The orientation taken by YRC which includes consolidation and centralization of the operations is at the opposite of the essence of transportation. Apart the parcel delivery sector, transport is a people business and a service of proximity. Flexibility, reactivity and adaptation are the rule and TNT,which is the subject of this thread, is exactly the perfect example of this. The 37 TNT companies which provided service specialization and geographical specialization throughout N.A. operated in many respects as independant companies. Management people though and performed as entrepreneurs.
As a result, even the largest of TNT companies responded to customer needs with the innovation and flexibility you may expect only from smaller carriers. It was the secret of TNT success. Flexibility, reactivity and adaptation, it's why TNT operated Union carriers (Holland, Red Star, Overland....) as well as non-Union carriers (Bestway, Dugan....), exclusive Owner/Operator fleets (Roadfast, Trojan Group....) or combined O/O and agency drivers operated fleets (TNT Logistics, Dedicated Systems....) and even some partnerships (Quebec-Ontario Freightways....).
It's some of the reasons why the consolidation and centralization paths taken by YRC could counter the management objectives and finally lead to a dead end.
Talkin' Trucks With Mike:A History of the TNT Companies
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I enclosed an interesting photo (cross dock on wheels) and its historical background
Just before the beginning of a violent strike at the huge Wapping (U.K.) print works in 1987, an agreement berween News Corp. , the owner of the Wapping print shop, and TNT including the supply of 600 trucks and 1,200 people for the distribution of newspaper throughout Great-Britain was signed. As related in my book about TNT the carrier's vehicles and terminals came under attack, over 100 drivers were sent to hospital. The newspaper distribution may have been disrupted but it was never stopped which gave TNT a reputation of tenacity and efficiency. The enclosed photo illustrates one of the strategy used by TNT to twart Union guerrilla tactics. The objective was to minimise the use of intermediary consolidation facilities vulnerable to Union actions. The trailers loaded with sequenced freight fed directly on the spot a sizable number of the 600 small vans spread throughout U.K. and Northern Ireland for the final delivery.
The result of the TNT involvement in that conflic was stunning. First, the Australian carrier became known as a game changer because he moved away the historical stranglehold of the rail on the newspaper distribution. Secondly, one by one the other national newspaper titles came to TNT Newsfast for their distribution needs. Thirdly, during the 90's TNT drove the competitors out of the market with the exception of Exel (now DHL). This duopoly will live during the major part of the 90's but at the end of the decade Exel pull out losing many contracts in aid of TNT Newsfast. Finally, the unbelievable happened when TNT Newsfast, trading as CEVA Newsfast from 2006, became a monopoly delivering 100% of the British titles this, until 2009 (7 years) with a steady hit rate against a 15-minutes delivery window over 99%.
This short story is the perfect example of TNT leaders non-conventional mindset, innovative ideas and `` we will do it `` attitude.
The slogan alongside the trailer `` carry ANYTHING `` was the infancy of what will become the well know TNT slogan
`` ANYTHING, ANYWHERE, ANYTIME...WORLDWIDE `` introduced in the mid-80's and used to promote the TNT irresistible rise of power during the following years.
`` THE CARRIER WHO THOUGH OUTSIDE THE BOX ``
`` THE CARRIER WHO DEFIED THE RULES OF THE GAME ``
Here one example, between many others, of what I'm talking about. The example is pertinent even if not directly linked to trucking.
In early 80's, TNT revolusionised the traditional method of carrying sugar in bags loaded in sea containers. Through its affiliated group TNT Bulkships the Australian group conceived, oversaw the construction and operated on behalf of its customer, E.D.& F. Man, a first highly sophisticated and self-sufficient vessel which hauled sugar in bulk, further bagging the cargo using facilities on board and mechanically discharging the bags with its own cranes on board in trucks or rail wagons parked on the wharf.
This concept was saving in port time by about 40 days per trip with elimination of cargo loss due to deterioration or damaged bags with cargo handling efficiency increased by over 500 %.
What a savings for the customer and very good earnings for TNT.
The ship was named CHL Innovater
The following photo shows a TNT truck in Southern Australia in 1962 just few months after TNT was listed on the stock exchange. This capital raising enabled TNT to embark upon a path of endless acquisitions which saw the company take over, between 1965 and 1983, 72 carriers and another group of 26 during the following decade.
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