AusPost launches e-vehicle trial in Brisbane

A three-wheel electric delivery vehicle trial has begun in Brisbane, servicing Coorparoo, Woolloongabba and East Brisbane over an eight-week period. The e-vehicle has three times the parcel carrying capacity of the motorbikes currently used by Australia Post for deliveries – it can hold up to 100 small parcels and 1,200 letters at a time.
Angela Creedon, Queensland State Manager, Australia Post, said Brisbane is a perfect city for the next phase of the electric delivery vehicle rollout with locals increasingly embracing online shopping, and more small parcels being delivered than ever before.
“We know that residents in Brisbane love online shopping. In fact the yearly growth rate in the area is over eight per cent,” Creedon said.
“Our parcels business generates over 70 per cent of our total revenue. Ten years ago parcels contributed less than 25 per cent of our revenue.
“As our business transforms so too are the jobs that our workforce are doing. A few years ago, we equipped our posties so they can deliver small parcels and this latest initiative will allow them to deliver even more – helping to ensure their roles remain meaningful well into the future.
“While letter volumes have nearly halved, this is another example of how Australia Post is looking at ways to keep our posties delivering for Australians.”
The pilot comes after Australia Post announced a $197 million before-tax half-year profit, driven largely by a 5.7 per cent volume growth in the parcels business and postal losses reduced to breakeven.
The e-vehicles are already successfully used in Germany and Switzerland, offering carrying capacity, improved rider safety and lower vehicle emissions.

Linfox invests in Darwin intermodal facility

Linfox has completed the construction of a new intermodal facility in Darwin.
The logistics provider partnered with Vaughan Constructions to design and construct the facility.
Situated next to the Darwin railhead, the 3,000m2 purpose-built site will create up to 15 ongoing local jobs, the company said.
The site features a chilled storage area to ensure temperature-controlled products can be be safely stored during transit.
“Each year, [our] intermodal team shifts more than 15 million pallets for Australia’s retailers using its multi-modal freight network,” said Linfox CEO, Annette Carey.
“Linfox has an extensive footprint in the Northern Territory, with sites in Darwin, Katherine, Tennant Creek and Alice Springs. This new investment increases our capacity and makes it easier for our customers to move inbound and outbound goods throughout the region.”
Carey said the Darwin facility would complement the capabilities of Linfox’s long distance road, rail and coastal shipping distribution services and followed the recent expansion of its Healthcare and Defence logistics capabilities.
The facility will also deliver on Linfox’s environmental commitment with a 100kW battery ready solar system to reduce the site’s carbon emissions. It also features rain water harvesting and high-efficiency LED lighting.

WiseTech Global establishes partnership with C.T. Freight

Logistics technology company WiseTech Global has entered into a partnership initiative with C.T. Freight, an international freight forwarder with extensive coverage throughout Australia. The partnership is designed to help accelerate the creation and expansion of technological innovations in the logistics industry, including automation through digitisation, natural language processing and machine learning.
Richard White, CEO, WiseTech Global, said, “The logistics industry is under intense pressure as eCommerce pushes upward on shipment numbers and applies downward pressure on consignment size, price, and margins. eCommerce is disrupting the old world order and will force logistics providers to higher levels of automation whilst border agencies continue to raise the bar on timely, accurate, and compliant trade data.
“WiseTech Global is focused on improving productivity, quality, speed, visibility, and manageability in the logistics industry. Our development partner initiatives represent a tightly targeted commitment to further automate logistics execution processing, moving CargoWise One to ever higher levels of throughput.
“With C.T. Freight as a development partner on high volume airfreight and eCommerce automation, we will further develop our cutting-edge productivity and automations to address these issues across the logistics industry and its many segments.”
C.T. Freight has bonded warehouses at each major Australian gateway, and through the initiative the company will gain access to developments and deployments of WiseTech Global software.
“One of the most compelling features of CargoWise One, and of WiseTech Global’s philosophy, is productivity,” said Clive W. Thomas, CEO, C.T. Freight. “Eliminating rework, reducing risk and improving margins by automating entire processes frees up specialist resources who can then concentrate on adding value back into the international supply chain. In our industry, the gains achieved by minimising errors and automating processes can have a tremendous impact across all modes and geographies.”

