Tuesday, 29 September 2015

What exactly is freight forwarding? A very quick guide to the essentials

International freight is a complicated business, with lots of different players at every level of operation. As such, it's not always obvious what everybody does, or why what they do is important.

This is especially true for freight forwarders, who are deeply integrated into industry processes but whose role requires a bit of explanation. It's not immediately obvious what it means to 'forward' freight, and how their function differs from the role of carriers.

So let's break it down to the essentials.

What those other words mean

Here's a quick glossary of industry terms that are relevant to freight forwarding:

A supply chain is the entire process involved in supplying a product to a customer, from the acquisition of raw materials, to manufacture, retail, and delivery.

Logistics is the organisation of the supply chain, ensuring the success and efficiency of the entire operation. It's the management of how things flow from one link of the chain to the next. It involves literally moving things around: transportation, materials handling, packaging and storage.

Freight or cargo refers to goods or produce being transported by either aircraft (air freight) or boats and ships (sea freight), and sometimes the word is also used for road transit using vans, trains and trucks/lorries.

Importing and exporting refers to the movement of goods across international borders. This means that the goods are subject to international trade laws and various national jurisdictions, such as customs.

A carrier is the person or company responsible for transporting goods. Carriers are either public (transporting other people's or companies' goods), or private (a company transporting only its own goods). Delivery companies like UPS, TNT, FedEx, DHL and DPD are all public (or 'common') carriers for whom transportation is their primary business.

So where does a freight forwarder fit in?

A freight forwarder is there to simplify the process for the person or company looking to import or export their goods. Freight forwarders will deal with the logistics on your behalf, arranging the storage and shipping of your goods, preparing the necessary documentation and labelling, negotiating lower freight charges with carriers, and filing insurance.

Freight forwarders produce their own house bill of lading or air waybill, which is a document that provides the details or terms and conditions of a shipment, and is signed by the forwarder instead of the carrier. The forwarder and its agents are usually put down as the consignor and consignee (sender and receiver) of the cargo.

International freight forwarders make things much easier for importers and exporters by navigating and negotiating the logistics quagmire of international delivery so that you don't have to.

While the word 'freight' typically refers to heavier cargo, freight forwarders can also help you with the shipment of smaller parcels (express delivery), and most deliveries can be made door-to-door.

Want to find out more about what freight forwarding can do for you? Get a quote with international freight forwarder Transglobal Express, for air freight, sea freight, and express parcel delivery. We negotiate reduced prices with major carriers including UPS, DHL, TNT and DPD.

(Image credits: Bill AbbottHåkan Dahlström)

Friday, 18 September 2015

How Cecil the lion is changing airline policy

When Cecil the lion was killed by an American big-game hunter in Zimbabwe in July, the controversy made big waves. As outrage gained momentum on social media, conservation organisations rallied, high-level government officials spoke out, and even late-night chat show hosts made pleas for charity donations on his behalf.

The repercussions of the incident have also been felt by the courier industry, with petitions being sent out to carriers asking for a ban on the transportation of big-game hunting trophies, as a way of trying to deny hunters their prizes.

Last month, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and Air Canada—the big North American airlines—joined a long list of companies who have opted to go ahead with the trophy ban. They are not required by international law, but are doing so seemingly on ethical grounds. They now prohibit the transportation of the "big five": lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and buffalo.

Animal cargo - what are the rules?

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) abides by the Live Animals Regulations (LAR) as a global standard for live animal cargo. For carriers, live animals are usually either a prohibited or a restricted item.

UPS is one company that will transport some live animals, but not obviously dangerous animals, such as those that are poisonous or venomous, or pests such as locusts and mosquitoes. Live bees, strangely enough, can be transported as long as they come with the right packaging.

Endangered or threatened animals are protected under the what-it-says-on-the-tin Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) from 1975, which requires a CITES permit for the transportation of endangered species. But most carriers, including UPS, outright refuse to transport endangered species.

A matter of opinion?

Hunting trophies are a different matter. Airlines are not obligated by international law to prohibit the transport of hunting trophies, even of endangered species. The actual hunting of endangered animals often requires a permit, but can be done legally, and current U.S. law permits the importation of all "big five" animals.

UPS and FedEx are two companies who have not followed the new trend of banning hunting trophies, both stating that they comply with international and U.S. law. UPS' public relations director, Susan Rosenberg, has said that, beyond the law, the ethics of transporting hunting trophies is a matter of opinion and that UPS avoids making judgements.

What do you think? Should all carriers ban hunting trophies? Or should they keep a more hands-off approach?

Transglobal Express is an international freight forwarder. Visit our website for a quote and get great discounts on all major carriers for air freight, sea freight and door-do-door parcel delivery—lions not permitted.

(Image credits: Joe Ross, jude_the_obscure, under a Creative Commons 2.0 license.)

Monday, 14 September 2015

What air cargo can tell us about the global economy

Every now and then, a news article reminds us that air cargo is, or has been, considered a bellwether of the state of the global economy. As the Wall Street Journal recently explained, in an article on the stumbling Chinese economy:

“Air cargo is widely tracked as a leading indicator for trade because shippers deciding whether to send items by plane are often swayed by last-minute economic developments. The recent drop in volumes has analysts concerned, even as maritime shipping out of Asia has remained healthy.”

This follows a stagnant couple of months in the air cargo market, where volume grew only 0.7% in July—the lowest of the year. A drop in air cargo traffic to and from China is specifically viewed as evidence that the economy is wobbling, in the wake of the Chinese government devaluing the yuan in order to reinvigorate exports. This was followed by plummeting Chinese stock markets and worldwide drops in share prices.

In the same way that Chinese exports have an impact on the overall volume of global air freight, so too does the Chinese economy affect the global economy—and one is often a good indication of the other. So when economists aren't seeing growth in air cargo, it could very well be a symptom of a larger problem.

Freightfully important

Part of this connection is because air freight is itself a huge facilitator of global trade. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), over US$6.4 trillion worth of goods—approximately 35% of world trade by value—is transported by air cargo. This is because air cargo supply chains make it possible to deliver high quality goods efficiently and at relatively economical prices.

The IATA is also quick to point out that air cargo creates millions of jobs, as well as being a vital component in the implementation of worldwide health and immunisation programmes, not to mention disaster aid.

As such, air freight is viewed as a reliable indicator of economic changes not merely because it reflects the ebbs and flows of the economy, but because it plays its own massive role in global trade.

So one way or the other, it makes sense for the analysts to keep a close eye—and to worry a little at signs of stagnation, even when there may be growth in other areas like sea freight.

Transglobal Express offers worldwide freight forwarding with all major carriers. To keep up to date with air freight industry news, follow our news and updates

(Image credits: John Murphy, Robert Stanklewicz under a Creative Commons 2.0 license.)

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

A shark whale of a time with UPS

In 2005 and 2006, UPS donated their services to the Georgia Aquarium. They transported four whale sharks, the largest fish on Earth, across the Pacific Ocean. The sharks were in Taipei, Taiwan, and needed delivering to Atlanta, Georgia, in the U.S, a distance of over 8,000 miles.

