With the connectivity, provided by new routes in Belarus, Moldova, Macedonia and Albania, TNT says its Express customers now benefit from an economical, day-definite, customs cleared, door-to-door delivery service for parcels and freight weighing up to 500 kg (1000 lbs.) palletized per piece. This is a major increase from the previous 30 kg (60 lb.) per-piece weight limit.
The four new routes add to the 35 European countries already covered by TNT’s Express Road Network, making it the largest fully integrated express road network in Europe, says TNT.
“We have filled in some of the last remaining blanks in TNT’s road coverage of Europe.” says Ben Klaassen, managing director of TNT’s Express Road Network. “Express volumes may still seem modest in these countries but they have picked up fast in recent years and so it was time to extend our connectivity.”
TNT will use Bucharest (Romania) as the hub connecting Moldova to the rest of Europe and the world. Warsaw (Poland) will act as a hub connecting Belarus. Sofia (Bulgaria) will serve as a hub for shipments moving in and out Macedonia and Albania.
“We continue to move ahead with expansions in emerging European economies,” says Jan Willem Breen, director marketing & sales of TNT Express. “TNT recently upgraded its service to Ukraine, Malta and Cyprus. We are now reinforcing connections with countries neighboring the EU in the east and in the south to provide our customers with the most economical express service for their parcels and freight.” In 2008, TNT Express was the first integrator to open a road connection to Ukraine and a road-ferry connection with Malta. Prior to that, TNT extended its road network to Morocco, creating the first road link with northern Africa.
In 2008, Belarus and Moldova recorded real GDP growth of 10.0% and 7.2%, respectively. This was well above the average of 5.5% achieved by the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). For the same period, GDP rose by 5.0% in Macedonia and by 6.8% in Albania, faster than the central and eastern Europe average of 2.9%, according to the IMF, World Economic Outlook, April 2009.