FedEx is thought to be in preliminary talks to acquire rival parcel delivery service TNT.
The Financial Times reported that US giant FedEx Corp was interested in the smaller Dutch business as it hopes to boost its network throughout Europe.
Both companies have declined to talk, with TNT reiterating its policy “not to comment on such speculation and market rumours”.
Shares in TNT have rocketed following takeover reports.
Analysis service Datamonitor has posted preliminary results from its upcoming European Express Market Map, which shows that TNT is particularly well positioned to “capture any growth in the B2B markets as it has a strong road and air network that is operational in all the key markets.”
The online database added that a merger appears to make “strategic sense” and would put “strong pressure” on fellow big players DHL and UPS, however overall competitiveness in the industry is expected to remain in tact.
Erik Van Baaren, logistics and express senior analyst at Datamonitor, said: “Significant pressure would be placed upon DHL and UPS, given that they would have to compete with a global player capable of exploiting greater economies of scale and serving the needs of globally operating companies more efficiently as further internationalisation of the industry takes shape.”