FedEx's SuperHub is a technological marvel and a triumph of the information age that is invisible to most of us but touches all of our lives.

Nothing illustrates the point better than the Small Package Sortation System, a vast, FedEx-designed machine that sits in its own warehouse. It cost $175 million to build and sorts an average of 1.2 million packages a night. It scans the bar code on every package at least 30 times. Any delays in the process can get detected in minutes. That's why the U.S. Postal Service has become one of FedEx's major accounts. FedEx's SmartPost operation delivers much of the United States' daily mail to the "last mile."

Because FedEx is as disciplined and reliable as it is, standard items it ships include chemotherapy drugs, human hearts and other live human organs, artificial joints, contact lenses, surgical scalpels, fresh blood, heart monitors, circuit boards, auto bumpers, tractor parts, Swiss watch elements, rare manuscripts, aviation components, Maine lobsters, crickets, whales, snakes, Japanese cherries, Hawaiian flowers, tennis shoes, and European fragrances. Oh, and FedEx also transports the occasional Arabian race horse and antique automobile. Any large cargo, from 150 pounds to 2,000 pounds, is fair game.

(HT: I forget! Sorry.)

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