Ralph and Norton, two males, were delivered first, followed by two females, Alice and Trixie, a year later. What names they were given by their parents in whale shark language is unknown.

The whale sharks each measured between 11-16 feet in length and weighed about 2,000 pounds. Although they needed to be carried by air, it was soon realised that the sharks wouldn’t fit into economy class. So how was this unusual cargo transported?


From UPS, with tanks

The trip required two custom-build tanks, measuring 8 feet by 24, which with the weight of the water and the whale sharks would exceed 50,000 pounds. The tanks came with marine life support systems and a lab that enabled monitoring. While a Boeing 747 plane can carry up to 120,000 pounds in weight, it needed to be distributed over the plane’s point of balance, which is over its main gear.

The trip was time-sensitive situation, as the whales would naturally foul up the water. The plane also needed to make a stopover in Alaska for an official inspection before it would be allowed into the U.S.

As an entire operation, it was incredibly complex, but the UPS team managed to pull it off and the whale sharks were delivered to their new home.


Just a small donation

It seems unusual that UPS would shoulder the cost of such an expensive enterprise—but had UPS not donated the transport, costs would have ratcheted up for the Aquarium, to hundreds of thousands and potentially millions of dollars.

The same team also transported two beluga whales from Mexico City, which are even heavier than whale sharks at up to 3,500 pounds. UPS also helped FEMA in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and took the Terracotta Army on tour around the world in 2009.

You can read the full adventures of Bland Matthews, the UPS worker who helped to co-ordinate these deliveries, over at Priceonomics.

For deliveries that aren’t quite so live and flipping, get discounts on international delivery for all major carriers, including UPS, with Transglobal Express

(Image credits: Christian Jensen, Warren Lynn under a Creative Commons 2.0 license.)

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

FedEx bids for TNT - market control or fair play?

Last month, delivery titan FedEx made a bid to acquire rival company TNT, with an offer of $4.8 billion. As a result, the European Commission launched an investigation to determine if FedEx would violate regulations by dominating the market—specifically, the delivery of small packages in some European countries.

So why does FedEx's domination of the European market matter to the Commission?

Healthy competition

The principle behind the regulations of the European Commission is one of healthy competition. FedEx and TNT are two of four giant global delivery companies—the other two are UPS and DHL. If FedEx acquire TNT, the concern is that they will become too powerful and risk controlling too much of the market.

In 2012, UPS made a similar bid, attempting to purchase TNT for $6.8 billion. Antitrust regulators rebuffed this attempt because it risked ‘duopoly'. This is because at the time DHL was considered the only viable competition.

Is it really an issue?

FedEx insists that it's not the same situation as last time. They say they don't have a large market share in Europe, and therefore they won't disrupt market dynamics with the acquisition. Currently their market share in Europe is only 5%, one of the smallest, while TNT's is third place with 12%, after DHL and UPS. If the deal is made, the FedEx-TNT merger would put them in second place.

Some industry experts, such as Roger Sumner-Rivers of ParcelHero, who spoke to Forbes, believe that the merger will actually result in stronger competition in Europe and around the globe. The idea is that as TNT will make up for FedEx's weakness in Europe, while FedEx will bolster TNT's less strong American network.

This is different from the proposed UPS-TNT merger, where UPS already had a strong European presence and would have bagged 30% of the market.

To be continued...

FedEx's offer expires at the end of October. Pending regulatory approval, the transaction would be made in the first half of 2016. The EU will make their decision by mid-January—an extension of the original timescale.

We'll be keeping up with news of the merger. To stay apprised, you can follow industry updates on the Transglobal website.

(Image credits: BriYZZ, EDDIE under a Creative Commons 2.0 license.)

Thursday, 4 June 2015

TNT delivers Tyrannosaurus rex skull from US to Germany

World renown courier company TNT has recently successfully delivered a Tyrannosaurus rex skull from  Black Hills Institute of Geological Research in South Dakota, United States, to the Fraunhofer EZRT research institute in Fuerth, Germany.

The 66 million year old skull was acquired by the Naturalis Biodiversity Centre in the Netherlands in 2014.

The fossil, weighing a staggering 690 kilos, has undergone a high-resolution CT scan and a 3D x-ray to reveal images of its structure. The Naturalis Biodiversity Centre is due to present its research findings later this month. TNT will then provide the transportation for the specimen back to the USA.

Grant Cochrane, Global Special Service Director for TNT has said: "We are proud to assist the Naturalis Biodiversity Centre in bringing a rare T rex skeleton to Europe. At TNT, we have the required expertise and a history of delivering very special cargo. But this is our first opportunity to handle a prehistoric
item of such research value."

Thursday, 28 May 2015

DHL reveal goals to become e-commerce global leader

DHL has recently revealed its ambitions to be the leading global company in logistics for e-commerce, as claimed by CEO Frank Appel.

Appel said: "We have big plans for this year and beyond. We are laying the foundation for the future: with our Strategy 2020 we have set our priorities for the coming years." He continued: "We want to be the global market leader in logistics for e-commerce."

In the bid to successfully reach this goal, the company is due to export its model of DHL Parcel in Germany to other markets. The group has aimed to set its target at an increased operating profit to between 3.05 billion Euros and 3.2 billion Euros for 2015.

Appel also added: "Our Strategy 2020 gives us a roadmap for our further improvement and organic growth. When people think logistics, we want them to think of Deutsche Post DHL.

Monday, 18 May 2015

FedEx provides aid to support relief of Nepal earthquake disaster

FedEx Corp. has provided approximately $1 million in cash, transportation support and a chartered flight to deliver medical aid and supplies to Nepal in the aftermath of the recent devastating earthquake. The American courier has provided a disaster relief program through its existing relationships with companies such as Heart to Heart International, American Red Cross and The Salvation Army.

Fredrick W. Smith, Chairman and CEO of FedEx Corp. said: "FedEx is committed to responding to the aftermath of the earthquake in Nepal. Working together with international relief organisations, we are utilizing our global transportation network to assist in this massive recovery effort."

FedEx sponsored Heart to Heart International who provide mobile medical clinics containing tents, vital medicines, medical supplies and portable medical equipment for those affected by the disaster. The Memphis-based courier company also presented The Salvation Army with a $50,000 cash donation.

Thomas Tighe, President and CEO of Direct Relief, commented: "In response to enormous human tragedy in Nepal, Direct Relief is working to ensure that more lives are not put at risk by providing emergency medical aid to the country's Ministry of Health and to local partners we have worked with for several years." Tighe continued: "The extraordinary step FedEx has taken...and its amazing team...is a powerful force-multiplier to the humanitarian effort underway."

Thursday, 16 April 2015

TNT opens 'super hub' in Sydney

TNT has recently opened a new, state-of-the-art 78,000 square metre sized 'super hub' located at Erskine Park, Sydney which is aimed at handling both domestic and international shipments.

