FedEx Custom Critical goes Red

TeamCaffee

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Email just received from Virginia Albanese, President and CEO FedEx Custom Critical:

"New Color for FedEx Custom Critical
I have news to share of an upcoming change for our brand at FedEx Custom Critical. We will be changing our color scheme and logo from purple and blue to purple and red. As you know, our company is a part of the FedEx Freight segment, and this change better aligns our appearance in the market under the segment umbrella.

The only thing that is changing is the “Ex” color of our FedEx logo from blue to red. Nothing else is changing. Our company name, structure and value proposition will remain the same. This is strictly a cosmetic change to our logo.

With this change, we bring the attributes of our company to the larger Freight organization market positioning. Our speed, proactive communications, special care in handling and transactional control brings even more value to the “red” brand. Customers will also see that we are part of the same family with the common goal of delivering an outstanding experience to meet their freight shipping needs.

This change means we will have new decals on FedEx Custom Critical vehicles, as well as new apparel available for you all. We are creating implementation plans for all of our brand changes, so please be patient as we develop those plans. This change will be a gradual one. We realize there is a lot that will need to change and it will take some time.

As we head down the stretch of FY11 and into FY12, our strategy is strong, and I thank you for all you do to satisfy our customers each and every day. Here’s to our future success."


No one should read between the lines of this notice and start to believe any operational or other change related to the Custom Critical red Ex
 
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BigRed32771

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No one should read between the lines of this notice and start to believe any operational or other change related to the Custom Critical red EX

I saw this change coming 2 years ago or more when they made all of those "wonderful changes" to put us under the Freight umbrella; changes that were going to make us all so much more money.

And if you don't mind, I'll read as much as I want to between the lines. Ask the Watkins, a.k.a. National L-T-L red division drivers and employees how well it worked for them to be a separate part of FedEx Freight.
 

ATeam

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No one should read between the lines of this notice and start to believe any operational or other change related to the Custom Critical red EX

Actually, the color change relates exactly to an operational change. In this case, the color change is not a cause. It is an effect; one of many effects that followed when FCC was placed under FedEx Freight. FedEx is a perpetually evolving company. Color schemes aside, operational changes are made all the time.

Forgive me, but I will continue to read between the lines. Doing so has served me well in the past and will in the future.

Regarding FedEx Custom Critical, once known as Roberts Express, it too is an evolving company. Years after the Roberts name was dropped, FCC lost its status as a freestanding operating company within the FedEx portfolio and was placed under FedEx Freight. It should surprise no one that the logo finally got changed from blue to red.

People will naturally wonder what's next? More important than the speculative answers that question will produce is fully appreciating the fact that there are contractors with the company today who were once with Roberts and have been doing essentially the same work all along.

Names change. Colors change. Corporate organizational charts change. Leaders change. Such is life in the big city. As long as we retain the ability to earn as good a living as we do now as independent contractors with the company, the rest is mostly fluff.

One good thing about the color change: the value of my FedEx Custom Critical toy truck collection just went up!
 
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ATeam

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And if you don't mind, I'll read as much as I want to between the lines. Ask the Watkins, a.k.a. National L-T-L red division drivers and employees how well it worked for them to be a separate part of FedEx Freight.

Note also that Passport Transport made a brief appearance at FedEx Custom Critical, followed by a quick exit.

Reading between the lines is a survival skill in this business. The better you are at it, the better you can position yourself for the future.
 

dieseldiva

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Not mentioned here yet, the costs incurred by the contractors to change the signs on their trucks as well as the additional wardrobe fees for those that are required to wear FedEx apparel.......:rolleyes:
 

TeamCaffee

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i am wondering how much of the sign changes and uniform changes will be absorbed by FedEx Custom Critical?
 

redytrk

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i am wondering how much of the sign changes and uniform changes will be absorbed by FedEx Custom Critical?

In the past they have made corporate sign change overs at no cost to the contractor. We shall see how this will be handled.

Isn't it amazing what the corporate suits can come up with to waste money?
 

