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14 Let’s Call it a System Test!

Our major concern on launch day—March 12, 1973 —was the limited capacity of our small fleet. The discounted reports from the sales staff still indicated that we could expect between 300 and 450 packages. Fred was especially worried that we wouldn’t have enough capacity to handle all the packages and that we would disappoint the customers. In addition, the White, Weld and Company principals were coming to Memphis to observe the first night’s operations. The private placement offering was taking much longer than expected, and any hint of service failures would be disastrous.

At least we had a contingency plan: If we had a higher volume than expected, we could do a double run to our originating cities. The mail ...

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