Being able to process up to 25,000 parcels per hour, the new facility will be installed with the most up-to-date sorting technology with a warehouse space of over 30,000 square metres. Shipments considered as 'incompatible' freight will benefit from the high speed automatic sortation system which boasts the ability to handle items exceeding 1.5 metres in size and 30kg in weight. A new automatic pallet deconsolidation process which will reduce the need for manual handling.

Erskine Park was chosen as the site of the new building due to its close proximity to many of TNT's high volume customers. Posing in an excellent position between Brisbane and Melbourne, the new hub has the ability to absorb high volumes of shipments on a daily basis.

Managing Director for TNT's domestic division, Marco van Kalleveen, ha said: "This new super hub enables us to streamline processes and implement some of the most advanced parcel sortation systems available." Kalleveen continued: "The reduced processing times, increased accuracy and faster delivery outcomes will help us provide even better service to our customers."

Thursday, 9 April 2015

UPS to increase its fuel fleet by 30%

UPS is expected to expand its fleet of alternative technology by up to 30%. The US parcel delivery giant is due to achieve this by the use on a single large investment in compressed natural gas systems. UPS has said it plans to build up to 15 additional natural gas (CNG) refuelling throughout the US.

Michael Nichols, UPS Senior Vice President of Transportation and Engineering, has said: "Today's CNG announcement demonstrates UPS's plans to expand use of widely available natural gas. CNG is an important building block in our long-term fleet strategy and offers environmental and economic advantages."

UPS already has 8 existing CNG fuel stations situated in California, Colorado, Georgia and Oklahoma, in addition to operating CNG vehicles in Germany, the Netherlands and Thailand. The deployment of the new CNG vehicles will be within 15 US cities, including Atlanta, Dallas, Kansas, Pennsylvania and Louisiana.

UPS has already reduced its use of conventional fuel by 34 million gallons since the year 2000, however the new CNG investment is anticipated to displace the use of 54 million gallons of conventional diesel and gasoline in a year.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

FedEx to open gateway facility in Copenhagen in late 2015

FedEx Express has revealed its completion of the external structure on a new gateway facility situated at Copenhagen Airport, Denmark. The new build, worth 4 million Euros, measures at 8,000 square metres, with its opening date due at the end of 2015.

With the external building complete, the US company is next due to install "state-of-the-art" automated sorting systems, which have the ability to process up to 11,500 packages on a daily basis. Approximately 120 staff will be employed at the new facility.

The new facility is expected to use energy recovery technology on its conveyor belts which will capture energy from its movement and convert this into usable electricity.

Vice President for Finance, Europe, at FedEx Express, Helena Jansson, has said development so far has been "right on track." Jansson added: "It means we will be ready to help our customers in Denmark and Sweden boost their cross-border business during the busy peak season at the end of this year."

FedEx has recently been working alongside Danish social enterprise, Incita, to test the new facility's equipment. Christina Grontved, CEO of Incita, has said: "We are excited to play a role in testing the new FedEx Express facility. Fifteen employees at Incita are involved in producing 5,000 packages in all shapes and sizes in our workshop,, which will be used to test the new sorting system at the facility." She continued: "We hope that this project will help some of our employees re-build their confidence so that they can move on to new opportunities."

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Packaging Your Goods: Tips & Tricks from Transglobal

At Transglobal Express, we understand that you want your goods to arrive at their destination in perfect condition. To achieve this, it is extremely important to ensure your shipment is packaged properly both on the outside and inside. Keep reading for tips and tricks on how to best protect your parcel during transit.

Preparing your Shipment

It is important to choose a suitable shipping carton - this is the box in which you place the goods you wish to send. At Transglobal Express, we believe your shipping carton should be:
  • an appropriate size - ensure the box you choose is not too big or too small. Overloaded boxes may burst while under-filled boxes are likely to collapse.
  • strong - your box needs to be able to cope with the weight of your goods. Heavy duty, corrugated cardboard boxes are ideal.
  • high quality - ensure the shipping carton you're using is high in quality and in a good enough condition to withstand transit.
Remember! Do not use boxes which have dangerous or hazardous symbols on them. These will be stopped and incur costly fines by the carrier.

Inside your Shipment

It is important to ensure your goods are protected inside your carton. Using materials, such as bubble wrap, is ideal for preventing your goods moving or breaking during transit. We suggest that particularly fragile items are placed near the centre of the package, making sure they do not touch the sides of the carton being used.

Transglobal's Top Tip
Fill in any remaining space within your box with additional cushioning materials. This will minimise potential impact on your items during transit.

Did you know? We have recently launched our brand new online shop!
You can now purchase high quality and affordable packaging supplies and accessories from our new online shop. Visit today to browse our wide variety of products, including bubble wrap, cardboard boxes and tape. Your parcel is precious, package it with care!

For further help and advice, visit the packaging information page on our website.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

TNT to offer discounts to SMEs for European exports

Parcel carrier TNT has said it it to launch a key marketing push throughout Europe to entice small business customers to expand their sales on an international scale. TNT is to offer a 20% discount to new customers if they export shipments of up to 250kg to any of nine key European countries. These countries include UK, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy.

The offer is due to run for three months with day-definite delivery services by air and road qualifying for the discount. Existing customers of TNT will also benefit from the reduced prices. TNT has said 70% of its goods are exported within Europe are sent to countries within its "Blue Banana" zone, named after an expression which is regularly used to describe the densest business region in Europe stretching from England to Italy.

Managing Director for TNT International Europe, Ian Clough, has said: "TNT's initiative will encourage European SMEs to look beyond their domestic markets. Exporting to Europe, and particularly to the "Blue Banana" countries, has become one step easier with TNT.

Monday, 19 January 2015

TNT offers CO2 efficient deliveries throughout Germany

Within Germany, parcel delivery giant TNT is now providing CO2 neutral delivery for all express domestic shipments at no extra charge. The newly introduced service is aimed at helping SMEs and larger customers to make an environmental impact in regards to their deliveries.
In order to make CO2 shipping successful, TNT records how much CO2 is produced while transporting consignments, followed by neutralising the emissions produced with the same amount of CO2 credits.

CO2 Neutral shipping is also available for TNT customers and their international consignments. The new feature is part of TNT’s recently renewed range of CO2 efficient services. The new range is aimed to meet the needs of larger companies with broad knowledge of carbon reduction programmes, as well as SME that may solely rely on the tools provided by a third party. The future will see TNT introduce the new services within large European countries.

Monday, 5 January 2015

UPS prepare for busy week in the US

UPS has said it is expecting its parcel volumes to soar next week as consumers start to return Christmas gifts to retailers. The US parcel delivery giant has said January 6th is to be the busiest, with it being labelled “UPS National Returns Day.” The carrier is expecting more than 800,000 packages to be shipped on the day. By the end of the first full week in January, UPS is anticipating the transport of 4 million return packages and parcels in the USA alone.
UPS Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Alan Gershenhorn, has said: “As e-commerce continues to grow, simple returns services have become an essential part of the overall consumer shopping experience with 66% reviewing a retailer’s return policy before making a purchase, and 68% said they would complete an online purchase if the retailer simply offered a free return shipping label.”

