TNT's opening of Hong Kong regional hub indicates UPS' Asian focus

2012 03 27

TNT EXPRESS, recently sold to US-based United Parcel Service (UPS), has opened its new Hong Kong regional hub at Asia Airfreight Terminal (AAT), indicating that UPS will make its base here after the merger wins regulatory approval.

There was talk on the sidelines of the 20,000 jobs that might be lost worldwide through the merger, but hope was expressed that TNT's Asian operations were in a better position because UPS, the world's largest international package shipper by revenue ahead of FedEx, is comparatively weak in Asia.

The Dutch daily Het Financieele Dagblad reported that TNT chief executive Marie-Christine Lombard said the loss of up to 20,000 jobs is possible, adding that lay-offs would be evenly spread between TNT and UPS.

TNT employs 77,000 people; UPS has a head count of 400,600.

TNT denied a report about the potential loss of up to 20,000 jobs, reported Dow Jones. "It's too early to comment about possible job losses," said TNT spokesman Job van Harmelen, adding that the number of potential job losses mentioned makes no sense."

Having invited and disinvited the media to the Hong Kong official opening, the customers-only tour continued with dignitaries giving speeches.

"The regional hub is a state-of-the-art logistics facility that will cater for the increasing cargo flow in the region as well as generate greater connectivity between Asia Pacific and Europe using Hong Kong as a base," declared Hong Kong Transport and Housing Secretary Eva Cheng at the opening ceremony.

Said TNT regional managing director Michael Drake: "The opening of our new Hong Kong regional hub is a symbol of our commitment to our customers and our confidence in the long-term growth of the Pearl River Delta region as one of the world's leading manufacturing and trading hubs."

The 7,380-square-metre (80,000-square foot) facility incorporates the most advanced sorting and security technology and features in-house customs clearance, said the TNT statement.

"It will sit at the centre of a highly efficient air and road network that includes air links to TNT's European hub at Liege, Belgium, and to the rest of Europe, as well as TNT's road networks in China and Southeast Asia," TNT said.

Able to handle up to 600 tons of cargo daily, the Hong Kong hub will enhance TNT air services between Asia and Europe and its unique Asia Road Network, which offers day-definite delivery service from China through to Southeast Asia.

TNT Express operates a network of regional hubs globally, in Hong Kong, Singapore, Perth and Liege.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

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