Belfast Telegraph

TNT Post creates 20 jobs at new Antrim mail depot

By Clare Weir

One of Royal Mail's biggest challengers has opened up a new depot in Co Antrim, creating 20 new jobs.

TNT Post chief executive Nick Wells said embracing internet technology and offering keen pricing structures to clients was key to the company's trend-bucking expansion during a bleak economic climate.

The company now has seven mail centres in the UK.

While there are 20 jobs at the new Newtownabbey plant, Mr Wells said that as more custom is gained, employment opportunities will grow.

The company currently handles 60 million items of mail in Northern Ireland, with the company hoping that figure would grow as the client base expands - and Mr Wells, who said the firm has experienced "meteoric growth" since 2004, revealed that the company has just secured the custom of a large utility provider.

He added that the firm is currently taking an action in the European courts to overturn the rule that means Royal Mail is the only postal firm in the UK exempt from VAT, which would further throw open the market to competition.

Current customers include Allied Irish Banks, a number of councils across Northern Ireland - including Newtownabbey - insurance giants Open + Direct and Quinn Insurance, as well as the Ulster Orchestra and several hospitals and health trusts.

"Our new plant will mean that between 70-75% of the mail we handle will stay in Northern Ireland instead of travelling to the UK to our other depots, saving money and reducing emissions," said Mr Wells.

"Our operating capabilities and good cost savings make us very attractive here.

"We realise that the public sector, a huge employer in Northern Ireland and under threat of large cuts, will be looking to make savings and we can offer those savings - we have already saved Scottish Procurement, the government buying company, £750,000 in a short space of time."

He added: "One of the big reasons why we are doing so well while other fail is that instead of seeing the internet and the digital revolution as a threat, we have embraced it."