FedEx Express has announced proposals to resize its European workforce as it nears the completion of the network integration of TNT.
FedEx acquired TNT in 2016 as part of its European expansion plans, connecting its air express network with TNT’s European road network and global suite of services. Since the acquisition, the company says a successful integration has taken place across IT systems and key parts of the air, road and ground networks, and investments have been made in technology and infrastructure.
Plans to address the duplication resulting from operating two large European networks connecting similar geographies were recently presented to European employee representatives and team members. These proposals will see a workforce cut of between 5,500-6,300 people across operational teams and back-office functions.
Karen Reddington, president of FedEx Express Europe, commented, “We acquired the TNT business in 2016 for one reason: to open up the world for our customers by connecting the global FedEx air network with TNT’s extensive European road network to become a top tier player in Europe. This process, while difficult, will allow us together with the completion of the network integration to operate as one company offering greater coverage, speed of delivery, extended operational capabilities and enhanced service levels. Changes like this are never easy because they impact our people. However, they are crucial to unlocking the benefits of integration and enhancing our competitiveness in a fast-changing marketplace.”
Key to FedEx’s proposal is the physical integration of its Express and TNT air networks. FedEx Express currently operates two duplicate air networks out of two main hubs in Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport in France and Liège Airport in Belgium. Under its plans FedEx Express would establish a dual-hub model in Europe, with the FedEx Roissy-Charles de Gaulle hub serving as a primary hub, universally linking all European flight points and connecting European customers to the rest of the world. The Liège air hub would operate as a secondary hub, providing flexibility and continuing to provide excellent service to customers year-round. FedEx Express’s dual-hub network in the USA has been operational for several decades with Memphis as the universal hub and Indianapolis as the secondary hub as will be the case with Liège in Central Europe.
Dave Canavan, COO of FedEx Express Europe, explained, “Moving towards a dual-hub model is a strategic advantage for us: improving the competitiveness of our Express business, providing us flexibility, and enhancing our growth opportunities. We understand that while these intended changes are absolutely necessary to put us on the right path, our team members, particularly in Liège, will be concerned about the future. We will do everything we can to conduct these consultations constructively, with a mindset of collaboration and care for those impacted.”