Will FedEx/TNT merger impact “ugly freight” sector?

Will FedEx/TNT merger impact “ugly freight” sector?

ParcelHero has warned that the FedEx takeover of TNT Express could have an impact the market for large and heavy item deliveries, as TNT has made “ugly freight” one of its specialities. ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks, told Post&Parcel: “TNT is very popular with users shipping large and heavy deliveries. Many carriers have restrictive parcel size and weight restrictions; but TNT has significantly greater flexibility on the size of packages it accepts, operating bigger vehicles than other carriers, generally with tail lifts capable of loading pallets and heavy parcels.

“FedEx, TNT Express’ soon-to-be owners, are specialists in international delivery services; but have no culture of supporting ugly freight to any extent. If TNT Express is steered away from such items once they become a part of FedEx – and it’s undeniable that they do require more investment and expertise – the loss of these services would be keenly felt.”

Jinks added: “Many carriers avoid outsize loads as they don’t fit easily with their systems: or they charge significantly more for such shipments; but TNT only last year opened a Sydney ‘superhub’ capable of sorting outsize objects over 1.5 metres in size or 30kg in weight to reinforce its ugly freight capability. The Express large and heavy items service needs to be protected after the take-over.

“Large and heavy items are frequently shipped through ParcelHero’s parcel broker service and we would hate to see the loss of TNT Express’ unique and cost-effective approach to this part of the delivery market.”

Aside from his concern for “ugly freight”, Jinks was generally positive about the FedEx/TNT tie-up. “We welcome the merger of the two organisations,” said Jinks. “TNT Express is largely about European ground based operations and it has only a limited presence in the US; while FedEx is known for its Europe-UK to America quality international service. They are, therefore, largely complementary and won’t constitute the monopoly the UPS-TNT proposed merger would have done.”

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