In a bid to keep its customers informed, UPS has recently updated its website and mobile app to help those looking to return items to find a convenient drop-off location. The firm has recently expanded its network by introducing 400 new UPS Access Points across the US.

Friday, 12 December 2014

UK carriers suffer from Black Friday and Cyber Monday rush

Records are showing parcel volumes in the UK as struggling as carriers face difficulties keeping up as a result of last-minute changes to available services for e-commerce retailers. This comes as a result of the UK's recent adoption of the American Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions.

This week, e-commerce company eBay extended its delivery estimates for all Royal Mail deliveries within the UK by one working day as a result of "record-breaking" parcel volumes.

Parcel courier Yodel has had to fully suspend its parcel collections as a result of the effects of Cyber Monday, giving the company opportunity to catch up after "unprecedented" parcel volumes.

Hermes, meanwhile, suffered differently this week when a small fire broke out at one of its facilities. The fire, which started on one of its conveyor systems, saw the facility out of action for one day with delays to delivery times of up to five days. Since the occurrence, the company has managed to reduce its estimate to two days. Hermes confirmed: "Further to our hub fire last week we are pleased to announce that nobody was hurt, no parcels were damaged, the hub machines are now repaired and we are fully operational again."

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Alternative delivery options could be "tipping point" for UK e-commerce during the Christmas period

In a survey conducted by parcel delivery specialist company GFS, it has been reported that UK shoppers are using a range of alternative means as to how they receive their e-commerce deliveries in the run up to Christmas.

GFS has reported that approximately 12% of online orders are now delivered through 'click and collect' type channels. Commercial Director for GFS, Daniel Ennor, has said the forthcoming holiday could be the "tipping point" for some retailers when taking delivery methods such as parcel shops and parcel lockers into consideration. Ennor said: "Consumers have grasped the benefits of moving from high street to home delivery to 'click and collect'. There's no doubt from the volumes of parcels that we're managing on behalf of clients that shoppers are being more adventurous than ever before in how they receive their purchases."

Ennor continued: "Urgent official efforts to ensure consumers have a greater breadth of delivery options available are only going to fuel adoption still further. With the possibility of regulation around the corner, this peak season could be something of a 'tipping point' in terms of shoppers being made aware of even more choice."

Friday, 21 November 2014

Airports Commission consult over additional runways at Heathrow and Gatwick

Airports Commission consultants have said Heathrow Airport would be an appropriate location for a new runway in the South East of England for air freight growth. The UK government’s Airports Commission released a public announcement consisting of three new proposals, with two being directed at Heathrow Airport, and the third for Gatwick Airport. All proposals suggest additional runways for both airports.

The proposals explains how Heathrow is a well-established airport and “the industry would be well placed to respond quickly to a growth in capacity.” 2013 saw Heathrow handle 1.4 million tonnes of air freight in comparison to the 98,000 that Gatwick handled the same year.

The proposal also advises that significant growth would require investment from third parties around the airport itself. Alastair McDermid, Gatwick’s Director of Airports Commission, has said: “We acknowledge there is a well-established airfreight industry in and around Heathrow. Accepting Heathrow have got a head start, we still have a lot to offer.”

McDermid also spoke of Gatwick’s ability to offer custom built facilities, reduced charges for carriers and additional benefits including reduced congestion in and around the airport. The Director of Airports Commission also said: “The forecast is to grow airfreight to 1.1 million tonnes and we have allocated enough land for that to happen.”

Speaking on behalf of Heathrow Airport, Airports Commission Chairman, Sir Howard Davies, has said: “We have not yet take a view on which proposal strikes the most effective balance between the assessment criteria.”

Heathrow also commented: “We welcome the Airports Commission’s agreement that Heathrow is well placed to enhance the UK’s freight operations. Expansion at Heathrow would enable us to develop our cargo facilities to double the throughput we have today.”

Friday, 14 November 2014

UK online retailers to start Christmas early: survey shows advance in promotions to boost international sales

It has been reported that UK SME online retailers have begun their Christmas promotions this week - a week earlier than last year research from Royal Mail has revealed.

From the 300 SMEs that were studied, 57% surveyed said it planned to use price promotion to secure sales this Christmas. Free delivery and free returns are other promotions tactics companies are set to use.

64% of businesses are expecting its international orders to increase this year. Last year's run up to Christmas saw 51% of retailers expecting international sales growth. This year USA is anticipated to act as the largest international market, with France at close second place.

Royal Mail's Director of Royal Mail Parcels, Nick Landon, has said: "Royal Mail's study of UK SME online retailers shows competition for customers will start earlier this year, with price promotions the key tactic for online retailers as well as offering free delivery and returns to their shoppers."

Landon added: "Royal Mail has also been preparing for the busy festive period and is opening a dedicated network of parcel sort centres to handle the additional volume we experience every Christmas."

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

DHL land five-year contract with Volvo Cars

DHL Supply Chain has recently been awarded with a five-year long contract with one of the world's most renown automotive brands, Volvo Cars. The parcel delivery company it due to handle its aftermarket parts warehousing and distribution to more than 120 dealers throughout the UK.

The parcel delivery company is expected to manage four shared use local distribution centres to place deliveries through the night using DHL's Auto Alliance collaborative platform. The service is to incorporate flexible driver departure times to remote areas, enhancing the efficiency of its delivery service across the nation.

DHL will deploy a new fleet of fuel-efficient vehicles as part of the contract with Volvo Cars.

Michael Martin, VP Business Development, Automotive for DHL Supply Chain has said: "DHL is delighted to be working with one of the world's leading automotive companies to drive forward innovative approaches for exceptional customer service. This new contact heralds a new partnership between DHL and Volvo Cars, which will see us deliver an innovative service-level delivery network, resulting in increased efficiencies." Martin also added: "Volvo Cars commitment to its customers is outstanding - and at DHL we adopt a matching approach to service quality in all of our collaborative partnerships."

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Aurora Air International to return after 20 year absence

Cargo airline Aurora Air International has re-entered the airfreight market business after a 20 year hiatus. Having had its operations deactivated in 1995, the opportunity has risen for the company to re-enter the air cargo market.

The airline company has established its new headquarters at MidAmerica St Louis Airport and expects its first flights to take off during the second quarter of 2015.

The airline is due to operate a fleet of Boeing DC-10 for its Latin American and Asian routes. It is to specialise in the perishables and pharmaceuticals trade.

The decision to base the company at MidAmerica is a result of Aurora Air Cargo recognising the airport and its operations as a "key step" in plans to open up Latin American and Asian trade routes which will offer "unique support for perishable suppliers from the mid-West US."

Aurora president, Carlos Smith, has said: "As airplanes start to operate out of MidAmerica a new and secure chain will be available for mid-West product shippers to and from Asia and Latin America with less handling and ground movement than is available today." Smith continued: "Asia and Latin American shippers will enjoy this route as their goods, especially perishables, are not double and triple handled in the USA en route."

