Qube Holdings has announced the acquisition of LCR Group for $135 million. LCR is a specialist provider of outsourced industrial logistics services, operating across mining, heavy transport, mobile crane and renewable energy industries including Oil and Gas. “The acquisition of LCR is significant as it provides Qube the ability to deliver enhanced broad spectrum mining and industrial services to its existing and future customers. LCR is well known for providing innovative lift and shift materials handling solutions across Australia and PNG,” Paul Digney, Chief Operating Officer, Qube Holdings said. Qube is Australia’s largest integrated provider of import and export logistics services. The acquisition provides Qube additional geographical diversity and service capability to enhance the company’s ability to provide reliable integrated logistics solutions. According to Qube, both organisations are aligned in their business models which are driven by a strong safety culture, a solid and stable team, and a strong ethos to work with our local communities rather than simply in them. “This alignment will continue under the support umbrella of Qube which will drive our collective goal to increase our presence and customer focus both in Australia and internationally. I am very excited for the staff and customers of LCR; Qube offers a great opportunity for all parties to be part of a growing national logistics business,” Col Partington, CEO and Managing Director, CEO said. “Qube is committed to developing strong business units that deliver value for our customer base. I am delighted to welcome all LCR staff and management to Qube and l look forward to seeing the expanded service offering benefiting the combined customer base,” Paul Digney said. In an announcement, Qube stated that there are no immediate changes forecast for the business, the initial focus of the combined business will be to work with the management team to ensure the same high level of service continues and the new opportunities identified are delivered upon.
Texas-based Emergent Cold has announced the acquisition of the Montague Cold Storage facilities in Melbourne. According to Emergent Gold, this acquisition complements its broader strategy of acquiring and developing a global network of cold chain businesses. Montagues was founded in 1948, by William (Bill) Montague OAM by purchasing a carting operation that turned the Montague name into a fresh food provider. The first orchard was planted at Narre warren, Victoria in 1950. Innovation continued with the introduction of Controlled Atmosphere storage to Australia in 1967, followed by their first cold storage facility at Allansford in 1989. “We want to thank all the executives and staff who have contributed to this wonderful business over 60 years. The Montague family and management team will be focussing our energy and future endeavours in the horticultural industry, where there are many exciting opportunities both nationally and internationally,” Ray Montague, Chairman of Montague Group said. Emergent Cold was founded in 2017 with the vision to build a global cold chain solution for multinational customers. Emergent Cold has grown through a combination of business acquisitions and greenfield developments in emerging and developing markets. “We are delighted to welcome the Montague Cold Storage team to the Emergent Cold network. Combining Montague’s assets with our national service capability will further strengthen our offering to the Australian and International market,” Neal Rider, CEO of Emergent Cold said.
Maersk is set to enhance its Remote Container Management (RCM) platform by a virtual assistant, named “Captain Peter”. The avatar will assist customers along the journey of their cargo. Currently being tested by a group of select customers, technical improvements are being put in place to simplify the processes integrated into the Remote Container Management (RCM) platform. In the first half of 2019, Maersk will release the new platform with a revamped design and new product features which will be enhanced by a virtual assistant named Captain Peter. “Our goal is for the RCM product to look and feel like your favourite smartphone app. There is still a lot of paper work and difficult processes in global trade. Captain Peter will help take care of some of this complexity, by seamlessly engaging with the customer from end to end in the supply chain,” Anne-Sophie Zerlang Karlsen, Head of Global Reefer Management at Maersk said. In the beginning, Captain Peter will follow some simple rules, sending up-to-date information via customers’ preferred channel, for example, SMS or e-mail, on container temperature and atmosphere conditions, as well as a timeline on its end-to-end journey. Should any deviations be observed, or the shipment be delayed, Captain Peter will notify the customer. Once the container has arrived at its destination, Captain Peter will also check on its state and send an update to the customer. In time, customers will receive information configured to their specific needs. The RCM technology makes a reefer’s location, temperature, humidity and power status easily available to the customer. Should any issues be detected, the customer can alert his supplier or have the shipment checked by local surveyors, potentially saving the customer millions of dollars in lost cargo. “With the number of active users of the RCM platform constantly growing, the aspiration is for Captain Peter to gather enough information to be able to predict potential cargo damage and provide configuration suggestions before containers are shipped,” Anne-Sophie Zerlang Karlsen said. Maersk launched RCM for customers in September 2017. It provides transparency on in-formation from 270,000 Maersk refrigerated containers equipped with machine to machine technology. Today, over 2,300 customers have signed up for the RCM solution, translating to more than 70% of Maersk’s reefer volume.
