Major job cuts mooted at FedEx European operations

FedEx is to cut up to 6,300 jobs across its European business as the merger with TNT continues.

The US logistics giant acquired TNT in 2016 and now has access to one of the best European delivery networks in the industry. Integration of the two companies has involved IT and key parts of the air, road and ground networks.

The integration of the two firms has meant a lot of duplication of roles in the two businesses, and FedEx has now said that between 5,500 and 6,300 jobs are to go in back office and operational teams. Employees affected have been reassured that a full range of support measures will be discussed with works council representatives across Europe, though these differ from country to country according to their individual labour laws. The job cuts are to take place over the next 18 months.

Karen Reddington, President of FedEx Express Europe, said: “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, whilst 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.”

Karen added: “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. None of this changes our values as a company and we are committed to an open dialogue, working closely with our social partners and completing this process with the utmost care and respect for our affected team members.”

One of the major areas of duplication is the air networks. Currently FedEx and TNT operate two parallel networks out of Liege in Belgium and Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. The company plans to operate a dual-hub network with Roissy-Charles de Gaulle being the primary international hub and Liege for internal European operations. This will replicate its network in the US where Memphis is the main hub and Indianapolis the secondary hub.

Dave Canavan, Chief Operating Officer 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.”