Q: Do you think Courier Pak is a good fit or a bad fit for Federal Express? Why?
The Courier Pak was a good fit for Federal Express (FEC) from an environmental, company, cost, and competitive standpoint.
The business environment of the mid 1970s airfreight industry played almost directly into the relative strengths of a small-package air service like FEC. As stated in the case study, "Bulk products and commodity goods were rarely sent by air. Indeed, most air shipments were rather small." This type of environment, combined with FEC's unique flight routes and reliable pick-up/delivery system created an opportunity that the company wisely seized with Courier Pak.
In 1975 and 1976, a majority of FEC's shipments were for next day delivery (Exhibit 4). So from a company perspective, Courier Pak fit perfectly into FEC's product mix. On the one hand you had Priority One package delivery (price based on weight and distance.
Average price in 1976=$23.56), which guaranteed overnight delivery anywhere in the FEC system, and on the other hand you had Courier Pak (a special 12 in. x 151/2 in. waterproof, tearproof envelope), which guaranteed overnight delivery of documents or other items up to two pounds anywhere in the FEC system--all for a fixed price of $12.50. Rounding out FEC's product line you had Standard Air Service (price based on weight and distance. Average price in 1976=$12.62), which guaranteed two-day package delivery and Economy Air, which guaranteed three-day package delivery.
From a cost perspective, the size of the Courier Pak as well as the manner in which consumers "underutilized" this product in terms of weight also fit FEC. As stated in the case study, "the variable costs associated with the average Priority One package totaled $10.61; for the average Standard...