Summary of How Overnight Shipping Works

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When you overnight a package from halfway around the world, do you ever wonder about the many cogs and gears that must perfectly align to get your order to your door the next day? Express shipping is “an absolute masterpiece of logistics,” says Wendover Productions, whose fact-filled video sheds light on an industry that operates mainly under cover of darkness. getAbstract recommends this analysis to those curious about the logistics of logistics.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How courier companies fulfill overnight shipping orders,
  • What factors determine the locations of their hubs and
  • Why it’s impossible for smaller companies to break into the global courier industry.
 

About the Speaker

Wendover Productions publishes videos exploring the intricacies of global travel, geography and economies.

 

Summary

FedEx, DHL and UPS all provide global overnight courier services, even to remote corners of the world. These freight companies operate global air networks through major hub airports. FedEx, “the largest cargo airline in the world,” transports six million packages via 650 planes nightly, mainly through its hub airports. Its “superhub” in Memphis, Tennessee, is located just 200 miles [320 km] away from the United States’ mean population center. Therefore, FedEx’s superhub is primed to reach the most Americans in the fastest time. Each night between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m., some 150 FedEx planes fly into Memphis, where packages are quickly unloaded, sorted and reloaded in time for flights that take off between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. Thus, FedEx planes can fly into every corner of the US by 6 a.m. daily. UPS’s superhub in Louisville, Kentucky, operates similarly. Not all packages travel through the superhubs. Secondary routes between destinations with high package flow, such as Oakland, California, short-cut the distance created by the superhub, which serves as “the backup hub in case there’s not a more efficient routing.”


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