24 nov 23

Optimizing Efficiency: Inside FedEx Express' European Road Network Strategy

Martin Gussinklo, Senior Vice President of the European Road Network at FedEx Express Europe (pictured), sheds light on the intricacies of their European Road Network strategy, emphasizing the pivotal role it plays in the company's success.

Strategic Targets

With over 5,400 FedEx-owned trucks and trailers and 50,000 international linehaul movements weekly across 45 countries, the European Road Network serves as a cornerstone for FedEx's operations. Gussinklo underscores their approach, combining owned and contracted vehicles, ensuring adaptability to dynamic business demands while upholding safety and reliability as non-negotiable priorities.

"The strategic focus areas are safety and reliability," Gussinklo asserts. "We maintain a well-maintained, high-quality fleet and collaborate with responsive partners across Europe."

We are also exploring ways to make our fleet more sustainable. Gussinklo expounds on their initiatives, particularly in linehaul fleet operations, where they're actively testing different vehicle types across weight classes. Although long-distance battery electric vehicles face infrastructure limitations, FedEx Express navigates this challenge by introducing renewable diesel in select pilots across the Netherlands and the UK. These diesels avoid the use of fossil fuel sources, so the overall lifecycle emissions are significantly less.

Operational Innovation

Gussinklo delves into the integration of telematics, highlighting how their equipped trailers, coupled with third-party solutions, streamline movement tracking across Europe. This integration optimizes planning, enabling predictive decision-making and enhancing resource allocation at sorting locations. Leveraging data-driven insights, an evolving AI system aids in suggesting optimal actions for efficient operations.

Electrification emerges as a pivotal focus, with ambitious targets to introduce electric vehicles into their pickup and delivery fleet. By 2030, FedEx Express aims for all newly purchased vehicles to be electric, signaling a shift toward sustainable ground operations. To address charging challenges, strategic partnerships and onsite overnight charging solutions have been implemented, ensuring seamless operations for the pickup and delivery fleet.

The role of strategically located hubs in Europe becomes evident in Gussinklo's narrative. These hubs serve as consolidation and sorting centers, streamlining transfers and bolstering efficiency through advanced automation. Positioned strategically along major transport corridors, these hubs facilitate day-definite services and contribute significantly to FedEx Express' value proposition.

Adapting & Enhancing

Gussinklo emphasizes the importance of adapting to evolving landscapes and leveraging innovative approaches. "Rapidly changing goals, especially in fleet electrification, necessitate recalibrating networks and optimizing fleet strategies," he suggests. Additionally, catering to the preferences of the next generation of drivers, such as minimizing time away from home, stands pivotal in maintaining efficiency.

Recent investments in hubs in Duiven, the Netherlands, and Novara, Italy, have substantially expanded capacity and operational efficiency. These enhancements align with FedEx Express' commitment to meeting customer demands for cost-effective shipping options amid economic and geopolitical uncertainties.

The European Road Network remains a strategic cornerstone for FedEx Express, connecting nations, facilitating seamless logistics, and embracing sustainability in an evolving global landscape. As the company forges ahead, its unwavering commitment to innovation in fleet management continues to set benchmarks in the logistics industry.

Picture Credit: FedEx

Authored by: Yves Helven