TNT Company History - key dates


  • 33-year-old Ken Thomas establishes K.W Transport in Australia with a single truck


  • K.W Transport changes its names to Thomas Nationwide Transport - TNT is born


  • TNT expands into the UK with purchase of Lancashire-based Inter County Express, which at that time had 500 employees and an annual turnover of less than £5 million


  • May - just two years after gaining its UK foothold - TNT Overnite launches, Britain's first ever on demand door-to-door nationwide next day delivery service for businesses and the forerunner of all the other specialist divisions now existing in the company.
  • TNT UK moves its headquarters to Atherstone in Warwickshire
  • TNT lists its stocks on the London Stock Exchange


  • The introduction of TNT Sameday, an instant response service which uniquely guaranteed on-demand, same day door-to-door delivery anywhere in Britain. TNT Sameday operates 24 hours a day and 365 days a year from 75 strategic locations nationwide to provide the fastest round the clock express delivery service in the UK. 
  • The launch of TNT Tristar, the UK's first guaranteed 3-day nationwide delivery service


  • The launch of TNT Retail Express (now TNT Fashion Group) garment distribution for major fashion companies.
  • Launch of sister company TNT Logistics UK to provide tailor-made supply chain management processes to blue-chip clients


  • Launch of TNT Supamail, providing next morning door-to-door delivery services for urgent business post, documents and small packages.


  • Launch of TNT Printline, a unique management service for the distribution of printed and promotional material


  • Launch of TNT Meditrans to meet the needs of distributors of medical, healthcare and associated products
  • Launch of TNT Autoparts Express and TNT Technology Express - specialised handling and distribution services for the automotive and information technology industries
  • Launch of TNT Sameday Strategic Storage and Distribution (formerly known as Storapart), offering storage and rapid replenishment of products and spare parts through a nationwide network of secure stockholding points


  • TNT becomes the first major transport provider to be accredited to Investor In People status


  • Launch of TNT Mail Services (now TNT Managed Services) to carry internal mail for major blue-chip clients.


  • Friendly take-over by Dutch mail and telecoms firm, KPN


  • Launch of Electronic Proof of Delivery (EPOD), enabling TNT to collect a consignment anywhere in the UK & Ireland within just 30 minutes of a customer request. The system uses a network of in-cab mobile data terminals connected directly to the company's central computer system. Customers can access the TNT website to gain proof of delivery within seconds of the consignment arriving at its final destination.


  • Demerger of KPN and formation of TNT's parent company, TPG (TNT Post Group)
  • The company collects the Investor in People Key Champions Award


  • TNT UK Ltd gathers together all its domestic express businesses and its international arm, TNT International UK, under one umbrella called TNT Express Services UK and Ireland. The new organisation provides - and continues to provide - the widest possible range of express domestic and international business-to-business delivery services available from a single source. It is the largest business within the TNT UK Ltd portfolio. TNT International UK is a market leader in provision of on demand worldwide door-to-door express delivery services. Unique integrated high-speed road and air services are provided within Europe using company owned jet freighter aircraft, vehicles and depots all of which are linked by state-of-the-art TNT computer systems.
  • The company collects the Investor in People Outstanding Practice Award


  • The creation of new business divisions: TNT Archive Services and TNT Financial Services.
  • TNT Archive Services offers document storage, indexing and data management.
  • TNT Financial Services provides tailored logistics and end-to-end mail and distribution services for an impressive selection of major financial sector clients, including Lloyds TSB and the Royal Bank of Scotland Group.
  • Opening of the £22m Kingsbury Link sortation hub, near Tamworth
  • Achieves Queen's Award for Industry, Innovation category
  • TNT Sameday, Managed Services, Financial Services and Archive Services form the company's specialist service arm - TNT Express Specialist Services (TESS).


  • Opening of the £4m Lount sortation hub, at Lount in Leicestershire.
  • TNT Retail Express acquires the Netherlands-based Bleckmann Group NV to form TNT Fashion Group, signaling a major expansion of its clothing distribution activities in mainland Europe. It has contracts to distribute garments for world famous fashion houses, well known high street retailers and prominent department stores
  • The launch of advanced track and trace system- using data from consignment barcodes to locate a package at any point during transit. Customers can track shipments via the Internet, SMS, WAP-enabled mobile phones, PDA devices and through an e-mail tracking service.
  • TNT becomes the first transport company to achieve the British Safety Council's 5 Star Accreditation and four Swords of Honour for its occupational health and safety management system