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

UPS invests in cross-border e-commerce shipping company i-parcel

UPS is due to enhance its involvement in cross-border e-commerce to help its online retailers gain better access to transatlantic consumers. American company i-parcel specialise in helping provide localised versions of retail websites selling goods in local currencies, as well as being able to ship  to foreign consumers.

i-parcels is a company that was founded around nine years ago, offering its customers the power to shop using British and American e-commerce websites with ease and as if they were shopping in their own country. Once items are sold to consumers overseas, the company then ships to one of its i-parcel hubs in Los Angeles, Indianapolis, New Jersey in the USA, or Surrey within the UK. i-parcel then helps in assisting the transportation of the goods overseas via commercial airlines using local courier services.

Alan Gershenhorn, UPS Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, has said: "UPS continues to look ahead to the expanding worldwide demands in the ever-growing global e-commerce market. UPS continues to invest in capabilities that enable its e-commerce merchants to meet the growing global demand." Speaking of UPS's involvement with i-parcel, Gershenhorn also added: "i-parcel has been an international bridge linking US and UK merchants to global e-commerce consumers throughout the world and our team is excited to join with UPS to further globalise e-commerce."

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

UPS appoints new Malaysian general manager

UPS has revealed that Tze Hsien (TM) Lim has been appointed General Manager of UPS Malaysia. As UPS veteran of over 20 years, Lim will take over responsibility for all express delivery and logistics activities on behalf of UPS Malaysia.

Lim will be expected to take lead of the supply chain operations of the company, providing strategic direction to develop business growth. He will also oversee the businesses aspects, including areas such as customer managements, sales and marketing, and operations.

Nando Cesarone, President of UPS Asia Pacific, has said: "The Malaysian economy is expected to continue to expand in the second half of 2014 according to a recent report by the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research." Cesarone also added: "Lim is an asset to the UPS Malaysia team and his extensive experience in a a range of functions...makes him the ideal candidate to lead the business. With this appointment, UPS remains committed to assisting Malaysian companies capture the exponential growth opportunities, and supporting them in expanding regionally and globally in an evolving marketplace."

Having joined the company in 1990, Lim has held various regional and country roles; Lim has been Vice President of Strategy and Operations for UPS China in the past.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

TNT lands contact with Dutch fashion company

TNT has recently been awarded with a two-year contract with Dutch fashion company, Mexx. The parcel delivery company will provide international delivery services to the fashion group.

TNT will be trusted to transport design samples between Mexx's supplier in Asia and the Middle East, as well as its Amsterdam headquarters.

Additionally, TNT will also transport sales from the fashion company's distribution centre in Voorschoten, the Netherlands to Asia. TNT will ensure the next-day delivery of the sales sales to various showrooms across Europe for the presentation to potential retailers, with the most key destinations including Germany, France, Belgium and the Nordics. The parcel delivery company will use its European Road Network to transport the majority of the shipments.

Mexx is said to have been influenced to use TNT due to its reputation of reliability, short lead times and the choice of time-guaranteed express products.

Senior Purchase Manager of Mexx, Sjoerd Kampinga, has commented: "TNT's guaranteed delivery services and short lead times help Mexx Europe meet fashion seasonal deadlines and expand its competitive position. The control and visibility help us to focus on our core business." Kampinga also added: "We are happy to have engaged a new part
ner who has confidence in this beautiful company and helps us meet our challenging objectives."

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

UPS provides transportation of Ebola aid

UPS has recently announced its involvement in helping provide transportation of support and commitments totalling a worth of $400,000 in gifts-in-kind (GIK) for the urgent relief in aiding the outbreak of the deadly virus, Ebola which has currently claimed the lives of over 1,500 people in West Africa.

UPS, and The UPS Foundation, have responded to the World Health Organisation's plea for help, with the parcel delivery company offering its transport services at no cost to relief agencies.

UPS is to expedite the transport of 10 pallets of supplied to New York's JFK Airport to be placed onto a humanitarian flight. It has been confirmed an additional $175,000 GIK is to follow via sea freight to the affected area.
UPS has sponsored a charter flight for UNICEF of 55 metric
tones of dry chlorine disinfectant
The US parcel delivery company has also sponsored a Humanitarian Relief charter flight on behalf of UNICEF from Belgium. The aircraft is due to carry 55 metric tones of HTH dry chlorine disinfectant in assist in hygiene activities at Ebola treatment centres in Liberia where more than 40% of deaths due to the virus have occurred.

UPS has a history of working alongside disaster relief organisations to help deliver critical, life-saving aid to people and communities in need around the world. Last year saw the parcel delivery company provide $7.5million in humanitarian relief across 46 countries worldwide.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Deutsche Post DHL reaches its GoGreen target

Deutsche Post DHL has recently reached a milestone in regards to its environmental protection program, GoGreen. The parcel delivery company has reported more than 60% of its global electricity demand is now generated from renewable energy sources.

Throughout the past 20 years, Deutsche Post DHL has increased its green electricity share by half, from 42% in 2012, to over 60% by 2014. The parcel company currently utilises its green electricity of over 99% in locations including Germany, the USA, the UK, Ireland and France.
Deutsche Post DHL currently utilises its GoGreen programe
throughout the UK, USA and Germany.
The improvements are part of a plan for the company to reduce its environmental impact. Its GoGreen program introduces technologies specifically designed to reduce energy consumption, in addition to reducing carbon emissions by transferring to using sustainable energy sources.

Executive Vice President of Corporate Communications and Responsibility at Deutsche Post DHL, Christof Ehrhart, has commented: "Environmental sustainability is an integral part of our company strategy. Our efforts and the progress we make towards becoming an environmentally friendly company are...a sign of respect for the world we live in and...this also supports our customers' needs. We are...pleased to achieve yet another target on our GoGreen agenda by increasing our use of green electricity Group-wide to over 60%."

Thursday, 21 August 2014

UPS to expand its Canadian network

UPS has announced its plans to expand its Canadian network by opening three new operation centres within British Colombia. The operation centres are due to be located in Kamloops, Nanaimo and Comox, with the additional expansion of the already existing centre in Kelowna.

Pick up and delivery services for UPS customers in Kamloops have already begun, with this replacing its current agent being used. The scheduled expansion will further enhance UPS's already strong Canadian network, whilst also increasing the brand's reputation further into BC.
Michael Tierney, UPS Canada President, has said: "Expanding our service in BC and across Canada is fueled by market opportunity and customer demand. UPS continues to invest in new capabilities and network capacity to secure customers' confidence and enable their long-term growth."

The expansion is expected to be complete by November of this year, with it representing a multi-million dollar investment. UPS will see its physical presence expand by 36,000 square feet across the four new centres, with approximately 80 jobs being introduced.

Monday, 18 August 2014

IATA report 2013 as a 'weak' year for airfreight

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has reported airfreight saw a weak growth during 2013, with only 1.8% more volumes overall compared to the previous year. The trend is a possible reflection of on-shoring, where manufacturing is kept close to its market. Domestic freight tonnes carried and freight and mail tonne kilometres both saw domestic growth overtake international increases.

