TNT Express Growing Plans

TNT Express Growing Plans

Copyright 2004, Traffic World, Inc.

Claiming strong business across Europe, TNT Express is spending to increase capacity and upgrade its ability to handle traffic that is growing across an expanding European Union map.

The building at the air hub at Liege, Belgium, comes as the carrier''s parent TNT Post Group is making strong moves on a number of fronts to bolster capabilities in its European base. TPG this month scaled up its air forwarding services with the acquisition of Sweden''s Wilson Group and the TNT Mail UK unit is stepping up its bid for more postal traffic in the United Kingdom.

TNT Express initially plans to spend $44 million at its Liege, Belgium, air hub. This is part of a $115 million six-year improvement program.

The first phase will include doubling the sorting space at the hub and re-engineering sorting systems to improve speed and efficiency, the company said. The next phases, to go through 2013, will add new sortation equipment, increase air container throughput and modernize equipment at the hub.

TNT Express is the express division of TPG, the privatized Dutch postal service.

"The current network already comprises 65 airports, and we are now processing 20 percent more aircraft containers than we were just 18 months ago," TNT Worldwide Networks Managing Director Christian Drenthen said. "Our investment will improve transit times for our growing customer base and further increase the percentage of consignments delivered on time and in perfect condition."

TNT has said it will depend on truck connections to speed up service to the Eastern European nations that entered the EU last month but the hub improvement plan will give the carrier the ability to handle more traffic in coming years as business in that region grows.

Express business forms the largest single part of TPG''s transport line and the Amsterdam-based company says express business grew 5.5 percent in this year''s first quarter even as mail revenue fell nearly 2 percent.