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FedEx Freight to begin driver furloughs next month

Move designed to match staffing needs with slowing LTL demand, unit says

FedEx Freight, the less-than-truckload arm of FedEx Corp. and the nation’s largest LTL carrier, said Saturday it will furlough an undetermined number of drivers starting in early December.

The furloughs are scheduled to last about 90 days, during which time affected workers will continue to receive health benefits and will be allowed to file for unemployment benefits in their respective states of residence. Some eligible employees will be offered permanent transfer opportunities to other markets that have hiring needs, the unit said in a statement.

The furloughs are expected to affect a small number of drivers, and not all facilities will be targeted, said Miranda Yarbro, a FedEx Freight spokesperson. The furloughs will be voluntary, Yarbro added.

“Because of our previous experience with furlough and with the incentives we are offering, we are expecting employees to volunteer to meet the business need,” Yarbro said in an email.

The unit employs about 45,000 people. It was not immediately clear how many drivers it employs.

The action was taken in response to slowing macroeconomic conditions that have impacted LTL demand in recent weeks, the unit said. The LTL segment, which has shown very strong growth coming out of the pandemic, has seen volumes level off recently due to economic uncertainty caused by high inflation and recession concerns.


FedEx Freight has been the best performer of FedEx’s (NYSE: FDX) three transport business units. Its two larger units, FedEx Express and FedEx Ground, have been hurt by high costs and slower-than-expected demand. FedEx Freight, by contrast, has focused on profitable growth and has been willing to shed unprofitable tonnage to achieve that goal.

In its fiscal 2023 first quarter, which ended Aug. 31, FedEx Freight’s operating income increased 67%. The gains were driven by actions to improve shipment yields, as well as the positive impact of higher fuel surcharges, the parent reported.

If you are a FedEx Freight employee with a story to share, email the reporter at [email protected].

44 Comments

  1. Artie

    I work for FDXF since April of this year. The hub I work at just merged with a smaller terminal near by. The result was a complete mess and we just lost seniority to the guys coming over, also because their terminal manager was brought to take over our facility, we’ve noticed how he favors his drivers over us. We had several Linehaul routes that we lost to the new drivers, the city drivers are technically demoted to dock workers. We used to have 3 extra board road drivers and zero flex board (city drivers) drivers now we have about 35-45 combined drivers that either have to work the dock or sit home most of the time. They don’t respect seniority, the culture at this company is very poor. I as a city driver haven’t seen driving time for over 2 months even though the terminal had a bid process that started Late October in which we were supposed to have a set starting time and designated job duty that involves driving time, so far no driving and just dock duties everyday for 8 hours. Now we are being furlough starting Dec. 4. With a $300 dollar a week incentive due after coming back from the layoff, minus health benefits due and Fed/state taxes. That is a slap in the face to its employees, our performance bonuses are not even mentioned in there, so if you don’t come back after the 90 day layoff, you get nothing and worst of all if there aren’t enough volunteers, they will force the bottom guys to take the hit, most of us which are still tied up under their driver apprentice program contract, which means we can’t Quit. Great em ethics FDXF.

  2. nope

    hey IDIOTS……..FedEx is cutting back because THERE’S NO DAMN FREIGHT TO MOVE!!!!!!! its not because of the WEF or anything else. AND NO , IDIOT, the Teamsters wont help but in fact hurt the drivers even more. FEDEX CANT PAY DRIVERS TO MOVE NOTHING…….no one can………………IDIOTS!

  3. Ryan

    Get too big and you can’t keep up when demand drops, but you sure have no problem continually raising your prices and providing terrible service. As a retailer who ships, we get pushback daily on our shipping rates, both ground and freight. The answer isn’t always raising prices, but looking hard at what you are providing and asking yourself it its truly a good deal. I bet if they came off their prices just a bit and made rates just a bit more palatable then move for more volume they might not have to furlough anyone, instead they just keep raising rates to where they loose a % of potential customers. I guess there are too sides to that, but this is just a basic observation.

  4. KIASER

    Wonder how much governments and the WEF are paying FedEx to do this during the busiest time of the year for shipments, in order to cause artificial shortages and economic harm?

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Mark Solomon

Formerly the Executive Editor at DC Velocity, Mark Solomon joined FreightWaves as Managing Editor of Freight Markets. Solomon began his journalistic career in 1982 at Traffic World magazine, ran his own public relations firm (Media Based Solutions) from 1994 to 2008, and has been at DC Velocity since then. Over the course of his career, Solomon has covered nearly the whole gamut of the transportation and logistics industry, including trucking, railroads, maritime, 3PLs, and regulatory issues. Solomon witnessed and narrated the rise of Amazon and XPO Logistics and the shift of the U.S. Postal Service from a mail-focused service to parcel, as well as the exponential, e-commerce-driven growth of warehouse square footage and omnichannel fulfillment.