  • £10m investment to upgrade the Atherstone hub
  • TNT Archive Services acquisition of ADS - providing significant expansion for the division
  • TNT Archive Services signs the longest contract in the history of TNT Express Services, a 25-year agreement with the Ministry of Defence, catapulting TNT into Britain's top three archiving providers.
  • Other high profile customers for Archive Services include Universal Music where TNT are the guardians of original master recordings by famous artists including Elton John and Bob Marley.
  • Opening of the £1.5m National Call Centre at Lount in Leicestershire, creating 120 news jobs
  • TNT Mail Services rebrands as TNT Managed Services. A leading provider in a sector worth an estimated £500 million per annum, TNT Managed Services manages the internal mail systems for organisations such as Department of Works and Pensions (DWP), The Inland Revenue, Employment Services and HM Customs and Excise as well as a growing number of well-known blue-chip customers including GlaxoSmithKline, KPMG, Lloyds TSB, Warner Brothers, Hewlett Packard, Marsh and CRESTCo to name but a few.
  • TNT Managed Services expands its portfolio to offer clients a wider range of services including digital imaging, reprographics and confidential document disposal.
  • Launch of the £1.3 million Make It Happen customer care training scheme and the Customer Champion Award - rewarding staff who go the 'extra mile' in the name of customer service.
  • TNT wins Investors in People accreditation for a fourth consecutive year
  • TNT wins its fifth prestigious National Training Award
  • The company gains five Swords of Honour from the British Safety Council- a remarkable achievement given that only 40 Swords are awarded worldwide in any one year.


  • TNT Express Services opens largest and most expensive depot at Birmingham with 68 loading bays at a cost of £8.2 million
  • TNT Archive Services opens £11m facility at Swadlincote in South Derbyshire
  • TNT Express Services win an unprecedented seven Swords of Honour from the British Safety Council
  • The Secretary of State for Education & Skills, Charles Clarke, announced TNT as one of only 16 organisations in the UK to be awarded the title of Investor in People Champion. As one of the Champions, TNT will work with IiP to share its expertise with other employers to promote best practice in all areas of people development


  • Parent Group TNT TPG announces it will operate globally under the brand name TNT
  • TNT TPG changes its name to TNT NV
  • Acquisition of Cendris UK to form TNT Document Services
  • Opening of £4.5 million National Customer Contact Centre at Team Valley near Gateshead, creating 200 new jobs
  • TNT NV announce the intended sale of TNT Logistics and announces the new strategic aim of concentrating on express and mail markets


  • TNT NV delisted from London and Frankfurt Stock Exchanges
  • Opening of new £7m, 67-bay depot at Leyland, near Preston
  • Opening of a new £7m, 70,000 sq ft TNT Archive Services facility at West Thurrock in Essex - doubling storage capacity
  • Opening of new depot in Paisley, Scotland
  • Sale of TNT Logistics to US private equity firm Apollo Management for 1.48bn Euro. TNT will pay 15m Euro for a 5% stake in the new company


  • TNT acquires Mercúrio, the express market leader in Brazil
  • TNT completes the acquisition of Hoau, the leading freight and parcels delivery company in China - giving TNT the biggest presence in the Chinese market.
  • A £1.5 million investment in new equipment at TNT Document Services in Basildon and Cardonald, Scotland.
  • TNT opens a £6 million depot at Liverpool John Lennon Airport.
  • Creation of TNT Media and Entertainment Division to capitalise on the UK's multi media and entertainments market.
  • TNT launches Planet Me - It's global environmental initiative aimed at reducing the company's carbon footprint and CO2 emissions.
  • TNT N.V. topped the prestigious Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) for the first time.
  • TNT added two new time-guaranteed international services - '10:00 Express' and '12:00 Economy Express' - to the existing '9:00 Express' and '12:00 Express', delivery options.
  • TNT opens a 36-bay £3 million depot in Swansea.
  • TNT achieved the ISO14001 accreditation - an official acknowledgement that TNT is making significant strides towards reducing its carbon footprint.
  • The Secretary of State for the Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills John Denham MP, revealed TNT as one of only 36 companies to be awarded the title of Investor in People Champion status. TNT was first accredited with Champion status in 2004.
  • TNT's continued commitment to excellence in training has been recognised with a National Training Award - the most prestigious award for training, for a record-breaking sixth time.


  • TNT UK invests £7m in one hundred 7.5-tonne zero emission electric vehicles, giving it the world's largest zero emission express delivery fleet.
  • TNT Express Services UK & Ireland launches a new five year business strategy with a core mission to 'deliver a superior customer experience'.
  • TNT recognised as being among the UK's leading companies after being included in the publication 'Britain's Top Employers 2008'.
  • TNT launches a 50-strong fleet of environmentally-friendly zero emission vehicles.
  • A new corporate strapline 'sure we can' is introduced to reflect the TNT can-do approach and commitment to its people and customers alike.
  • Double success at the Motor Transport Awards takes TNT's record-breaking haul up to an unprecedented 26 wins in 22 years.
  • TNT wins two customer-focused categories at the annual International Freighting Weekly (IFW) Awards, namely, the Customer Care Award and the Express Operator of the Year title - voted for by customers.
  • The first group of graduates under the TNT Vehicle Technician Programme complete their five-year apprenticeships.
    TNT employees celebrate the 30th anniversary of the company's operations in the UK by raising £25,000 for charity in just 30 days of September.
  • TNT charity fundraisers generate a record breaking £305,000 for children's charity Wooden Spoon taking the overall company donation to more than £2.3 million.
  • A record number of TNT people take part in the Seeing Is Believing programme with more than 400 employees visiting Wooden Spoon supported projects.


