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The History of TNT Express: From Australian Startup to Global Logistics Powerhouse


From humble beginnings in a bustling Australian city to becoming a global logistics powerhouse, TNT Express’ journey is a testament to innovation and resilience. This blog post delves into the fascinating history of TNT Express, tracing its evolution from a local road transport company to a major player in the international logistics scene. We will explore the key milestones, strategic acquisitions, and industry challenges that shaped TNT Express’ rise and ultimate merger with FedEx.

Table of Contents

  1. The Early Years: From TNT to TNT Express (1946-1970s)
  2. Global Dominance and Strategic Acquisitions (1980s-2000s)
  3. Facing the Challenges: Merger with FedEx and the Rise of Ecommerce (2010s-Present)
  4. FAQ: Common Questions about TNT Express
  5. Conclusion

The Early Years: From TNT to TNT Express (1946-1970s)

The story of TNT Express begins in 1946 with the founding of TNT (Transport Newspaper & Traders) by Kenneth T. Myer in Sydney, Australia. Myer, recognizing the growing need for efficient transportation, launched a small trucking company focused on delivering newspapers and merchandise within the city.

The early years saw TNT focus primarily on road transport, steadily expanding its service area and acquiring smaller trucking businesses. This expansion laid the foundation for TNT’s future growth, establishing a robust network of delivery routes across Australia.

A key turning point came in the 1970s when TNT ventured into air freight, recognizing the need for faster delivery times and expanded geographic reach. This move marked a significant shift in TNT’s business model, positioning it as a comprehensive logistics provider offering both road and air transportation options.

During this period, TNT also began exploring international markets, establishing operations in New Zealand and extending its reach beyond Australia’s borders. These early forays into international logistics set the stage for TNT’s future global dominance.

Global Dominance and Strategic Acquisitions (1980s-2000s)

The 1980s marked a period of aggressive expansion for TNT, as the company embarked on a strategic acquisition spree to strengthen its global footprint and diversify its service offerings.

TNT’s expansion strategy was fueled by several key factors:

  • Increased demand for international logistics: The rise of globalization and international trade created a surge in demand for reliable cross-border delivery services.
  • Acquisitions as a growth engine: TNT recognized the value of acquiring established companies in key markets, enabling faster market entry and access to existing customer bases.
  • Focus on specialized services: TNT expanded its portfolio beyond traditional transportation services, acquiring companies specializing in areas like express delivery, freight forwarding, and warehousing.

Notable acquisitions during this period included:

  • TNT Express Worldwide (1986): This strategic acquisition brought TNT Express’ global network and operations under one umbrella, solidifying its position as a leading international logistics provider.
  • Airborne Express (1999): This acquisition expanded TNT’s reach into the lucrative US market, adding a significant air freight network and strengthening its global presence.

Through these acquisitions, TNT Express established a vast and interconnected network, enabling the seamless movement of goods across continents. The company’s commitment to innovation and technological advancements further cemented its position as an industry leader.

Facing the Challenges: Merger with FedEx and the Rise of Ecommerce (2010s-Present)

The 2010s presented TNT Express with both opportunities and challenges. The rapid growth of e-commerce created an unprecedented demand for faster delivery times and increased transparency in logistics operations.

TNT Express responded to these challenges by investing in technological advancements, optimizing its delivery networks, and focusing on customer-centric solutions. However, the company faced increasing competition from established players like FedEx and the rise of new logistics startups.

In 2016, TNT Express was acquired by FedEx, marking a significant turning point in the company’s history. The merger, driven by FedEx’s desire to expand its European market presence and leverage TNT’s extensive network, created the world’s largest express delivery company.

The integration of TNT Express into the FedEx network resulted in several changes:

  • Rebranding: TNT Express was rebranded as FedEx Express, aligning its operations with FedEx’s global brand.
  • Network expansion: The merger expanded FedEx’s reach across Europe, providing access to TNT’s extensive network of delivery points and routes.
  • Integration of services: FedEx integrated TNT Express’ services into its portfolio, offering a wider range of logistics solutions to customers worldwide.

Today, TNT Express, now known as FedEx Express, continues to play a vital role in the global logistics landscape, operating as a subsidiary of FedEx and serving a vast network of customers across the world.

FAQ: Common Questions about TNT Express

Q: What is the current name of TNT Express?
A: TNT Express is currently known as FedEx Express, following the 2016 merger with FedEx.

Q: What services did TNT Express offer?
A: TNT Express offered a comprehensive range of logistics services, including express and economy delivery, freight forwarding, warehousing, and logistics management.

Q: What were the key reasons for TNT Express’ success?
A: TNT Express’ success can be attributed to factors such as its extensive network, innovative technology, customer focus, and strategic acquisitions.

Q: Why did FedEx merge with TNT Express?
A: The merger was primarily driven by FedEx’s desire to expand its European market presence and gain access to TNT’s network and customer base.


The story of TNT Express is a fascinating journey of growth, innovation, and strategic adaptation. From its humble beginnings as a local trucking company in Australia, TNT Express evolved into a global logistics powerhouse, shaping the landscape of international trade and delivery.

The company’s relentless pursuit of expansion, its strategic acquisitions, and its commitment to customer service positioned it as a leader in the industry. While TNT Express is no longer an independent entity, its legacy lives on as a testament to the power of vision, innovation, and strategic decision-making in driving long-term success.