Opening Keynote

SMRP is excited to welcome John Smith, SVP Operations at FedEx Freight to the 2018 Symposium. John will deliver the opening keynote on Wednesday, June 6, 2018. 

Casting Your Leadership Shadow: Empowering supervisors to reinforce a culture of safety and reliability

John Smith was appointed to the role of senior vice president of Operations for FedEx Freight in May 2015. With more than 30 years in the transportation field, John oversees the FedEx Freight operations and fleet maintenance organizations, which includes management of nearly 40,000 team members and roughly 350 service centers.

As SVP-Operations, John reinforces a “Safety Above All” culture from frontline team members through senior management. Under his leadership, FedEx Freight has successfully adopted technologies that improve safety and efficiencies on the road and on the dock, including compliance with the federal electronic logging device mandate.

He is also focused on improving quality, ensuring FedEx Freight’s position as the market leader. In just two years after accepting the SVP position, damage claims by customers were reduced by more than 21 percent.

Combining his focus on safety and quality, John leads the charge in recruiting frontline team members to participate in national competitions such as the American Trucking Associations National Truck Driving Championship and Super Tech. And in 2017, he helped oversee the launch of an internal competition to test the skills of FedEx Freight’s freight handlers.

Additionally, John stresses the importance of collective responsibility. Dedicated to minimizing our impact on the environment and lessening our carbon footprint, in 2017, he challenged all FedEx Freight facilities to achieve GREEN Site Level 1 certification. His teams surpassed that goal, with more than 90 percent of facilities reaching the higher Level 2 certification in the same time period.

John currently serves on the Arkansas Trucking Association Board of Directors. He is a graduate of Northwestern State University with a degree in geology. He and his wife, Julie, live in Memphis, Tennessee.

About FedEx Freight
With corporate offices in Memphis, Tenn., the FedEx Freight Segment includes FedEx Freight, a leading U.S. provider of LTL freight services; FedEx Freight Canada, an LTL operating company serving most points in Canada; and FedEx Custom Critical, North America's largest time-specific, critical shipment carrier. FedEx Freight also serves Mexico, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. For more information, visit

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