A day in the life of FedEx

All roads lead to Rome, but all skyways lead to Memphis. Watch this video and you’ll see what I mean. I defy you not to think of ants crawling into an ant hill.

You’re watching 25 hours worth of FedEx flights, and there’s no better way to understand the hub-and-spoke nature of the business. Everything they ship (almost everything) gets routed through Memphis, regardless of its ultimate destination. As you watch this counterintuitive stroke of logistical legerdemain, remember that FedEx founder Fred Smith is the guy who invented the whole hub-and-spoke idea. It’s the same idea that was adopted by every airline and ultimately sent you through Minneapolis on your way from Schenectady to St. Louis. Fortunately, overnight packages don’t mind the layover in Memphis.

If you liked this video, watch the visualization of flight deviations around a Memphis thunderstorm.

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