LDB

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i am wondering how much of the sign changes and uniform changes will be absorbed by FedEx Custom Critical?

Kind of like they absorbed the additional cost of the QC out of part of their weekly profit from QC rental?
 

BigRed32771

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In the past they have made corporate sign change overs at no cost to the contractor. We shall see how this will be handled.

Isn't it amazing what the corporate suits can come up with to waste money?

Our billboard signs have crazed and cracked over the years, and we were talking about having them replaced when we were in the Green area sometime this year. Obviously that plan is on hold until A) Red decals are available and B) we find out if they are going to pay for the change-over. Unlike the new QC, we may be one of the first to convert. I'll be sad to see blue go away, though as was commented, my FedEx Blue toy truck may well go up in value. Hmmm, I wonder if I can still get a few in the box just for "investment" purposes.

As for "CC apparel," we'll continue to wear what we have until it needs changing. Some things, like heavy coats, may never be changed over as the ones we have will last the rest of our lives I'm sure.
 

aileron

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Well, I have no signs on my truck, so it won't cost me anything. The less advertising, the better. Unless they make it mandatory.
 

layoutshooter

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The cost is a big concern. We were going to buy new shirts, not now. We will look a bit ragged till the new ones come out.

I hesitate on buying new signs if we have to pay for them.

As to the rest, time will tell. I get worried when things like this happen. Sounds like "bean counters" at work. In the case of "bean counters" running companies the track record is not very good.

I think that "bonding" with freight might dilute the Custom Critical brand too far. Lower our standards etc. This brand needs to be different, more "elite" than freight. Time will tell on this too. If we start losing services for customers we will lose business. If it causes rates to drop the high end trucks needed for a lot of the freight that CC carries will not be able to keep up. I wonder if TVAL calibration is still going to be done twice a year as it was in the past, or now since FDCC is footing the bill, are we going to find that once a year is just fine? Those are the kinds of concerns I have. That would be a lowering of standards. That is never good.
 

ATeam

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i am wondering how much of the sign changes and uniform changes will be absorbed by FedEx Custom Critical?

Zero for uniforms. When they changed uniforms a while back contractors bought their own.

I don't kow about sign changes for the trucks.
 

ATeam

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I think that "bonding" with freight might dilute the Custom Critical brand too far.

Fred Smith has said that most FedEx customers are color blind. They don't have an eye for FedEx blue, red, green, grey, orange, and yellow. They just see FedEx. They don't zero in much on the different operating companies. To most people, it is just FedEx.

He is right. Diane and I find that to be true almost everywhere we go. People approach our truck wanting to hand us a FedEx Express overnight envelope. When we walk into some offices wearing FedEx Custom Critical appearal, people sometimes hand us envelopes or want to know if we have the overnight letter they are expecting. If we happen to be in uniform at a Kinko's, we've been asked by customers for help with a copy machine.

Some shippers know FedEx Custom Critical as a premium brand and company that is distinct from other FedEx entities. They would easily adapt to any brand change that made FCC less distinct as long as they knew the same services were available and how to order them. It's not the operating company they order when they call, it is a particular service package dialed in to their particular shipment.

It matters little to me what color the Ex is on my uniform or what they name the carrier. It matters that Diane and I can continue to succeed as we have by serving FedEx customers as we do.

Reading between the lines of Fred Smith's comments, I would not be surprised to see all operating companies run under the same color one day. FedEx Custom Critical has been on a path toward non-distinctive branding since Diane and I started with them seven years ago.

Uniforms that were once loud and proud "FedEx blue" came to look more like the standard FedEx appearel worn by package truck drivers. Trucks and uniforms that used to say "White Glove Services" faded away as that tag line was dropped. Now the blue Ex will change to red, making the logo the same as FedEx Freight. Our jackets used to say FedEx Custom Critical. Now they just say FedEx.

While Diane and I expect to be with FedEx Custom Critical for a long time, we cannot say what the logo, colors and company name may be in the future. And it does not matter.