The amount of tonnes carried increased by 3.4% domestically, however internationally the increase was a sheer 1.3%. Freight and mail tonne kilometres rose by 2.9% domestically, while international traffic saw a rise of 1.6%. Despite the slight increases, IATA's Director General and Chief Executive Officer, Tony Tyler, has said that 2013 saw "48 million tonnes of cargo...carried on about 100,000 flights a day."

Statistics also reported the decreases in the average price of jet fuel, brining it down by 3.9% in 2013 compared to 2012, however this year has seen a slight rise in jet fuel prices again.

According to the World Air Transport Statistics, the top 10 airlines for tonnes carried were; Asiana Airlines, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, China Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, Korean Air, United Parcel Service, Federal Express, with Emirates being the number one.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

DHL to assist in nationwide harvest transportation

Leading logistics provider, DHL Supply Chain is due to collaborate with over 300 TASCC approved third party road haulage companies to organise the movement of grain across the UK to coincide with the preparation of the agricultural industry for the coming harvest season.

DHL has relationships with a complete network of nationally known providers which will enable it to complete the movement coordination successfully. This includes a Logistics Control Room in Hertfordshire, a dedicated team who provide a point of entry into the network to offer its customers access to cost-effective hauliers.

Vice President, Control Towers and Transport Servicse at DHL Supply Chain, Ian Hartley, has said: "We understand the success of many UK agricultural businesses depends on their ability to deliver a profitable harvest. Maintaining product quality is of paramount importance to cereal farmers, merchants and processors and often replies on the timely movement of product at short notice, so having a robust transportation solution is critical."

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

UPS to rebrand Kiala locations to expand delivery options

UPS has announced it will be making efforts to rebrand various Kiala locations throughout Spain to make these co-branded as UPS Access Point locations. This will be an initial step in the bid to transform all Kiala locations to UPS Access Point locations, which is due for completion in 2016.

Online retailers in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK can now have their goods shipped directly to a UPS Access Points/Kiala location as an alternative to home delivery, in addition to providing an opportunity for retailers and consumers to meet with growing cross-border e-commerce.

Within Spain, consumers who are not available for a residential delivery will be able to have their parcels and package re-directed to a UPS Access Point/Kiala location, giving them opportunity to pick up their shipments at their own convenience. In most instances, shipments will be able to be collected from the location point the same day.

Christoph Atz, Managing Director for UPS Spain has said: "These additional services address the results of our 2013 Pulse of the Online Shopper survey in which consumers indicated that they want more control over when and where their purchases are delivered, and a convenient returns process. Additionally, it contributes to our sustainability efforts by reducing the number of return trips a driver needs to make to an address, which lowers carbon emissions."

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

UK Transport Secretary opens new refuelling station at UPS facility

Patrick McLoughlin, the UK's Transport Secretary, recently opened a brand new biomethane refuelling station at one of UPS's hubs within central England.

The newly introduced refuelling station is located at UPS's site in Tamworth, Staffordshire, with it being used by the parcel delivery company's 20 duel-fuel tractor vehicles, using a combination of diesel and biomethane - a renewable fuel.

George Willis, UPS's Managing Director for the UK, Ireland
and Nordics (left), with UK Secretary of State, Patrick
McLoughlin (right)
UPS has said the alternative fuel use that calculated a 40% decrease in carbon emissions and "very low" levels of air pollution. The vehicles are able to travel for longer distances and overnight.

The Director of Sustainability at UPS Europe, Peter Harris has commented: "The transport sector has very limited access to biomethane, as government incentives for producers tend to be preferential towards the energy sector where other alternatives more readily exist." Harris continued: "We hope [this] can encourage a discussion on how best to address this discrepancy."

Biomethane-powered vehicles were first introduced to the UK during the London 2012 Olympics, with UPS being the official logistics partner of the games. It was decided the company would incorporate its vehicles on a permanent basis within the UK following the Games.

McLoughlin commented, on opening the new station located in Tamworth: "I  am really pleased to see this in action here in Tamworth. We are keen to see more use of biogas, which is why we have extended tax incentives on all gas transport fuels. This will provide more support for those considering investing in these technologies."

Thursday, 3 July 2014

TNT Express to invest $85m into building regional hub near Brisbane, Australia

TNT Express is due to invest 85 million Australian dollars into building a new headquarters distribution centre located near Brisbane, Australia. The new site will reach 72,000 square metres in size, situated at Redbank within the city of Ipswich. With construction to begin this month, its expected completion date is June 2015.

TNT Express has said the new depot will provide state-of-the-art parcel sorting technologies that will be able to process 15,000 parcels per hour, whilst also being able to cut carbon emissions by up to 20%.

The parcel delivery company is said to recruit from the local area; the facility is expected to introduce 300 full-time jobs.

Regional Director for TNT Express Queensland, Peter Gutsche, has commented: "The new TNT Express Redbank logistics hub will be a major facility in this important and growing area of Queensland. It will contain some of the most technologically advanced and innovative parcel sorting technology available to improve the operational efficiency and security of our customers' shipments."

The new construction is part of a broader investment for TNT Express in Australia, including the introduction of new "super hubs" in Sydney and Melbourne, due for completion in 2015.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

IATA welcome Glyn Hughes as global Head of Cargo

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has recently announced Glyn Hughes as its next global Head of Cargo. Hughes is no stranger to the company, having joined IATA in 1991 to assist in helping expand and develop the cargo accounts settlement service. Hughes helped the service grow from 35 to nearly 100 operations, whilst also maintaining extremely low levels of agency default and reducing the overall operating costs for its members.
IATA's new Head of Cargo, Glyn Hughes
Hughes has also led IATA Cargo's initiatives over recent years, becoming involved with industry management and relationship building. He has also been part of the global air cargo advisory group steering committee, in additional to leading a campaign to promote the value and use of air cargo.

IATA's Director General and Chief Executive Officer, Tony Tyler, has commented on Hughes' movement within the company: "I am delighted that Glyn has agreed to become our new hard of cargo. He has worked very closely with [former Cargo Head] Dan Vertannes these past four years and is well placed to continue the important work."

Tyler proceeded to advise that "air cargo faces considerable challenges" and that the company has an "ambitious goal to improve the industry's competitiveness." Tyler believes Glyn's addition will ensure focus is "dedicated to that goal", in additional to delivering the industry priorities, which include safety, security, quality, modernisation and transformation through the e-cargo agenda.

Hughes began his new duties recently by speaking at IATA's 70th annual general meeting in Doha. Hughes presented in regards to the air cargo industry, speaking on three key areas, these being: safety, security and modal competitiveness.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

E-commerce strengthens as rules for EU purchase returns change

Recent news has revealed that as of June 13th, new rules regarding consumer rights will be launched across the European Union, offering online shoppers a longer period for cancelling an online purchase. The new rule is set to provide even bigger business for postal operators and parcel carriers throughout Europe.

