ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Monday before Christmas is expected to be the busiest ever for FedEx.
The shipping giant is anticipating double its normal daily average of 12 million packages nationwide.
This week, WTOP went behind the scenes of a FedEx Express warehouse in Alexandria, Virginia, to see how the company handles the holiday shipping crush.
The 85,000-square-foot facility on Eisenhower Avenue employs 162 people.
Every morning, tractor trailers full of documents and packages arrive from Dulles Airport.
“We take in packages here that are coming from all around the world. They’re going to the Alexandria area and Arlington area, and we deliver those to our customers,” said senior manager Tony Perritano.
The packages end up on long conveyor belts, they’re scanned and then loaded into those familiar white FedEx trucks for delivery.
Later in the day, the process works in reverse, with those same trucks bringing in packages from local senders, bound for destinations around the globe.
Perritano says the company’s philosophy is to handle every package like a “golden package” loaded with very important stuff.
“It could be adoption papers. It could be lifesaving medicines,” he said.
One thing he said many people don’t know about is the company’s weather experts.
“We have 15 meteorologists on site down in Memphis giving us our weather patterns and what’s going on for that day and the weeks ahead, so that we’re forecasting out and making sure that we’re staying on top of the weather.”
Continuing this year is a holiday tradition the company began in 2005 called Trees for Troops.
“We’re moving 18,000 Christmas trees for the troops this year,” says Perritano.
The fresh-cut trees are being sent to members of the U.S. military stationed at nearly 65 bases in 17 countries.
If you plan to ship holiday gifts, you’d better get a move on.
Friday is the last day you can use FedEx Home Delivery and FedEx Ground to get packages delivered in time for Christmas.