Hubs and spokes aren’t just for tires. Shipping companies such as FedEx use a hub and spoke system to streamline deliveries, shortening delivery time. When a package is shipped through FedEx, it ends up at one of several destinations around the country. These are the hubs, which is where packages get sorted and tracked. From the hubs, packages are then sent to their final destinations. These are the spokes. A hub and spoke system streamlines deliveries and reduces overhead costs. FedEx operates an extensive distribution center network that includes hubs throughout the United States. These regional operations are dedicated to sorting and distributing packages flowing in from surrounding areas, as well as from points across the nation and the globe. FedEx offers a variety of shipping services that each have its own hub and spoke system.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
FedEx operates an extensive distribution center network that includes hubs throughout the United States. FedEx Express’ primary distribution center (known as Super Hub) is located in Memphis, where FedEx is headquartered. In addition to the Super Hub, FedEx Express has 11 other airport-based hubs that process overnight packages.
Memphis Super Hub
FedEx Express is the branch of FedEx that uses cargo planes to get packages to their destinations. FedEx Express’ primary distribution center is located in Memphis, where FedEx is headquartered. The company refers to this location as its “Super Hub,” and it’s bigger than some cities. It even has its own police and fire departments.
Packages are flown to the Super Hub, where they then get sorted and flown to their destination city. This helps reduce the number of flights needed and keeps fuel costs down.
The Super Hub has more than 10,000 employees and tracks and sorts about 1.4 million packages every day based on their locations. That is why you often see that your package is in Memphis if you are tracking it. This FedEx hub tracks and sorts packages at a rate of 0.5 million per hour, and delivers to destinations around the globe.
FedEx Express Hubs
Not every package shipped through FedEx Express goes through Memphis, but the majority of them do. In addition to the Super Hub, FedEx Express has 11 other airport-based hubs that process overnight packages.
The FedEx Express hubs located in the United States include Miami, Dallas, Indianapolis and Oakland, California. Hubs are also located in other parts of the world, including Japan and Canada.
About 4 million express packages are processed each night through its entire global distribution system.
FedEx SmartPost Hubs
FedEx SmartPost is a service of FedEx that allows you to efficiently and cost-effectively ship low-weight packages to residential customers throughout the United States and its territories. Packages must be less than 70 pounds and nonurgent. SmartPost is available to businesses only, Monday through Saturday.
Through SmartPost, FedEx picks up shipments and transports them via the hub network to the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) facility closest to the customer. USPS makes the final delivery.
There are 25 FedEx hubs in the SmartPost network, which is headquartered in Brookfield, Wisconsin. Other hubs include Detroit, Phoenix, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City and Atlanta.
FedEx Ground Hubs
FedEx Ground delivers packages of up to 150 pounds to locations throughout the United States. Delivery is available Monday through Friday, and delivery time is one to seven business days.
FedEx Ground has nearly 600 facilities across the United States and Canada, including 15 hubs. FedEx does not make its list of FedEx Ground locations public, but hubs are located in the following cities:
- Metuchen, New Jersey
- Ocala, Florida
- Tracy, California
- Houston, Texas
- Champaign, Illinois
FedEx Ground is headquartered in Pittsburgh. Throughout its network, it has about 95,000 employees and distributes about 7.5 million packages daily. FedEx is constantly upgrading and expanding its FedEx Ground distribution centers and hubs to create more efficiencies in shipping.
Throughout its entire network of hubs and distribution centers, more than 10 million packages get shipped each night.