FedEx Express announced it stood up a special operation to help the U.S. government quickly move COVID-19 test specimens from more than 50 remote drive-thru testing centers at major retailers across 12 states. This critical mission, led by the White House, Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), was a collaborative effort among retailers and healthcare companies to enable quick processing of COVID-19 test specimens to help prevent spread of the virus.

To ensure weekend support of this mission, FedEx Express dedicated 28 flight legs, as well as specialized pick-up and delivery operations. FedEx used its patented SenseAware® technology and monitoring to help safely transport the test specimens collected in select U.S. markets to 10 labs operated by Quest Diagnostics and other commercial labs, helping to ensure maximum visibility of the shipments while in transit, says a company press release. The Department of Health and Human Services aided in collecting, packaging and sealing test sample boxes with the SenseAware® devices before they were shipped via FedEx Express First Overnight with Priority Alert monitoring for delivery by 8 a.m. the next day.

FedEx Express will continue to provide support seven days a week as more remote testing centers come available across the country, says the company. 

“We have a great responsibility in these unprecedented times to do what we do best—mobilize our network quickly to help the communities where we live and work,” said Raj Subramaniam, president and chief operating officer, FedEx Corp. “As the world’s largest cargo airline, we have the ability to flex our operations in some of the most challenging of circumstances. By swiftly taking action to stand up this special operation, we are playing an important role in advancing the speed of delivery for these critical test samples.”

According to FedEx, since January, FedEx has worked with governments, nonprofits, suppliers and retail customers to proactively help with relief efforts, including:

  • Collaborated with HHS, the TN Air National Guard and other agencies to move over a million COVID-19 test kits to cities across the U.S.
  • Continued collaboration with humanitarian aid organizations, such as Direct Relief to deliver 250,000 N95 masks and other personal protective equipment to as many as 1,000 community health centers and free clinics as part of the FedEx Cares “Delivering for Good” initiative.
  • Expedited delivery of test kits from Indianapolis-based Roche Diagnostics to U.S. labs.
  • Worked with one of the largest medical device companies in the world to move more than 100 tons of respiratory life-saving equipment to China.
  • Shipped more than 200,000 surgical masks and protective equipment to Guangzhou, China hub for delivery to Wuhan Union Hospital.
  • Providing vital access points to the FedEx global network through FedEx Office retail locations as they serve as hold locations for redirected shipments and urgent printing support for government agencies and customers.