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Staying Grounded

   In more general comments, Ferreira notes how many corporate end users tend toward the "just- in- time" model for facility development.
   "Someone will be on a fast track, there's a change, then everything goes on hold," she says. "It's interesting to see how many resurrect – they'll call and say, 'We talked to you a few years ago.' It helps to have that information at hand."
   She also notes how each situation is unique – so much so that a "standard sales presentation" rarely proves useful.
   "One example is a customer that's very big in providing product to research houses for cancer looking at coming to the States for the first time," she says of a Canadian firm that was looking for one location. "They ended up going to Seattle, which makes no sense at all at first glance. Memphis or Indy would have been best because of uniform distribution to all population centers."
   But the Canada- based firm wanted later night shipping, and fewer border delays. In addition, the pickup time in Seattle was two hours later. And if anything went wrong in the facility, the firm needed to be able to get there quickly. Seattle, it has turned out, "ended up far better," says Ferreira. "They're growing now."
   Ferreira also notes that while air service may grab the headlines, guaranteed ground service for regional distribution, with air as a backup option, has been popping up more of late, accounting for as much as 30 percent of the increase in her project activity.
   That trend is borne out by FedEx's own project portfolio, which in August added 22 acres (9 hectares) in West Palm Beach, Fla., where a new 120,000- sq.- ft. (11,148- sq.- m.) FedEx Ground facility and 80,000- sq.- ft. (7,432- sq.- m.) FedEx Freight facility will be constructed by July 2007.

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