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FedEx Agitator Folds, Tells Members ‘Better Options Exist’

A logistics trade association started by a former FedEx Ground contractor aimed at shaking up and improving the parcel carrier’s operations has abruptly dissolved.  

The Trade Association for Logistics Professionals (TALP), which was launched in August by former contractor Spencer Patton, said all of its officers and committee members officially resigned Friday. Patton, a former contractor who previously operated 225 routes for FedEx Ground, left the association in October. 

FedEx had filed a lawsuit against the business owner in August, alleging he created a “fictionalized crisis” between the company and its contractors ultimately for the benefit of a separate brokerage and consulting firm Patton also operated. 

The case is pending in a Tennessee district court. 

Patton established TALP as a group for all logistics professionals, but targeted FedEx in his criticism of how the company’s ran its Ground business. He also openly criticized the company’s handling of contract renegotiations and called for an end to unprofitable services such as Sunday delivery. 

Patton, when he was still a contractor, claimed in August at a contractor conference his business would be unable to continue as of Black Friday, unless FedEx worked with him to renegotiate terms of his contract. 

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FedEx publicly asserted Patton’s remarks, or the possibility of a disruption during a major promotional day for holiday shopping, would not hinder its ability to provide peak-season service to shippers. However, in its court filing the company said Patton’s statements had created concern among some customers and it was aware of competitors looking to potentially “poach existing [FedEx] customers.”

The decision Friday to end the association came with a turn in the group’s messaging to former members. 

“Committee members nominated themselves to join this group with one clear, shared objective: to better promote effective dialogue with FedEx Ground,” the TALP statement said. “After considerable discussion and investigation, it is clear this committee, as structured, is not the appropriate vehicle to accomplish this goal and that better options exist.” 

The former group said it was “encouraged” by more recent meetings held between FedEx Ground and the company’s independent service providers, while also discouraging any contractors from engaging in service disruptions. 

“We also unequivocally denounce any calls for work stoppages that may have been associated with this organization or any individual member associated with this organization,” the TALP statement said.

It went on to call any such disruption “unproductive, self-destructive to our collective businesses and contrary to our agreed-upon contracts.”  

FedEx Ground is part of Memphis-Tenn.-based FedEx Corp., which also operates FedEx Express and FedEx Freight. 

The Ground unit is the company’s second largest by revenue, totaling $33.2 billion in the most recently ended fiscal year. FedEx Express is the largest, with $45.8 billion in fiscal year 2022 revenue. 

The Freight division, the smallest of the three, confirmed last week it would begin furloughing workers in response to shifts in the operating environment. It’s unclear how many drivers will be impacted by the move or when they will be brought back.