  • TNT collected a hat-trick of Motor Transport Awards in the Environment, Fleet Engineer of the Year and Operator of the Year categories. It boosts the company’s haul to 29 MT awards in just 23 years – an unsurpassed achievement.
  • TNT Financial Services wins the Premises & Facilities Management magazine ‘Mitie Business Innovation Award for its work with the Cheque & Credit Clearing Company.
  • TNT Archive Services undertakes a 50,000 sq ft extension at its archiving centre in Swadlincote, South Derbyshire to double its on-site storage capacity. The £6.6 million investment incorporates the latest high-tech mobile racking system.
  • New Lean working processes are introduced throughout TNT Express Services and deliver multi-million pound efficiency savings as the UK economy dips into recession.
  • TNT fundraising for the Wooden Spoon children’s charity goes through the £2.5 million mark with a £225,000 annual donation.
  • TNT Value Added Services pioneer a ground-breaking National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) at TNT Archive Services in Swadlincote.
  • It’s goodbye TNT Value Added Services and hello to TNT Business Solutions as the division is rebranded to become more customer-facing with a clearer business proposition to new customers.
  • TNT also said goodbye to one of its longest serving employees when Terry Dingley, Traffic Operator at Preston retired after 37 years with the company.
  • TNT once again topped the prestigious Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the third consecutive year. The DJSI tracks the performance of the world’s top sustainability driven organizations.
  • TNT UK hosted the worldwide ‘Drive Me Challenge’ for the first time. The competition determines who is TNT’s most fuel efficient driver across the globe.
  • The newly formed TNT Business Solutions picks up the Partners in Corporate Social Responsibility Award at the Premises Facilities Management (PFM) Awards as a result of reducing CO₂ emissions on financial sector business.
  • Awards were in abundance as TNT collected the Environment Award at the International Freighting Weekly Awards. TNT also won a record ninth National Training Award.
  • Generous employees generated donations of £17,000 for Breast Cancer Campaign’s ‘Wear it Pink Day’ and £12,000 for the BBC Children In Need Appeal in the space of just a few days.
  • TNT is once again celebrated as one of the best places in the land to work as the company is once again proclaimed as one of Britain’s Top Employers 2009 in an independent publication.


  • Tom Bell, TNT Regional Managing Director is awarded the OBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List for his service to charity – principally the Wooden Spoon which supports youngsters who are disadvantaged mentally, physically and socially.
  • TNT’s Stirling depot closed after more than 30 years ‘sterling service’ as the company relocated employees to neighbouring depots in Glasgow and Edinburgh.
  • TNT Express launches the Customer Promise – a set of pledges from the company to its customers as it strives to not just meet, but exceed customer expectations in all that it does.
  • Courageous TNT swimmers undertake the most audacious fundraising effort ever for the Wooden Spoon children’s charity when they attempt to swim the English Channel. After swimming 29 miles – more than the 23-mile stretch of water which separates England from France – the valiant team are beaten back by atrocious weather, disappointed but with Spoon £17,000 better off.
  • TNT is once again named in the ‘Britain’s Top Employers’ publication,
  • It’s Motor Transport Award number 30 as Steve Ward collects the honours in the Fleet Driver of the Year category.
  • TNT’s Fight Hunger Week campaign to support the World Food Programme and feed and educate malnourished Tanzanian children smashes through the £40,000 barrier in just one week.
  • TNT took the top honour at the International Freighting Weekly Awards when the company was named Express Operator of the Year.
  • TNT achieved Authorised Economic Operator accreditation from Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs, achieving the ‘kite mark’ for safety, security and quality assurance.
  • TNT once again emerges as the top performing company in its sector on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index – a further boost to TNT’s ‘green’ credentials.
  • TNT achieve even more credibility for it’s programme to reduce it’s carbon footprint by 40% between 2008 and 2020, when it is accredited with the Carbon Trust Standard. The recognition is the first ever to an express delivery operator.
  • Tom Bell announces his retirement after more than 30 years with TNT to be succeeded by Alistair Cochrane, Director of Operations.
  • The year end’s on a fitting finale for the outgoing Regional Managing Director as TNT raises it’s largest ever donation to Wooden Spoon - £305, 137 – taking the cumulative donation past £2.8million.