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Tour of the FedEx World Hub

  • July 14, 2017
  • 8:00 PM
  • July 15, 2017
  • 1:00 AM
  • CARRABBA'S - 5110 Poplar Avenue
  • 9


  • If you are a full member of ASTD Memphis.
  • Enjoy a one month membership to ATD plus join us for the FedEx World Hub Tour. To register you must be sponsored by a current full member of ATD Memphis. Limit 1 sponsorship per full member.

Enjoy a private tour of the Memphis World Hub during the busiest time of day - at night!  This event is limited to 23 participants, so be sure to register early.

The Memphis World Hub is the oldest and largest facility in the FedEx Express network. The World Hub is strategically located near the heart of the continental United States, providing overnight service to the entire nation and serving 95% of the global economy on a 24 to 48 hour basis. FedEx Express has made the Memphis International Airport one of the busiest cargo airports in the world as the World Hub connects customers to more than 220 countries and territories on six continents.

Tour Highlights

The following areas will be viewed while on the Memphis World Hub Tour. Some areas provide an explanation of what you will see and those that do not will only be driven by and not actually visited as the other areas.

Screening Facility

North East Input

The sorting process for domestic box freight starts when containers from the inbound flights or trucks are taken to one of the five domestic inputs.

Primary Matrix

The purpose of the Matrix Operation is to scan the bar codes of each package where they are assigned and diverted to a secondary sorting operation. The Primary Matrix Sorting Facility handles average size packages (75 pounds or less and conveyable) that are placed on the middle belts of the five domestic inputs. This facility consists of an East Matrix Sorting Facility and a West Matrix Sorting Facility.

Observation Deck

From the observation deck, guests get a 360-degree view of the FedEx Express ramp. Sites that you can point out from the observation deck include:

* The two World War II aircraft hangars where Federal Express has its first sort in 1973
* The Courtyard and input area and the Old Hub
* The Nose-Docking Facility
* The Memphis International Airport
* The east-west runway
* Hangars 11 and 12
* ‘Hot Spare’ aircraft
* The top of the International Clearance Facility
* The Small Package Sorting System building
* The back-up power generating facility
* Landing lights of incoming FedEx Express aircraft

Hangar 10

FedEx Express performs the maintenance on its own aircraft. This maintenance is performed at three aircraft hangars: 10, 11, and 12. Hangar 10 is located on the north side of the ramp across from the Heavyweight Processing Area.

Aircraft Landing and Blocking

Aircraft Offload


* FedEx Express considers any freight weighing over 150 lbs. to be ‘heavyweight’ freight
* This freight may be containerized or palletized on a metal sheet
* The movement of all heavyweight freight is by forklifts
* The inbound heavyweight pieces receive an initial Hub Inbound Package (HIP) scan as the pieces are unloaded
* The pieces are unloaded from the inbound Unit Loading Device (ULD)
* The items are moved by forklift to staging areas according to their destination
* Outbound containers or pallets are built up
* The pieces of freight are scanned into the containers along with the accompanying Consolidation (CONS) Tag
* Once a container is full, it is weighed and taken directly to the outbound staging area for loading onto the aircraft

SPSS Document Sort

The Small Packaging Sorting System (SPSS) facility was built to replace the labor-intensive Overnight Letter and Courier Pak manual sort. It is a semi-automatic small parcel and document sorting facility. The input, sorting, and outbound operations are all done within the walls of the facility. This facility utilizes 800 to 900 employees for the night-side sorting operation (about one third of what was required for the ‘hand sort’).

* Opened in 1997 (construction started in 1992)
* Cost $175,000,000 to build
* Consists of three floors with each floor occupying 175,000 square feet of space
* Uses the Crisplant Tilt-Tray system that was manufactured in Denmark
* Uses the FedEx specific software developed in collaboration with Northrop Grumman Aerospace Company
* Has the capacity to sort 325,000 documents per hour
* Operates at approximately 99.5% efficiency

Dangerous Goods

The DG facility is also known as the Specialty Sort Building. It is located on the north side of the ramp to the west of Maintenance Hangar 10. Employees in this building have been certified according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) guidelines for the handling of dangerous goods. These specialists sort, scan, and load the dangerous goods for carriage onboard FedEx Express aircraft.


The International Clearance Facility (ICF) is the four-story building west of the Heavyweight processing area. In this facility, all cargo entering or leaving the country is sorted and processed. The ICF is a self-contained, secure facility. This means that all input, sorting, output, and inspection of customer freight are done entirely within this facility. It has its own Command Center and its own sorting slide. Visiting this facility requires approval by the International authorities and must demonstrate a business need and is by appointment only. Please indicate the need for this tour in the brief explanation and benefit section of your tour request.

Tour Rules and Guidelines

  • All non-FedEx participants must show current identification upon entrance of the screening facility
  • Cell phones and mobile devices must be turned off during the tour
  • No alcohol consumption at least six hours prior to your scheduled tour time.
  • Dress attire is casual; jeans and sneakers are appropriate
  • Please wear slacks rather than skirts or dresses
  • All Seasons: Please wear weather-appropriate clothing
  • Every participant must understand and abide by the following rules prior to touring:

    • No cameras are allowed
    • No steel toe, open toe, or high heel shoes
    • No family or friends tours
    • No general public tours permitted
    • No one under the age of 14 is allowed to participate in a tour
    • No umbrellas permitted once participants depart the Greenway Building
    • No alcohol consumption six hours prior to the tour
    • No purses, briefcases, backpacks or body packs


We will start the evening at Carrabba's Italian Restaurant located at 5110 Poplar Avenue in Memphis at 8:00PM for socializing and networking. From there, the charter bus will pick us up at 9:00 sharp. Anyone not on the bus by 9:05 will be left. The tour starts at the FedEx Welcome Center at 10:15PM and will last approximately 90 minutes. After the tour, the charter will return us to Carrabba's.

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