MIAMI — With FedEx’s chief of marketing and communications officer Rajesh Subramaniam on stage here at this year’s Cargo Facts Symposium, the audience had the opportunity to catch up on developments at the rapidly growing integrator. Subramaniam talked about everything from the company’s active role in the national discourse surrounding free trade, to the implications of cybercrime and the impact of the Petya virus that disrupted operations for FedEx subsidiary TNT in Europe.
Subramaniam described the response to the cyberattack as, “an interesting journey,” adding that those at FedEx “were innocent bystanders” at the time. But with its European operations disrupted, FedEx transformed into an active partner in the fight against cybercrime. “We are using it as opportunity to use adversity as an advantage,” Subramaniam said.
Another topic of discussion was a recent op-ed penned by FedEx CEO Fred Smith and David Abney, chairman and CEO of UPS, calling for policy changes, including simplifying taxes, investing in infrastructure and modernizing trade agreements. “These are common issues,” Subramaniam said. “We have to make sure the tax code is oriented towards generating more capital investment.”
He raised examples of how costly the U.S. infrastructure deficit has grown. “We have to replace tires at twice the rate as 20 years ago because of all the potholes” on airport taxiways, he said
FedEx’s exposure to Amazon.com was another point of discussion, but Subramaniam was quick to head off any misconceptions that his company was in an unstable position, explaining that the online retailer only accounted for a few percentage points of their total business. On the contrary, he said, FedEx has started offering e-commerce services that put them in Amazon’s court. “We sit at the confluence of the physical and digital,” he explained.
Below, Subramaniam expands on FedEx’s position in the e-commerce logistics sector: