I visited FedEx’s vast warehouse at Los Angeles International Airport this week, a facility that, unfortunately, is off limits to photographs and video.
But I learned some interesting stuff:
- Fedex flies almost exclusively widebody planes to LAX, using a mixture of MD-10s, MD-11s and A-300s.
- The MD-10s are an unusual aircraft. They were initially called DC-10s, and they flew as passenger aircraft for decades. But after high-tech cockpit upgrades – they can now be flown by two pilots instead of three – they adopted a new name. The same pilots at FedEx fly the MD-10 and the MD-11, as the cockpits are similar.
- Fedex flies between about 16 departures and 16 arrivals daily from LAX, though that number fluctuates based on factors such as day of the week and time of the year.
- About half of departures leave during the day, while the other half leave at night.
- Common destinations from LAX are Memphis, Oakland, Honolulu, Fort Worth, Texas and Indianapolis. There are no international flights from the airport, though planes do fly on to Pacific destinations from Honolulu.
- At its LAX facility, FedEx can accommodate 14 airplanes at one time.
- Fedex is adamant about not losing your package. About 15 to 20 minutes before each flight, three different employees inspect every inch of the 800,000 square foot facility. Their goal: To make sure every last package is on board.
- Your package is scanned two to five times as it moves through the airport facility. You won’t see those scans on Fedex.com, but it allows employees internally to know exactly what is happening to your package.