FedEx is launching a 3D printing operation with newly-minted company FedEx Forward Depots, as part of a wider restructuring of FedEx’s specialty logistics and e-commerce operations.
The new company will include critical inventory and service parts logistics, a packaging lab and a repair centre, as well as 3D printing services.
Critical inventory and service parts logistics focus on the delivery of critical spare parts; for example, car parts in the automotive industry. The service is based on inventory monitoring and anticipation of demand to provide rapid fulfilment and delivery.
The repair centre will fix electronic devices for internal FedEx divisions and external companies, using developments in 3D printing (also known in this context as “additive manufacturing”) and robotics.
FedEx’s packaging lab is a new research centre designed to test and design packaging, which can then be optimised for different customers.
These segments are all interlinked, focusing on quick-response custom logistics and production for FedEx and its customers. 3D printing, which will form its own service, has applications across the board.
A wide range of specialty and e-commerce services have been brought together under FedEx Trade Networks (FTN), including FedEx Custom Critical, FedEx Cross Border, FedEx Supply Chain, FedEx Trade Networks Transport & Brokerage, and the new FedEx Forward Depots.
This restructuring officially takes place—and FedEx Forward Depots opens for business—on 1st March 2018.