Volkswagen Financial Services is further expanding with the 60 per cent acquisition of Fleet Logistics, Europe’s largest fleet management company operating in more than 70 countries. According to Volkswagen, the goal is to create a complete range of products and services for the customer in which travel and fleet management are combined. The completion of the transaction is subject to merger control approval by the relevant antitrust authorities. Both parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price. “This strategic partnership enables us to deliver significant added value to our fleet customers. We have resolved to transfer the existing business model to intermodal mobility. To this end, we will be able to offer additional services from the joint venture in the future. We have also agreed to retain the brand neutrality of the vehicle portfolio and the independence of leasing companies,” says Patrick Fruth, CEO Mobility Division TÜV SÜD. FleetLogistics was founded in 1996. The company employs around 360 people worldwide and operates in over 70 countries. Its clients include large national and international fleet customers. With a total portfolio of around 200,000 vehicles, FleetLogistics is one of the world’s largest independent providers of fleet management services. The spectrum of services is divided into three main areas: fleet management, fleet consulting and fleet reporting.
The Ombudsman for Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise, Kate Carnell AO, has encouraged larger businesses to offer e-Invoicing to their small business clients. Speaking at the recent Australian Business Software Industry Association (ABSIA) Annual Conference on ‘e-Invoicing, Ms Carnell said: “We will continue to advocate digitisation, and its many applications, so small businesses can realise the benefits of participating competitively in the digital economy.” e-Invoicing is a digital practice where trading partners directly exchange invoice data, enabling the invoice to be directly lodged in the recipients accounting system. The adoption of e-Invoicing promises to generate huge savings for both large and small business. Studies have shown that the processing costs associated with e-Invoicing can be as much as 80% less than traditional paper and PDF style invoices. A paper invoice can cost as much as $30.87, with its PDF cousin, typically delivered via email, being only slightly less at $27.97. In comparison, an e-Invoice attracts only $9.18 in processing costs. A significant saving for all participants. There are 2.2 million small businesses, which represents 97% of all businesses in Australia. Over 50% have adopted cloud-based accounting systems. This high rate of adoption in the small business community opens up the opportunity for larger business to provide an easy time-saving low-cost purchasing process to their small business clients. ABSIA’s resident e-Invoicing expert, Simon Foster, will be holding a free education session for the supply chain industry on 16 January in Sydney. Simon Foster is also the e-Invoicing leader for the Digital Business Council (DBC) and the founder of Squirrel Street, an eBusiness enablement provider. For booking and more information click here.
Western Sydney Airport has appointed Architectus to plan a business park on a dedicated 191-hectare parcel of airport real estate. The business park will offer the opportunity to integrate office, retail, industrial, hotels and conference facilities within 1.5 kilometres of the airport terminal. “There will be opportunities for businesses to be at the terminal’s doorstep at what will become Australia’s largest international gateway. When the Airport opens in 2026, it will be built for 10 million passengers a year, but we’ve got a blueprint for staged growth to become one of the world’s biggest airports in the decades to follow and our business park will be a key feature,” Graham Millett, CEO, Western Sydney Airport said. Graham said he expects interest in the Airport’s business park to come from a range of different industries. “Consultants, tech companies, defence and aerospace, airlines and pharmaceutical are just some of the industries that would enjoy considerable advantage being located at the Airport’s front door,” he said. Master planning work on the Airport business park is expected to be complete in mid-2019. Work to build Western Sydney Airport began in September, with the business park set to open before Airport operations begin in 2026.