Schenker Australia appointed Official Logistics Provider for GC2018

The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC) has appointed Schenker Australia as the Official Logistics Provider for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games (GC2018).
GC2018 requires substantial logistics expertise to support the Games set up. This includes the arrival and departure of baggage and equipment for 6,600 athletes and officials from 70 nations and territories.
GOLDOC Chairman, Peter Beattie AC, said Schenker joins GC2018 following a robust procurement exercise.
“Delivering GC2018 is a massive proposition and we need experienced partners on board who are experts in their field,” said Beattie.
“Schenker has operated in Australia since 1962 and has been a consistent provider of quality logistics across major sporting events since the Sydney 2000 Olympic & Paralympic Games.
“They were also the official supplier/providers for the Commonwealth Games in Manchester 2002, Melbourne 2006 and Glasgow 2014. In addition, Schenker in Brisbane successfully handled logistics for G20 in 2014.
“As Games logistics specialists, Schenker can efficiently mobilise to meet our pre-and post-Games requirements and already employ hundreds of people across South East Queensland.
“Schenker provided the most cost-effective and experienced submission following a fair and equitable tender process.”
Ron Koehler, CEO of Schenker Australia Pty Ltd, said his team of 200 south-east Queensland–based employees was looking forward to helping deliver the biggest event held in Australia this decade.
“Working with GC2018 allows us to do what we do best, move items quickly and efficiently while at the same time developing additional opportunities for members of our team,” said Koehler.
In the weeks leading up to GC2018, Richard Holy, General Manager, Schenker Australia QLD, said Schenker will process and move close to 500,000 sports items from shuttlecocks to pole-vault landing bags.
“We’ll distribute another 96,000 pieces of furniture, 21,000 pieces of luggage and 3,000 individual sport items from the airport through our distribution hub to the Village and Games venues,” said Holy.
“Our primary focus will be to deliver a great experience for athletes so they can focus entirely on competing.”

Japan Post President comments on “careless” Toll takeover

In an interview with The Nikkei Review’s Fumito Akiyama, Japan Post Holdings President Masatsugu Nagato noted that avoidable mistakes were made when acquiring Toll Group in 2015, adding that the first step in Japan Post’s future strategy for the Australian logistics company will involve spending cuts.
“I believe we did make appropriate efforts to integrate operations after the Toll purchase, but it is true that we probably left too much up to the local staff,” he said. “From around the summer of 2016, we started re-examining the Toll operations, realising we had to do something.
“I have no intention of bad-mouthing my predecessor [Taizo Nishimuro], but buying the business for ¥620 billion ($7.5 billion) with goodwill of ¥ 500 billion ($6 billion) from day one is careless. I wonder why management could not think it through more. With more effort, a slowdown in the Australian economy could have been predicted, given that commodity prices had been falling.”
The next step for Toll will be a decrease in spending, he shared. “First, we should cut Toll’s spending to build a lean organisation,” he said. “It is like taking one step back to advance two steps forward. We are contracting now to prepare for a leap forward.”
Nagato added that there will be further acquisitions in Japan Post’s future, though the company will approach them with more caution.
“When I think of the postal services 10 years from now, I feel we have to acquire businesses and take other steps,” he said. “Currently, the postal business generates ¥3 trillion ($36 billion) in revenue and spends ¥3 trillion – we have to either increase revenue or reduce spending.
“The postal business is [going] to decline gradually over the long term, so if we can buy a good company for a good price, we would love to. But it is not easy to make an acquisition a success.
“What’s important in mergers and acquisitions (M&As) is not to pay a top price, and to have solid confidence about running the newly acquired business. Good companies have high stock prices, too. Right now, good deals are not out there. We had said we should go after M&As as opportunities arise, but we should tone that down.”

Sendle partners with US shipping software, ShipStation

In its bid to conquer the Australian market, web-based e-commerce shipping solution ShipStation has partnered with parcel delivery service Sendle.
Robert Gilbreath, VP – Marketing, ShipStation, said that shipping was a key consideration when setting up a presence in Australia, due to the country’s growing e-commerce market.
“Integrating Sendle into the ShipStation platform has been a priority for us since we launched in Australia,” he added.
ShipStation helps online retailers import, organise, process, package and ship their orders quickly and easily from any web browser and works with the likes of eBay, Amazon, WooCommerce, Shopify, Squarespace, Opencart, Magento, BigCommerce.
“Our partnership with ShipStation is an exciting step for us to provide real choice for Australian small business,” said James Chin Moody, CEO and Co-founder, Sendle. “ShipStation brings [its] global experience and beautiful solutions to help our flourishing e-commerce sector compete in the digital economy.”

