TNT Express is an international courier delivery services company, now a subsidiary of FedEx but originally with headquarters in Hoofddorp, Netherlands. The firm has fully owned operations in 61 countries and delivers documents, parcels and pieces of freight to over 200 countries. The company recorded sales of €6.91 billion in 2015. Its major competitors include United Parcel Service (UPS) and DHL. TNT’s competitor FedEx reached an agreement to buy the company in April 2015, which was completed on 25 May 2016.
Shortly after the cessation of hostilities of World War II in Asia, Australian Ken Thomas set up Thomas Nationwide Transport with a single truck in Sydney. At the same time, Hungarian immigrant Peter Abeles had formed Alltrans with fellow Hungarian immigrant George Rockey. In 1967, Alltrans merged with Thomas Nationwide Transport, and the combined companies became TNT Ltd., operating then in both Australia and New Zealand. Under Abeles’ guidance as managing director, TNT quickly expanded, and by the 1980s had established a presence in 180 countries and was termed “the second biggest transport empire in the world, operating by road, rail, sea, and air”.
Expanding globally, by the 1980s the focus was on Europe, and TNT became the first transport company to buy its own aircraft, creating the first pan-European overnight service using a dedicated fleet. In 1992, the company co-founded GD Express Worldwide, owning 50% of the organisation, with the other 50% of shares held between partners KPN (Dutch telecoms and postal company) and the state-owned postal companies of Canada, France, West Germany and Sweden. Having floated on the Dutch Stock Exchange in 1994/5, KPN bought TNT in a friendly merger in 1996. Two years later, KPN demerged its postal division and combined it with TNT to form TNT N.V.
On 26 May 2011, TNT Express was demerged from its parent company, taking a listing on the Euronext Amsterdam Stock Exchange. TNT N.V. subsequently renamed itself PostNL.
On 19 March 2012, UPS announced its intention to acquire TNT Express for $6.7 billion. However, the deal fell through in January 2013 after it was announced that UPS had failed to obtain permission from the European Commission and as such had been blocked on competition grounds.
In April 2015, FedEx announced its agreed intention to buy TNT Express for €4.4bn ($4.8bn; £3.2bn), as it looks to expand its operations in Europe. The European Commission launched a further investigation into the planned acquisition on 31 July 2015, with a deadline for its decision due by 7 December 2015. On 8 January 2016, the European Commission unconditionally approved the acquisition by FedEx. The deal was completed on 25 May 2016.
In 2017 TNT Express was very badly affected by the NotPetya cyber-attack, partly because many operations and communication systems are based in Ukraine where the cyber-attack originated. TNT Express had to operate using “manual processes” for a considerable period creating very large backlogs. Some records were entirely lost.
The company offers road- and air delivery services in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, the Americas, the Middle East, and Africa. In June 2014 TNT conducted a rail-freight trial assessing improving support to UK businesses and cutting carbon emissions.
26 May 2011; 6 years ago as a standalone company
1946 in Australia as Thomas Nationwide Transport
⚯ Facts and Figures
56,000 employees in 61 countries
1,000,000 deliveries around the globe every day
More than 750 weekly air connections
55,000 weekly trips in Europe between 20 international road transit hubs and 550 depots
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