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TNT Express wins 2012 Edelman Award from INFORMS


TNT Express, headquartered in Hoofddorp, Netherlands, won the 2012 Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Operations Research and the Management Sciences. TNT Express used operations research to modernize its operations, resulting in more than 200 million euros in savings while simultaneously reducing the company’s carbon footprint.

The Edelman competition, presented by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), is considered the “Super Bowl of Operations Research.” This year’s competition was held at the 2012 INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics & Operations Research in Huntington Beach, Calif. INFORMS is the premier organization for advanced analytics professionals.

“Little did we know when the financial crisis hit us hard in 2008 that we’d be standing here tonight at the Edelman Award ceremony,” said Chris Goossens, the company’s managing director of Global Networks and Operations.

Every week, TNT Express transports 4.7 million parcels, documents and pieces of freight to more than 200 countries while maintaining the company’s service standards. Until recently, this was done without mathematical support. In 2005, TNT moved to a fact-based decision-making system, the Global Optimization (GO) Program, which uses mathematical modeling.

As a result, decision-making improved system-wide, with significant operational benefits. Between 2008 and 2011, TNT Express realized more than 207 million euros in savings and benefits.

The six finalists competing in the 2012 Franz Edelman Award competition included teams from Carlson Hotels, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Greek shipping company Danaos Corporation, HP and Intel.

Every year, the Franz Edelman competition recognizes outstanding examples of operations research-based projects that have transformed companies, entire industries and people’s lives. O.R. uses advanced analytical methods to help make better decisions. Celebrating its 40th year, the Edelman Award attests to the contributions of operations research and analytics in the profit and non-profit sectors. Since its inception in 1972, cumulative dollar benefits from Edelman finalist projects have totaled $180 billion.


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