TNT has been the main provider of freight services to the Australian firearms industry for decades and in return they have been loyally supported with some industry accounts dating back 30+ years.
Despite this, the Australian firearms industry is again finding itself in a battle for essential business services, as FedEx (who recently purchased TNT) have advised the entire Australian firearms industry, that from the 9th of August they will cease to provide crucial freight services, giving just weeks for an industrywide solution to be found and prevent the industry from grinding to a halt.
What is more confusing for Australia’s major firearm industry stakeholders, is that it was only in March this year that SIFA members were assured that long-term accounts were NOT under threat and that FedEx / TNT would continue to provide them with freight solutions.
Yet only 3 months later, Matt Daniels Managing Director – Sales for FedEx / TNT has advised Australian firearms businesses in a simple form letter, that “As we progress with FedEx-TNT integration, we are continuing to align TNT operations and transportation policies to FedEx Express. Effective from 9 August 2021, we will cease the transportation of firearms, weaponry and ammunition in both our Domestic and International networks”.
The reasons provided for the decision have also been called into question, as publicly available policy from the parent company FedEx Express USA appears to be at odds with Mr Daniels statement. In fact, FedEx Express USA will ship firearms and ammunition and does not appear to have any intentions of stopping. Expressly the FedEx policy states:
FedEx Express will transport and deliver firearms as defined by the United States Gun Control Act of 1968, between areas served in the U.S., but only between:
1. Licensed importers; licensed manufacturers; licensed dealers; licensed collectors; law enforcement agencies of the U.S. or any department or agency thereof; and law enforcement agencies of any state or any department, agency or political subdivisions thereof.
So once again it appears that the Australian firearms industry is subject to cancel culture! First it was the banks cancelling accounts and eftpos services, then it was insurance companies refusing to insure firearms businesses, now it is Australia’s largest and most secure provider of nationwide freight solutions.
This decision by FedEx / TNT could not come at a worse time and will have a disastrous economic impact on the entire Australian firearms industry, including many family retail businesses who are still battling challenging trading conditions and are more reliant than ever on freight services due to the effects of COVID-19. Ultimately the downturn this decision will cause will cost Australian jobs at a time when they are needed the most.
The Australian firearms industry also plays a key role in supplying the law enforcement and defence sectors with various products and solutions. As foreign owned FedEx / TNT have made this decision without ANY industry consultation and will be leaving the industry without an integrated national supply chain, this has opened up potential ramifications in the supply of products essential for Australia’s security and public safety.
As a highly regulated industry, estimated in 2018 to contribute $2.4 Billion and 19,000 jobs to the Australian economy, this decision has left many questions unanswered. The most obvious being; how can a foreign owned company be permitted to set up and become the major industry player, and then cancel essential business services to an entire industry that services key government defence and law enforcement contracts that are crucial to Australia’s sovereignty, safety and security?
This decision should rightfully incense all Australian industries, businesses, and the general public as it is clear that a foreign owned company can quite easily bring an entire Australian industry to a halt with next to no notice, and no Government oversight .