The battle for Value: Federal Express vs. UPS

Essay by lolu2000University, Master'sA+, October 2006

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I. Executive Summary

In this report we focus on the two main competitors in the package delivery industry: Federal Express Corporation (FedEx) and United Parcel Service of America, Inc.

Studying FedEx, UPS and their competitive relationship in the decade from mid - 80's to mid - 90's gives a good insight for the companies' and industry's future. The two companies have different strategic goals and are operating in the same industry but in different main markets: FedEx is working on "producing outstanding financial returns" and focuses on the overnight air market while UPS is looking for "earning reasonable profit" and its core business is the two-day ground delivery. However, by 1981, the two companies started to have a strong sense of rivalry with each other and up until 1995 the race seemed to be one of how quickly each competitor could transform itself into the other. It was then when the largest distribution contract ever awarded was given to UPS.

The effects on FedEx were strong.

This paper is an examination of FedEx's and UPS's financial performance from an investor's point of view and their managerial performance considering their strategic goals in the mid - 80's. We also, take an overview of the rivalry between the two companies and we put our earlier findings in this competitive framework in order to determine whether FedEx or UPS achieved Excellence in business. Our analysis concludes that between the two companies, UPS can be considered as excellent both for its good performance in the decade and for its good perspectives for the future.

II. FedEx vs. UPS: The Battle for Value

II. 1 The Effects of J.C. Penney's Announcement on FedEx from an Investor's Point of View

The decision of J.C. Penney to award the $ 1 billion 5 year contract to UPS...