The new ruling is due to take place as of June 13th
throughout Europe
The new ruling will enable consumers with the right to cancel their order within 14 calendar days from the day the purchase received, including the opportunity to send it back. The new "cooling off" period is an extension of the original seven days. Following the change of rules, retailers will now be expected to provide a refund within 14 days of the order's cancellation, in additional to the refund of any shipping charges paid for as part of the order.

However, the new ruling will not apply to tickets or hotel bookings, in addition to those companies that provide regular food and beverage deliveries, such as supermarkets.

Additionally to the new return period of 14 days, consumers will also have the right to a a full year to decide if they are to keep their purchase if the retailer does not inform them correctly and clearly of their rights to return.

Business manager at Itella, the Finnish postal company, Anders Falck, has said: "An online store should make it clear whether returning is subject to a charge or not, and how it is done in practice."

Friday, 23 May 2014

DHL help relocate Jengo the giraffe to his new safari home

DHL Global Forwarding has recently helped transport a giraffe from Liege, Belgium, to its new home in Tel Aviv, Israel, at the Ramat Gan Safari as part of a new relocation for the creature. Jengo, the male giraffe, was moved between the locations via DHL's International Cargo network which saw him arrive safely at his new home on the 22nd of May. The move for the giraffe will see him become part of a new breeding program at the Zoological Centre in Tel Aviv.
Jengo will join seven other giraffes at his new home
DHL used the help of Ramat Gan Safari in using a specially designed crate to move Jengo, flying him aboard a Boeing 747-400 cargo aircraft via the Israeli airline, El Al. Jengo was accompanied by a "safety team" at all times, comprising of animal keepers and veterinary physicians who obtained a daily amount of food supply of over 100 kilograms in weight.

CEO of DHL Global Forwarding for Israel, Rafi Rozalis, has said, as a company, DHL is "committed to supporting conservation and environmental causes around the world." Rozalis described Jengo's movement as a "further opportunity" for the company to become involved in environmental issues, with the CEO adding they are "glad to have helped Ramat Gan Safari in their mission." "Having in mind the requirements for transporting the tallest terrestrial animal on earth, it also gives us the chance to show that we can handle even the most unusual cargo transport," added Rozalis.

DHL used a Boeing 747-400 to relocate the creature to his
 new home
Jengo is to join seven other giraffes at his new safari home, becoming part of a new program aimed at some of the endangered subspecies of giraffes. Ramat Gan Safari provides public access for visitors to its modernised, outdoor zoo, while serving home to the largest collection of wildlife within the Middle East.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Post Office Ltd to offer £20m fund for rural offices

The British retail company, Post Office Ltd, has said it will invest £20 million in a bid to support its chain of branches, particularly those located in rural, remote areas of the UK. The company currently oversees the running of 11,800 post offices throughout the UK, with 3,400 of the branches being situated in places where the post office itself is considered the only shop in the community.

Post Office Ltd has said these said community branches of their company were "critical" in regards to traditional banks in minimising the size of its physical retail networks within the UK due to their ability to provide access to bank accounts, in addition to features such as postal products and services.

The newly introduced Community Branch Fund is to be provided, drawn from the £640 million the government originally allocated to Post Office Ltd in November of last year. The company has said every community branch will be able to apply for the fund, with the investment to be allocated on an individual basis.

Post Office Ltd Chief Executive, Paula Vennells, has commented that the Community Branch Fund is part of a "powerful public purpose" of the business. Vennells also said: "The Community Branch Fund demonstrates our commitment to our customers. Where many organisations are withdrawing from communities we are staying put, supporting all our customers wherever they are."

Thursday, 8 May 2014

DHL to expand its Packstation system throughout Europe

Deutsche Post DHL has recently announced its plans for expansion of its network of parcel locker terminals, referred to as Packstations. The parcel delivery company has been offering an alternative delivery point for parcels throughout Germany since 2001 in the form of its Packstations. The company is now looking to expand its distributions of the delivery stations throughout Italy and the Netherlands.

DHL is currently using 2,650 of the Packstations which are in operation across a total of 1,600 town and cities within Germany, which equals to approximately 250,000 individual lockers. DHL has reported that 90% of German residents live within 10 minutes of a DHL Packstation.
DHL will be introducing a new look Packstation
in the near future
It is expected for a further 300 Packstations will be added to DHL's German network by the end of 2014. While Austrian firm, KEBA, has been responsible for providing the current parcel terminals, DHL is said to be sourcing new input from design agency Polygon. The new designs by Polygon will supposedly provide various compartment sizes, as well as the "latest security standards."

Deutsche Post DHL's Board Member for Parcels and E-Commerce, Jürgen Gerdes, has commented: "We have decided to bundle the know-how we have acquired during our more than 10 years in the market in Germany to an even greater degree and continuously refine and improve the lockers ourselves." Gerdes also added: "The expansion of our network in Germany is an important part of our strategy to be the clear leader in terms of market share and innovation in the German parcel market."

The firms sees its next step will be to export its German business model to foreign parcel markets that offer "similar market structures and comparable growth rates." Gerdes explained: "The Packstation is an important pillar in our market success in Germany. We will examine the use of these automats in European markets very closely and selectively use them to establish our..operations in other countries."

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Toronto Blue Jays player, Joe Carter, delivers surprise to fans with help from UPS

Having been proud sponsor of the Toronto Blue Jays for the third year running, UPS decided to mark its partnership with the baseball team by having Toronto Blue Jays alumni and World Series champion Joe Carter surprise a select few fans of the team. Carter surprised a number of season ticket holders at Toronto's UPS Store.

Blue Jays season ticket holder and avid baseball fan, Jeffery Dorfman, said: "When Joe Carter walked out from behind the counter I was speechless. I've been a season ticket holder since 1988, aside from a repeat of the 92/93 World Series, there is nothing that could make me happier!"

Joe Carter welcomed the loyal customers of The UPS Store with a personalised photograph and autographed Toronto Blue Jays merchandise.
Toronto Blue Jays alumni, Joe Carter
Stephen Brooks, Senior Vice President of Operations for the Blue Jays commented: "The Toronto Blue Jays were excited to provide a unique and special experience for our season ticket holders with the help of Joe Carter and UPS. The Blue Jays would like to thank all the fans and UPS for their support and tremendous interest in the ballclub and encourage them to come out to Rogers Centre this season."

Jim Bena, Vice President of Marketing at UPS Canada commented: "The relationship with the Toronto Blue Jays is founded on shared values - integrity, precision and the consistent drive for excellence; the sponsorship underscores our commitment to these traits." However, Bena also added: "But it's more than that. There's nothing more satisfying than seeing the look on a customer's face when they've received that special something. The Toronto Blue Jays share this analogy in the joy they bring to fans during every game. Makings customers happy if our number one priority."

UPS are to continue its support of the Canadian baseball team, as well as expand its abilities surrounding package deliveries.

Friday, 25 April 2014

FedEx entrusted with the delivery of T-Rex skeleton

A subsidiary of FedEx Corp., FedEx Custom Critical, has successfully carried out the safe transportation of a rare Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton. The fragile skeleton has travelled from the Museum of Rockies in Bozeman, Montana, to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, located in Washington, D.C.

