Ninety-seven percent of FedEx Ground contractors who responded to a survey launched by ousted contractor Spencer Patton said they do not have confidence in Ground CEO John Smith.
The survey results, released Thursday by the Patton-founded Trade Association for Logistics Professionals (TALP), builds upon the ongoing tensions between the delivery giant and the former contractor. Patton is the leader of a movement for better contract terms and other changes for the independent businesses conducting Ground’s pickup, delivery and linehaul services.
TALP ran the survey from Sept. 6-9, two weeks after Ground sued Patton and terminated its business deals with him. The survey required participants to enter their badge ID number to prove they are or have been a contractor, and independent advisory firm Stout verified the responses, according to TALP.
The survey found that 54% of current contractor respondents said they are operating their business at a loss and 67% are "very dissatisfied" in their current financial relationship with Ground.
"We will not speculate on or draw any conclusions about the credibility of an online survey initiated by an individual who has such a vested personal and business interest in the survey’s outcome," FedEx Ground said in an emailed statement.
Patton has been publicly campaigning for change at the company since July, contending that contractors need more favorable contract terms as inflationary pressures eat away at their profit margins.
Ground uses 6,000 contracted service providers to conduct its pickup, delivery and linehaul services. Around 1,200 contractors responded to the survey — 90% were current contractors, while 10% were former contractors who had been active in the past 12 months, according to TALP.
Patton said in a video message announcing the vote of no confidence that the contractors’ sentiments would counter "FedEx's narrative stand that this is a Spencer Patton story." TALP has also been posting videos of other contractors detailing their struggles on its website.
“It’s easy for FedEx to turn down one contractor when it says, ‘Hey, this isn’t working.’ But, when a group comes out and says, ‘Hey, this isn’t working for all of us,' it’s a louder voice," said Ground contractor David Dorner in a TALP video.
FedEx disclosed Thursday that Ground’s quarterly revenue was $8.2 billion, which fell $300 million below its forecasts. The company is introducing cost-cutting measures in response to tepid results at Ground and Express, including the reduction of Ground operations on Sundays. Contractors have told Supply Chain Dive that the minimal delivery volume on Sundays haven’t been able to offset the added operational strain and expense.