TNT Express has added a new ground delivery service to and from Montenegro.
The Netherlands-based integrator, currently an acquisition target for UPS, said the twice-weekly scheduled service out of Podgorica supports its day-definite door-to-door Economy Express delivery service.
It offers an economical express delivery option for customers sending parcels or freight up to 500kg per piece, the firm said, with transit times of 2-6 days depending on distance.
The Economy Express service comes with customs clearance and real-time tracking, with TNT Express saying it would be of interest to customers shipping less urgent items to the former Yugoslav republic.
TNT Express is anticipating growth in demand as Montenegro strengthens its ties with the rest of Europe in its bid to join the European Union.
The country on the Adriatic coast has a population of about 630,000 and according to IMF numbers recorded GDP growth of 2.5% in 2011.
Montenegro’s exports to the EU were worth EUR 200m in 2011, while the country imported EUR 700m worth of goods from the EU in the same year.
Bas Janssen, managing director of TNT’s Express Road Network, said: “Montenegro does three quarters of its trade with the EU and has just entered accession talks. Together with the need for cost-effectiveness, this prompted us to include Montenegro in our road distribution network.”
TNT Express said it will serve Montenegro out of a new bonded warehouse in neighbouring Serbia. The Belgrade facility is linked in with the TNT Express European road network via Timisoara, Romania.
The 470km drive through the mountains between Belgrade and Podgorica, the Montenegrin capital, takes about 10 to 12 hours, TNT said.
The latest expansion in the company’s European road network follows on from recent expansions in Albania, Macedonia, Belarus and Moldova, giving TNT Express a road network covering 40 European countries.
The company generated EUR 4.5bn in revenue from its Europe, Middle East and African segment in 2011, with EUR 380m in adjusted operating income drawn from the firm’s average of 725,000 consignments per day in the region, a volume that grew 1% in 2011 compared to the year before.
TNT Express claims a 17% share of the European express market at present.
Source: Post&Parcel/TNT Express