TNT Post steps up challenge to Britain's Royal Mail

LONDON Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:01pm EST

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LONDON Feb 19 (Reuters) - Britain's second-biggest postal company TNT Post is to double its London workforce to 2,000 this year as it steps up its challenge to the dominance of Royal Mail .

TNT Post, owned by Dutch mail group PostNL, wants to establish a complete British delivery network by 2015, providing nationwide competition on the last leg of deliveries for the first time in Royal Mail's centuries of service.

The new entrant began its end-to-end delivery service, which involves collecting, sorting and delivering post without using recently privatised Royal Mail at all, in April 2012.

As well as Manchester in northern England, it now serves central, west and south west London, with the new jobs being created to lead expansion in the capital.

Royal Mail has said that such competition could threaten its ability to sustain a six-days-a-week universal service. Its concern is that TNT Post can target delivery of only the most profitable parts of the post and ignore the rest.

Across the rest of Britain, TNT Post collects and sorts post before handing it over to Royal Mail for delivery.

TNT Post's ambitions took a big step forward in December when PostNL signed a joint venture with Lloyds Banking Group's mid-market private equity group LDC to fund the expansion of its British delivery service. PostNL has a 40 percent stake in the partnership.

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