The game of chess between UPS® and FedEx® continues to heat up, as both carriers make strategic moves to outperform the other. Over the last year, the carriers have made some significant changes and taken steps to stay competitive with one another—steps like competing GRIs and UPS’s aggressive moves in Worldwide Express. Even DHL is making moves to compete.
And now FedEx is making one more move of their own by investing $220 million (200 million euros) in their European expansion. Chief among its aims is expanding their site at France’s Charles de Gaulle airport by 40% The airport location is one of FedEx’s biggest hubs, though they also operate two smaller European hubs: one at the Cologne-Bonn airport in Germany and another in Liege, Belgium.
This move is another strategic step following their takeover of Dutch rival TNT in May, making them one of the largest package delivery companies in Europe.
Together, these expansion efforts make it clear that Europe now represents a competitive battleground for FedEx. Not only are they competing against UPS, but they are also hoping to increase their presence against Germany’s DHL.
In a Daily Sabah article, FedEx’s Europe head described Europe as not only “a market full of opportunities, [but] the biggest exporter to regions all around the world.”
In other words, the European investment is a strategic decision that will lay the groundwork well beyond FedEx’s European delivery capabilities. It may, in fact, become an opportunity for even more regional expansion efforts.
A checkmate is nowhere on the horizon—there is still much of the game left to be played—but already these moves may have significant advantages for shippers. Companies that ship internationally should play close attention to the coming changes in Europe, as UPS and FedEx began to compete more directly in the region. While European expansions represent big opportunities for the carriers, they may also represent opportunities for shippers looking for better services, pricing, and capabilities from their carrier in the region.