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FedEx seals TNT takeover, dismisses Amazon carrier ambitions


Today marks the official conclusion of the €4.4bn takeover of TNT by FedEx, described as “a truly historic day” by David Bronczek, president & CEO of FedEx Express, who used a press conference this morning to outline the acquisition, and also to dismiss the idea that Amazon is a threat to the carrier sector.
One of the main points made by Bronczek, who was accompanied by FedEx Europe CEO David Binks, was that there are no anticipated layoffs or closures as a result of the acquisition. The combined company will be headquartered in Hoofddorp, Netherlands – the former TNT HQ. It’s main European hub will be Charles de Gaulle, Paris, and the almost 400,000 staff can look forward to what was described as “an acquisition based on growth in a growing market.”

In addition to almost 400,000 staff, the new company will have 657 planes, and 150,000 vehicles. “The unifying force has always been people,” Bronczek said. “This is the start of a new reality, two teams with one vision, two cultures built on people.”

Tex Gunning, CEO of TNT Express made a short speech at the start of the press conference in which he said he was thrilled about the acquisition which he described as “right for customers, our people and the industry.”

Some service partners in select locations may lose out in the coming integration, but neither Binks nor Bronczek would be drawn on any of the specifics, stating it would “take time” to thrash out details, but that they would “work diligently to avoid any significant losses.”

Bronczek also spelled out that he thinks any talk of Amazon becoming a rival carrier is folly. “Amazon is a big customer of ours,” he stressed. “They need our services. Look at a company like Walmart, also a big customer of ours, also with some of its own logistics capabilities. We continue to have a great relationship with them, as we will with Amazon.”

The eDelivery View:

Amazon has made great strides in deploying its own logistics industry would agree with Bronczek that this is quite usual for a retailer, and any talk of Amazon going head-to-head with carriers is nothing more than speculation. This is something we’ve written about here on eDelivery, and which readers have shared their views on too. The bottom line is that while it is no doubt within Amazon’s gift to transform itself into a carrier, should it wish to, it would incur substantial opportunity costs, not to mention actual costs.

What was more interesting was the emphasis being placed on people during the press conference this morning. Naturally the internal audience is important at times like this, offering reassurances that there won’t be swingeing job cuts, so often the case in mergers and acquisitions, can help steady the ship at a crucial time. But it went much further than that. This was clearly a demonstration by arguably the largest carrier in the world today, that they understand the important role of their staff in the new front line.

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