Shareholders are less giddy. As one of the biggest parcel carriers in America, FedEx ought to benefit from uninterrupted GDP growth. Yet since 2009, when America began its longest economic expansion on record, the company has underperformed the S&P 500 by almost 100 percentage points. This year it has suffered from the Sino-American trade war, growing competition from Amazon and problems integrating Europe’s TNT Express, which it bought in 2016 for $4.4bn. Such squalls are not good for its financial health, yet FedEx has been investing more than $5bn a year since 2017 to keep deep-pocketed rivals like Amazon and the e-commerce giant’s Chinese counterpart, Alibaba, out of its delivery business. This is a game of chance that Mr Smith is not guaranteed to win.
股东们更加谨慎 。作为美国最大的包裹运输公司之一，联邦快递应该从持续的GDP增长中受益 。然而，自2009年美国开始有记录以来持续时间最长的经济扩张以来，该公司的表现比标准普尔500指数低了近100个百分点 。今年，联邦快递遭遇了中美贸易战、来自亚马逊日益激烈的竞争，以及整合欧洲TNT快递的问题 。2016年，联邦快递斥资44亿美元收购了TNT快递 。这样的风暴不利于联邦快递的财务健康，但自2017年以来，联邦快递每年投资逾50亿美元，意图阻止亚马逊和中国电子商务巨头阿里巴巴等财力雄厚的竞争对手进入其快递业务 。这是一场碰运气的游戏，史密斯先生不一定能赢 。
The biggest stakes are at home. FedEx built its name as a highend business-to-business firm, offering guaranteed time slots for delivering parcels and factory goods along the supply chain. But ecommerce is raising the importance of delivery to homes, at faster speeds and lower costs. FedEx has responded by expanding its trucking service, which will soon reach most American homes seven days a week. But that clobbers margins. Meanwhile, Amazon is spending heavily on same-day delivery. It is also building an aircraft fleet that, though still a midget compared with FedEx’s, will amount to 70 aircraft by 2021. According to Satish Jindel, a logistics consultant, Amazon has leapfrogged its rivals to become the biggest firm in the world at organising warehousing and transport for other companies’ goods (as well as its own). Only a few years ago Mr Smith mocked the idea of competition from the likes of Amazon as “fantastical”. But in the past two months FedEx has severed its (albeit tiny) remaining ties with Amazon to focus on building its relationship with retailers like Walmart and Target instead. Its main rival, UPS, is sticking with Amazon. This sets the stage for a potentially bruising price war that could further crimp profits.
最大的赌注在国内 。联邦快递将自己打造成一家高端的企业对企业的公司，为沿着供应链运送包裹和工厂货物提供有保障的时间段 。但电子商务正以更快的速度和更低的成本，提高送货上门的重要性 。作为回应，联邦快递扩大了其卡车运输服务，该服务将很快每周七天送达大多数美国家庭 。但这打击了利润率 。与此同时，亚马逊在当日送达上投入巨资 。该公司还在打造一支飞机机队，到2021年，这支机队的飞机数量将达到70架，尽管与联邦快递相比仍微不足道 。物流咨询师萨蒂什·金德尔表示，亚马逊已经超越竞争对手，成为世界上最大的公司，为其他公司的货物(包括亚马逊自己的货物)组织仓储和运输 。就在几年前，史密斯还嘲笑来自亚马逊等公司的竞争是“异想天开” 。但在过去两个月里，联邦快递切断了与亚马逊剩下的(尽管微不足道)联系，转而专注于与沃尔玛和塔吉特等零售商建立关系 。