Thursday, April 5, 2012

FedEx expands further in Europe

In an interesting but not really a surprising move, FedEx Express acquired Polish courier company, Opek. It appears FedEx is continuing with its plan of selective acquisitions to piece together a European domestic express network.

According to a Reuters' article, Opek is a small courier company with estimated $70m in revenue and averages 12.5m shipments annually.

Based on Ti's estimates, the Polish express parcel market was estimated at about $3.4bn in 2011, growing over 10% from 2010. The market is expected to grow an estimated CAGR 9%  from 2011 to 2015 and is dominated by the likes of DHL, General Logistics Systems, Masterlink, Astra Logos and UPS - all combined have the majority of the Polish express market. In 2005, UPS acquired Stolica - at the time of the acquisition, Stolica claimed 21% market share of the Polish domestic market.

Why Poland? Poland's infrastructure is good - linking to both Western Europe and Russia - a growing logistics market in its own right. Also, over the years, Western European manufacturing has migrated to Eastern Europe due to less expensive operational/labor costs.

A smart move on FedEx's part - an acquisition that should be easily and quickly integrated into FedEx's purple folds - thus little, if any interruption of service will be anticipated. It is also one that has great potential for FedEx to possibly use as a stepping stone for further expansion towards the east. More importantly, in the short term, it is an acquisition that will allow FedEx Express to link its domestic express parcel service network to both East and Western Europe.