS is the most affordable shipping and we have less complaints then both FEDEX and UPS. To bad congreass wants to desolve us and privatize us. ISSA is a CROOK and a JOKE!

          • DaPhantomMailman

            Yeah he is , ISSA DA KROOK ! Is on the take for these companies, as well as a few members of the BOG! Stick together and fight what’s right! Time to vote ISSA OUT! Save good middle class jobs! The USPS is a good company part of our constitution, a infrastructure based on service not profit!

        • Bob

          Not to mention that ups and fed ex dumped 30% of there packages on the postal service

  • RandyF

    7 P’s Fred. Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

    As happens more and more these days, blame anything except yourself.

  • marc zazeela

    Shippers certainly bear some responsibility, but if this has happened before, I think it should be the responsibility of the vendor to get their customers in shape. Inexperienced customers rely on superior vendors to provide not only the service they bought, but to provide helpful information that will make everyone’s life a little better.

    Apparently the problem was widespread enough that there were lots failures. Shame on Fed Ex for agreeing to do business with customers who were poorly prepared. Shame on them for putting profits ahead of quality.

  • freecountry

    This guy will be running the USPS soon. He already know how to blame everybody else!!

  • Tony

    Sorry Scoopy! But I saw it for years first hand. Fed Ex is simply over rated and over priced! I had to fix too many of their blunders during the holiday seasons past. They may be legendary in their own minds, but it is not good enough!

  • Me

    Wouldn’t the scans tell who was at fault? Check the scans which will tell when FedEx received the packages.

  • Kathleen Johnson

    USPS seemed to have very few issues over the same period.
    I have to ask – why was that?