TNT History

Today, TNT Express is a global company, operating in 200 countries around the world. But the company actually started from very humble beginnings, in Australia back in the 1940s, when Ken Thomas set up his own transport business with just a single truck.

Business boomed in the 1950s as Ken's company began offering road and rail freight services across Australia including, for the first time, new overnight services. In 1958, the company became known as Thomas Nationwide Transport or TNT for short and, by 1961, TNT had become so successful that it was listed on the Australian stock exchange.

TNT continued to grow throughout the 1960s, and following the company's success in Australia and New Zealand, international expansion was the next natural step.

The businesss went global in the 1970s and 1980s. TNT gained an instant foothold in new markets by buying transporation companies in Europe, North America and Brazil.

By the 1980s, the company's focus, in terms of growth, was very much on Europe. TNT acquired major companies in the overnight and express delivery industry. It was also the first transport company to buy its own aircraft, creating a pan-European overnight service using a dedicated fleet.

By the 1990s, the TNT group had 70,000 employees. But its bid to become a worldwide player in transportation had led it to diversify very quickly - and it needed to find new investment.

In the 1990s, the Dutch national post-and-telecoms company was looking to expand its business overseas. It had had a monopoly in the Netherlands for almost 200 years, but, with the arrival of modern communication technology, it needed to move with the times to protect its traditional mail business. In 1989, it had become a private company, called KPN, giving it more flexibility and freedom to diversify.

KPN took its first steps on the international express market in 1992 and, in 1996, it acquired the TNT group, heralding a new era for the global post and express industry.

By 1998, KPN determined that the collaboration of their postal division with TNT would go it alone and divested TNT Post Group (TPG) to list independently on the stock exchange of Amsterdam, New York, London and Frankfurt.

To consolidate the brand and improve worldwide recognition, the name 'TPG' was to be dropped in favour of 'TNT' in 2005.

During the TPG and TNT years, the company acquired one company after another. After Jet Services in France, it acquired in quick succession TG+ in Spain, Hoau in China, Speedage in India, Mercurio and Araçatuba in Brazil and LIT Cargo in Chile.TNT also opened up intercontinental routes between Asia and Europe with daily dedicated TNT-owned and leased Boeing 747 flights linking China and Southeast Asia to Dubai and Europe. The acquisitions and new intercontinental routes allowed TNT to facilitate its global Focus on Network's strategy.  Meanwhile, in line with this strategy, the Logistics division was sold off.

At this time, TNT also developed a keen social policy, understanding early on its truely positive impact on business, employees, customers, investors, communities and the planet. In 2002, TNT announced its partnership with the UN World Food Programme, under which it would deploy its people, resources and skills to help WFP in the fight against world hunger. In 2007, TNT launched Planet Me, a programme to reduce the company's CO2 emissions in a wide variety of ways.  TNT consistently ranked first in our industry on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index - a list that tracks sustainability leaders among the largest companies in the world - and achieved the highest score of any company on the DJSI.

The split-up of TNT N.V. which was announced in December 2010, materialised in May 2011 when TNT Express and TNT Post (now: PostNL) were separately listed on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange.

On 18 February 2014, TNT announced a turnaround and transformation strategy, called Outlook. It targets substantial improvements in performance to meet the needs of TNT's stakeholders (customers, employees and shareholders).

On 25 May 2016, FedEx completed the acquisition of TNT Express. The combination builds upon competitive positioning in global transportation and logistics industry.

For more information on the key dates, click here.

Some specific historical facts about Liege:


  • TNT Airways, the airline of the group, is created in 2000.


  • TNT Express announces initial investment of 36 million euros to expand Liege Air Hub. (press release)


  • TNT expends its long haul network with a five day per week air cargo service linking Moscow (press release) and its main European hub Liege as well as with a direct flight between Chongqing and Liège (press release).
  • The same year, the company introduces three Boeings 777 in his fleet (delivery in 2011). (press release)


  • TNT Express announces its intention to invest in operations and safety at Liege Euro Hub. The Liege Extra Fit programme (LEF) will increase the hub's sorting capacity by 50% and improve health and safety for the 1,500 employees. (press release)


  • FedEx announces its intention to buy TNT.


  • In February, TNT signs conditional sale agreement with ASL Aviation Group for airline operations. TNT Express has signed an agreement to sell its airline operartions TNT Airways and Pan Air Lineas Aéreas to ASL Aviation group, conditional on the completion of FedEx's intended acquisition of TNT, which happened on 25 May the same year. (press release)
  • On 25 May, FedEx acquires TNT. Bringing FedEx and TNT together allows us to build upon the strengths of both companies, leading to a brighter future that connects even more people and possibilities around the world.


TNT Express Euro Hub

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