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商业 - 航空和运输

联邦快递CEO:中国引擎推动国际业务(节选)

Brian Dumaine 2012年05月16日

联邦快递CEO弗里德•史密斯:目前,联邦快递是中国境内外规模最大的国际航空速递商。我们还在中国提供联邦快递品牌的国内包裹快递服务。借助在中国的业务,我们将推动公司的国际货运业务围绕主要市场进行拓展。

    弗里德•史密斯预测,发展中国家将为公司带来快速增长。

    弗里德•史密斯曾在越南服役,并被任命为美国海军陆战队中尉,后成为一名飞行员。1971年,退役后的弗里德•史密斯四处寻找发展机会,最终成立了联邦快递公司(FedEx)。据说,弗里德在耶鲁大学(Yale)上学期间曾写过一篇论文,具体的分数已经记不清了,但据他回忆,当时的得分并不是很高,但后来,这篇论文却成为联邦快递的指导文件,为运送计算机配件等时间敏感型物品的中心辐射系统奠定了理论基础。当时,他向两位姐姐筹借了资金,租了几架飞机,然后公司就开始投入运营。目前,联邦快递公司【在《财富》500强(Fortune 500)中名列第70位】总部位于孟菲斯,共有员工255,000人,688架飞机,以及超过90,000辆货车,在全球超过220个国家和地区提供快递服务。这就是弗里德•史密斯建立的王国。以下为本刊访谈内容节选:

问:2000年,您开始从传统的航空快递业务逐渐向陆路和海路货运转变。这种战略转变背后的出发点是什么?

    答:2000年,快递市场的年平均规模约为500亿美元(销售额)。而今天,快递市场已经达到3,500亿至4,000亿美元。开通陆路与海路货运服务,可以帮助我们打开最具可持续性发展潜力的市场:发展中国家。在许多发展中国家,包括金砖四国(巴西、俄罗斯、印度和中国),中产阶级正在崛起。互联网打破了语言障碍,并且可以用视觉形式来展示每一种产品,于是,通过这种价格低廉的标准化通信系统,新兴中产阶级以一种前所未有的方式交织在一起。比如,如果用户希望购买汽车部件,不论是大众(Volkswagen)或是克莱斯勒(Chrysler),他可以在世界各地查找。而这正是最大的机遇所在。全球贸易的增长幅度,以及新兴经济体的发展速度,都让工业国家的GDP增长黯然失色。

哪里是联邦快递发展最快的市场?

    目前,联邦快递是中国境内外规模最大的国际航空速递商。我们还在中国提供联邦快递品牌的国内包裹快递服务。借助在中国的业务,我们将推动公司的国际货运业务围绕主要市场进行拓展。

中国人能够接受联邦快递的理念吗?

    当然。中国前任国家主席江泽民曾在办公室会见过联邦快递的董事们,说实话,他对联邦快递的了解可能超过董事们中的许多人。

    When Fred Smith founded FedEx in 1971, he had just returned from the Vietnam War, where he had served as a Marine platoon leader and then a pilot, and he was casting around for something to do. As legend has it, a paper he had written at Yale -- he doesn't remember the grade but is pretty sure it wasn't a good one -- laid out the idea for a hub-and-spoke system for delivering time-sensitive items like computer parts. He borrowed money from his sisters, leased some jets, and started his service. Today FedEx (No. 70 on the Fortune 500), with headquarters in Memphis, has 255,000 employees, 688 planes, and more than 90,000 vehicles that operate in some 220 countries and regions. Here's the world according to Fred Smith. Edited excerpts:

Q: In 2000 you started morphing from your traditional air express delivery business into ground and into freight. What was the thinking behind that strategy shift?

    A: Well, in 2000 we were probably competing in a $50 billion annual [sales] market space. Today we're directly competing in about a $350 billion to $400 billion marketplace. Going into ground and freight opened up a market for us with the greatest growth potential over a sustained period of time: the developing world. Middle classes are emerging in various countries, including the BRIC nations [Brazil, Russia, India, and China]. And these middle-class populations are all knit together today for the first time in human history with a low-cost, standardized communication system that can intermediate language differences and show every product on the planet in visual format. And that of course is the Internet. Today if you want a component for an automobile -- Volkswagen or Chrysler or whatever -- you can look worldwide. And so that's the biggest opportunity. The growth of world trade and the growth of those emerging economies dwarfs the growth of GDP in the industrial countries.

What's one of your fastest-growing markets?

    We are now the biggest international transporter of goods by air in and out of China. We also have established a FedEx-branded domestic parcel service there. We use this business to move our international traffic to and from the major gateways.

In China, do they get the FedEx concept?

    Oh, yeah. You bet. One time Jiang Zemin [the former President of China] had our board of directors to his office, and he probably knew more about the company than a lot of them did, to tell you the truth.

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