We have learned our lesson. Don't spend more money than you have to on anything branded FedEx because the logo, color or design will likely change before the item wears out.
 

D Team Brothers

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Putting and replacing signage on the trucks now is at no expense to the O/O so we can only hope that required new signs will continue to be for $0. Some confusion may be caused between C.C. and all those Freight straight trucks without sleepers, and vans I see running around - I won't know who to ask to buy me a cup of coffee anymore!
 

MYGIA

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A few thoughts:

As for the signage replacement – I am fairly confident that would be at the company’s expense. At least that would be my hope and expectation.

As for the cost of new company apparel, I am confident that will be our cost to absorb, just as it is presently.

With regard to the impact this closer alignment with “freight” will have, I would suspect the impact on those contractors with specialized equipment will be minimal, if any. I have never seen any “freight” trucks similarly equipped. I would expect the affects to be only moderate on those with less specialized equipment but which are team trucks and able to run continuously and for long distances.

Those who are already feeling the pinch and will most likely do so to even a greater extent are the contractors who operate non-specialized dry box. The rates continue to fall often being in the $.95-$1.10 per all miles range, often requiring 45% plus DH per month. I am sure those other “freight trucks” referenced by D Team Brothers will be taking more and more. With this recent turn of events, the increased handicap of the EORBs and possible/pending changes to the HOS, the reading between the lines to me indicates the days and opportunities for continues success for the solo dry box operators are coming to an end. I hope I am wrong. I fear I am not.
 

dieseldiva

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Putting and replacing signage on the trucks now is at no expense to the O/O so we can only hope that required new signs will continue to be for $0.

Excuse me but if you didn't pay for the signage on your vehicle then you'd best be quiet about it because the rest of us did. I don't have the exact figures in front of me but I want to say somewhere around $250 to $300, taken out of your settlements weekly, of course.
 

TeamCaffee

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Excuse me but if you didn't pay for the signage on your vehicle then you'd best be quiet about it because the rest of us did. I don't have the exact figures in front of me but I want to say somewhere around $250 to $300, taken out of your settlements weekly, of course.

The new trucks do not pay for signage and they get less of a percentage of the load then we do. This has been going on for over a year that FCC pays for the signs and you get 1/2 a percent less.
 

dieseldiva

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The new trucks do not pay for signage and they get less of a percentage of the load then we do. This has been going on for over a year that FCC pays for the signs and you get 1/2 a percent less.

Wow, I stand corrected. There may be hope then that we won't have to pay.
 

xlr81966

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If Anyone here thinks that a color change is all that is taking place, I've got some Ocean Front Property in Montana for sale!!! This move comes at a great expense not only for the Fed but Contractor's as well. How great an Expense we will wait and see. Today the Contractor does not have to pay for signage on there truck and gives up 1/2 percent of gross revenue per year. $200k per year is $1,000 per year of gross revenue. Those that had previously installed the signs at there expense continue to get the 1/2 percent for signage display. With new signs on the way -- im guessing you will loose that 1/2 percent and not incur the additional signage bill of 250.00 . That's another loss to the contractor of $750 per year. Just another way for the Fed to take an additional amount of gross revenue from the contractor and increase there yield.

Q-com Fee's increased $5 per week for the Junk that was installed in our units. Increase of $260 per year per truck for something that was not needed and only works 50% of the time anyways.

Ameriscan's installed fleet wide-- $16 per week for something that we did not need. Every Contractor could have installed the cellular card into there Datacold 500 to achieve the results they were needing. Increase of $832 per truck per year.

Grand total of cost to the Contractor per TVAL Truck per year
$1842. I Agree KEEP READING BETWEEN THE LINES!!!!!!
 

ATeam

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Grand total of cost to the Contractor per TVAL Truck per year $1842. I Agree KEEP READING BETWEEN THE LINES!!!!!!

It seems to me, xlr81966, that you are not so much reading between the lines as you are putting two and two together.
 
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