FedEx Buys Polish Carrier Opek

By Bill Dries

FedEx Corp. has added another existing domestic ground network in Europe with the announcement of an agreement Thursday, April 5, for the Memphis-based cargo giant to acquire Polish courier Opek Sp.z.o.o.

FedEx Corp. has added another existing domestic ground network in Europe with the acquisition of Polish courier Opek Sp.z.o.o. Shown is a morning sort in Miami.

(Photo: FedEx Corp.)

Opek tallies an estimated 12.5 million shipments annually with estimated annual revenue of $70 million.

The transaction is expected to close in the summer following approval from the governments involved.

FedEx founder, chairman, president and chief executive officer Fred Smith said Opek is another “significant investment” in European network coverage for FedEx.

“We have an excellent strategy that has steadily advanced our position in the region, and we are well positioned for profitable growth as we increase the number of direct-served locations in Europe,” he said in a written statement.

Two years ago, FedEx Express relocated its East European hub from Frankfurt to a new hub in Cologne, Germany.

The year before, it opened a new European hub at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, which is the largest FedEx hub outside the U.S.

FedEx’s Asian hub – the third behind Memphis and Paris in the company’s three-hub global strategy – is in Guangzhou, China.

Just this fiscal year, the company has opened more than two dozen FedEx Express stations across Europe and FedEx Trade Networks has added 22 locations in Europe.

The acquisition of Opek continues the company’s philosophy in Europe and elsewhere of buying companies with existing domestic routes and infrastructure that may in the past have competed with FedEx services.

The transition has involved plugging those domestic routes and infrastructure into FedEx’s global system and platforms for services outside the country.

FedEx entered the Polish market in 1989 as the country and the rest of Eastern Europe were emerging from the era of post-World War II Soviet control.

FedEx established a flight connection between Warsaw and Paris eight years ago. It opened branch stations at two airports in Poland – Warsaw and Katowice – the next year and in 2009 launched an economy service for less urgent shipments.

FedEx Express has 120 team members in Poland.

Opek has an automated hub near Warsaw and two other hubs in Lodz and Katowice. It has a workforce of 1,200 employees not counting 1,300 drivers who work under contracts with Opek.

FedEx employs more than 300,000 worldwide and 30,000 locally.