According to the latest DHL Global Trade Barometer (GTB), global trade will continue to grow over the next three months. With an overall index of 61 points, the GTB’s analysis of international air and containerised ocean trade flows indicates that the development of the previous quarters will continue: Indices for all seven countries that constitute the GTB index are above 50 points, which corresponds to a positive growth forecast according to the underlying methodology. READ MORE: DHL to sell off Chinese supply chain business The pace of growth, however, is further slowing in all index countries. This deceleration will be particularly strong in Asia (except for China): Index values for India, Japan and South Korea have dropped by eight, six and five points respectively compared to the previous release of the GTB in September. With an overall index of 75 points, India, however, continues to be the country with the strongest trade growth forecast. “The DHL Global Trade Barometer clearly shows that the state of global trade remains solid. Both, air and ocean trade, continue to grow around the world. However, given the smoldering trade conflicts, especially between the US and China, and economists’ expectations that the global economy could cool down, it is not entirely surprising that trade momentum has weakened slightly”, Tim Scharwath, CEO of DHL Global Forwarding, Freight said. Read more:
FedEx has announced it is expanding its fleet to add 1,000 Chanje V8100 electric delivery vehicles. FedEx is purchasing 100 of the vehicles from Chanje Energy Inc and leasing 900 from Ryder System, Inc. The purpose-built electric vehicles will be operated by FedEx Express for commercial and residential pick-up and delivery services in the United States. “FedEx continually seeks new ways to maximise operational efficiency, minimise impacts and find innovative solutions through the company’s Reduce, Replace, Revolutionise approach to sustainability,” said Mitch Jackson, FedEx Chief Sustainability Officer. “Our investment in these vehicles is part of our commitment to that approach of serving our customers and connecting the world responsibly and resourcefully.” The vehicles are manufactured by FDG in Hangzhou, China, and purchased through Chanje Energy Inc., the company’s subsidiary for global business. Ryder System, Inc. will provide support services for all of the vehicles. The EVs can travel more than 150 miles when fully charged and have the potential to help FedEx save two thousand gallons of fuel while avoiding 20 tons of emissions per vehicle each year. The maximum cargo capacity is around 6,000 pounds. All of the EVs will be operated in California. FedEx has been using all-electric vehicles as part of its pickup-and-delivery fleet since 2009. We believe that wider adoption of alternative-fuel, electric and hybrid electric vehicles will play a key role in reducing global emissions, while diversifying and expanding renewable energy solutions. Read more:
Recruiting firm Hays has released its latest Jobs In Demand report, covering January to June 2018. The company expects strong demand to continue in the logistics industry for persons with expertise in the areas of inventory management, import/export, wharves and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) planning. “Across Australia, positive productivity is linked to efficiency improvements, be that in warehousing, transport or supply chain,” the company said. “Companies are targeting candidates who have a strong knowledge of systems and processes, combined with a proven track record in reducing costs and achieving demanding KPIs [key performance indicators].” The report identified several roles that the industry is currently keen to fill, including storepersons with inventory management software experience, import/export coordinators with cargo software knowledge, fleet controllers with wharf experience, demand and supply planners with FMCG experience. Experience in purchasing will also be in demand, as will candidates with knowledge of inventory management software such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and SAP software. Hays is also seeing an increased need for logistics candidates with heavy rigid or heavy combination licences.
Investment group Seven Group Holdings (SGH) has announced that it has entered into a binding agreement to pay $517 million to acquire the remaining 53.3 per cent of securities in equipment hire company Coates Hire that it does not already own, from an affiliate of Carlyle Asia Partners II, a fund managed by The Carlyle Group, and minority owners. SGH said in a media statement that the Coates Hire acquisition reflects its continued focus on becoming “the leading operator of industrial services businesses in Australia” and driving efficient capital allocation across its portfolio. “The Coates Hire business is led by a strong and experienced management team, with a number of business improvement initiatives in place and already delivering results,” the statement continued. “Full ownership of Coates Hire will enhance SGH’s portfolio with increased exposure to industrial services.” Ryan Stokes, Managing Director and CEO, SGH, said: “We are pleased to reach agreement with Carlyle to acquire the shares in Coates Hire we don’t already own. “We have had a long history with the Coates Hire business and believe with the visible market opportunity associated with East Coast infrastructure activity, along with the current performance of the business and management team, the company is extremely well positioned to create value for all shareholders. “The move to full ownership of Coates Hire will enhance SGH’s position as a leading operator of industrial services businesses, with a strong macroeconomic environment and a positive outlook providing the potential for significant opportunities to be realised.” The transaction is subject to satisfactory waivers being obtained from Coates Hire’s existing lending syndicate.