Toll facing lengthy three-year turnaround process

Embattled logistics powerhouse, Toll, is facing a painful three-year turnaround process, according to its Chairman, John Mullen.
In his first public interview since Toll parent company, Japan Post, revealed that it would book a US$S3.6 billion write-down on the Melbourne company, Mullen told The Australian that there are still “a lot of cultural and structural issues” to overcome to get Toll back to being a high-performing business.
Mullen, who took up his role in January at the same time that Japan Post appointed former Linfox executive Michael Byrne as Managing Director, said the company was facing a large-scale restructure, with the number of business units reduced from 24 to just 10.
According to The Australian’s Damon Kitney, he also revealed that Toll management was actively working on the sale or closure of a number of “poorly made and underperforming” acquisitions, particularly in the overseas freight forwarding business and in Europe.
While Mullen admitted the write-down in April was a bigger-than-expected reality check, he also said work was now under way to turn the boat around.
“The core business of Toll is strong and we expect to see improvements each year from today, but anticipate that it will take three years to complete this turnaround,” he told The Australian.
He added a new deal Toll signed with Amazon will see Toll compete in the business-to-consumer (B2C) space when the online giant comes to Australia in 2018, saying it was the first step of Toll facing the challenges of a changing marketplace.
“The issue is not so much the impact Amazon has on us, but the impact it will have on our customers. If they render the business model of some large retailers in Australia unworkable, if we are joined at the hip with them, then that is a challenge for us,” he said.
“We all need to realise the world is changing rapidly. A lot of older logistics companies are built around traditional distribution structures with large warehouses. We need to modernise that at Toll and be very nimble and ready to compete in the B2C market.”

Nissan, Mitsubishi building major automotive logistics facility

Nissan Motor Co. Australia and Mitsubishi Motors Australia have announced that they will establish a shared parts and accessories operation in Truganina, Victoria.
The announcement follows Nissan’s recently established global alliance with Mitsubishi Motors, which was formalised in October last year.
The new Australia-based initiative will see both automotive companies share warehousing space and logistics support for the national distribution of each brand’s parts and accessories from an all-new Truganina warehouse facility.
“This is a milestone development in Nissan’s new alliance with Mitsubishi,” said Richard Emery, Managing Director and CEO, Nissan Australia. “This collaboration has opened the door to many important synergies, including the sharing of parts storage, distribution and logistics here in Australia. This is an important investment with many benefits for our respective customers and dealers.”
Mutsuhiro Oshikiri, CEO, Mitsubishi Motors Australia, said this is one of the first alliance-based projects globally. “We are pleased it will assist us to achieve greater efficiency through cooperation with our local alliance partner, Nissan Australia, to deliver a better service to our respective customers,” said Oshikiri.
The new 36,000m2 National Parts Distribution Centre will be one of Australia’s largest automotive logistics facilities and is targeted for build completion by December 2017.
The Truganina facility will become the new master warehouse for Nissan and Mitsubishi’s national distribution network and will also service the Renault and Infiniti brands, both of which fall under the global Renault-Nissan Alliance.
This new warehouse has been designed to meet the requirements for a six-star Green Star rating, the Green Building Council’s highest level of certification for sustainable building design and among Australia’s first six-star energy rated parts distribution centres.

Sendle recognised for small-business focus

Sendle has received the Good Design Award for Service Design – Commercial Services at the 2017 Good Design Awards, held on 8 June at the Overseas Passenger Terminal in Sydney.
The accolade was given in recognition of Sendle’s business model which is specifically designed for small businesses.
Commenting on the win, James Chin Moody Founder and CEO, Sendle, said,
“We started Sendle to make parcel delivery for small businesses simple, reliable and affordable – and we’ve done this by focusing on good design across our software, courier network and customer support.
“The ease of account creation, intuitive interface and simple pricing is designed to help very small businesses, while powerful features and integrations satisfy larger business needs. Good design should not be overlooked in any business, and it’s given us a strong competitive edge in a market monopolised by the post office.”
 
 

Porsche SE acquires PTV Group

Logistics software provider Planung Transport Verkehr AG (PTV Group) has been acquired by Porsche Automobil Holding SE (Porsche SE) in a deal worth more than €300 million ($450 million).
PTV Group develops software and provides expertise for transport planning and logistics. The acquisition is part of a long-term investment strategy and Porsche SE reportedly considerable growth potential in the optimisation of the flow of people and goods.
Vincent Kobesen, CEO, PTV Group, said, “We have now found the right strategic investor for our company. This allows us to remain independent and helps us reach our ambitious goals for the upcoming years.”
Those goals includes growth in new markets – over 2,500 cities already use PTV products, including many Australian cities. On a daily basis, over one million vehicles in Australia and around the world make transport runs planned with PTV.
PTV Group’s management team will continue to manage business operations to prepare for further anticipated growth.

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