The fossil, being 65 million years old, is due to be on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History for the next 50 years, as per the terms of its loan with the museum. The skeleton will be the new centrepiece of the dinosaur hall, where it is expected to receive approximately 7 million views annually. Measuring at 38 feet in length and weighing a hefty seven tonnes, the skeleton has been branded "The Nation's T-Rex."

The impressive skeleton travelled from Montana to Washington D.C. within a specially-branded FedEx Custom Critical truck. The trusted truck was driven by a husband and wife team, with the vehicle being equipped with the most recent and advanced technology. Such technology included a GPS system which was programmed with the preferred route. 

The specially designed FedEx truck which transported the
skeleton to the museum in Washington D.C.
The journey of the ancient fossil took a total of 4 days, during which time thorough monitoring was providing. A new proactive system was implemented to help with the successful journey of the skeleton. FedEx were able to oversee the shipment and monitor specifics, such as the temperature, humidity and light exposure whilst it was in transit.

CEO of FedEx Custom Critical, Virginia Albanese, has said: "FedEx Custom Critical has the experience and expertise in delivering some of the world's most precious cargo, and this unique shipment showcases our ability to once again create a perfectly tailored solution for our customer. We are thrilled to have collaborated with the Smithsonian to deliver such an important piece of history to our nation's capital."

The first ever bone of the T-Rex has found by rancher Kathy Wankel in 1988 in the Fort Peck Reservoir. Due to the finding, a specialist team carried out an intense investigation around the surrounding areas. The search resulted in the discovery of 80% of the dinosaur's skeleton, which is considered one of the most preserved and well kept specimens known.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

TNT appoint new CFO

TNT Express has revealed its new Chief Finance Officer. It was announced recently that Maarten Jan de Vries, 52, is to take over the role as CFO for the company. This news comes as a result of previous CFO, Bernard Bot, having stepped down from his role within the past month.

Jan de Vries has previous experience in various positions working at Royal Philips; the newly appointed CFO started work for this company in 1986 as controller of Dutch Sales. More recent roles at Royal Philips for Jan de Vries have included Chief Information Officer, Chief Supply Officer and Divisional CFO. Additionally to this, he was also a member of the Philips management committee between 2007 and 2011.

The new role for Jan de Vries will see him taking control in regards to financial management. His duties will include overseeing the development and expansion of the company in the bid to improve upon its financial performance. Last year saw parcel delivery rivals UPS nearly out run TNT Express in this area.

Jan de Vries will focus the company's attention on its "Outlook" strategy. This particular strategy aims to focus on the company's strengths, such as its European ground services and services for SMEs in particular. The strategy will be driven with an aim to improve on customer service, and in turn product 240 million Euros in performance growth by 2015.

TNT Express' CEO, Tex Gunning, has commented: "I am really happy that we are able to attract yet again such a high calibre executive for the TNT Express management team. Marrten has relevant functional and international experience and will be a great asset to TNT. His capabilities will be essential in the implementation of the "Outlook" strategy."

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

DPD to construct new parcel hub in Germany

World renown parcel delivery company, DPD, are to build a brand new distribution hub, costing around 11 million Euros. The new build is to be located within southern Germany in the bid to get closer to its customers within this region. Construction for the new depot has already begun at the Waldeck Business Park situated in Dinkelsbühl.

DPD's new addition will cover an area of 18,000 square metres within a 23,100 square metre site and it anticipated to open during the early months of 2015. The introduction of the new hub will provide up to 90 new job opportunities.

DPD Project Manager, Milad Zadeh, has said: "Closeness to the customer is an important competitive factor for us. Our new distribution centre in Dinkelsbühl will put us in the position to offer our customers in the region even better service."

The new depot will be located in Dinkelsbühl, Germany.
The new facility will be operational in parcel-sorting, and up to 16,500 parcels are expected to be handling on a daily basis. This will be met by the use of a 990 metre conveyor belt, with the aim of initially sorting 5,500 parcels per hour, and up to 7,500 per hour during the second phase.

Employment is said to consist of up to 65 delivery drivers and around 30 depot staff who will oversee daily operations. The newly added depot will be Germany's 76th DPD hub. DPD currently deal with over 2.5 million parcels daily within its international network.

Friday, 11 April 2014

USPS to invest in 75,000 package scan devices

The US Postal Service is to invest in advanced scanning technology in a bid to improve upon its track and trace effectiveness in regards to its packages. The new devices, referred to as Mobile Delivery Devices, have been provided by supplier Honeywell, and are expected to use various mobile communication networks to provide up-to-date and real-time tracking for packages.
Supplier Honeywell are providing USPS with
the new devices
The new devices will provide access to local USPS wireless communications as well as local USPS internal wired networks. They will collect data which will be communicated to local delivery offices. With plans to introduce up to 75,000 of the new devices, USPS are said to be distributing these across to city and rural carriers from later this year.

The deployment of the devices is set to take place over two phases. The first phase will see the devices introduced in major metropolitan areas and those areas where Sunday deliveries are available. The second phase will see further devices deployed in 2015.

The postal company has claimed the new technology will be able to support real-time scanning needs for its postal productions. Honeywell's devices are also said to exceed expectations in that data will not need to be input manually as often.

USPS has been gradually improving its scanning capabilities over past years. It is hoped that the introduction of this new advanced technology will help enhance its shipping business future.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Selling UK postcode database with Royal Mail was a mistake, admit MPs

The government's choice to include Royal Mail's national database comprised of addresses within the company's privatisation has been blasted by a committee of Britain's House of Commons.
A report has been issued by the Public Accounts Committee, illustrating the access to data, in which it was said that the Postcode Address File, otherwise known as PAF, should have been saved as a public data set and considered as a "national asset, available free to all, for the benefit of the public and the widest benefit of the UK economy."

Evidence in its review showed uncertainty in both the government's and Royal Mail's assurances that the PAF will carry on to be made readily available to small businesses, said MPs. The Committee has said that removing the PAF, in a bid to improve Royal Mail's share price, would prevent economic modernisation and innovation, as well as growth, within the UK.

The MPs have admitted that "the sale of the PAF with the Royal Mail was a mistake." They went on to claim that "the Government must never make a similar mistake", and advised they were aware that "public access to public sector data must never be sold or given away again."

Royal Mail announced in July 2013 that its PAF would be available and accessible free for the use by independent, small businesses for one year. It has been said that MPs were informed by open data company, FlyingBinary, that the free year of access would be "no help". This was due to the amount of months it could take to reel in a product to market solely dependent on PAF data.

The Committee were informed by ministers that the PAF was an "integral part" of Royal Mail. "It is a fundamental operating asset on which the business depends. It is the Royal Mail that collects the data and makes sure it is up to date", commented Business Minister, Michael Fallon. Fallon also said: "Royal Mail incurs considerable costs in collecting and maintaining this data and keeping it up to date. It is only reasonable that they should be able to recover some of those costs from the companies that use this data."