C.H. Robinson acquires Italian logistics company

C.H. Robinson continues to expand its global footprint with its second acquisition of 2019. The company has acquired Dema Service, an Italian-based provider of European road transportation.
“The acquisition of Dema Service is an exciting milestone for C.H. Robinson and will strengthen our existing footprint in Italy, one of the largest road transportation markets in Europe. We are eager to work with Dema Service’s customers to offer our full suite of logistics services to help improve their supply chains,” Jeroen Eijsink, President of Europe for C.H. Robinson said.
The company recently acquired the freight forwarding group Space Cargo, which expanded C.H. Robinson’s presence in Spain and Columbia.
Dema Service is a privately-owned logistics company providing road transportation services across Europe. Headquartered in Pescara, Italy, Dema Service has approximately 100 employees and three offices located in Italy, Poland and Czech Republic.
“We are excited to join C.H. Robinson, one of the world’s largest third-party logistics (3PL) providers, and contribute to the company’s strong presence in Europe. Our extensive local market knowledge in combination with C.H. Robinson’s global network will allow us to provide world-class service to customers,” Mauro de Lellis, Co-Founder of Dema Service said.
C.H. Robinson will integrate Dema Service into its European Surface Transportation division and single global technology platform, Navisphere.

Ford trials self-driving robot to deliver parts

Ford is trialling a self-driving robot to deliver spare parts around one of its manufacturing plants. The robot, nicknamed “Survival”, can dodge unforeseen objects, change its route if obstructed and stop whenever necessary.
Developed entirely by Ford engineers, the company says it is the first of its kind to be used in any of the company’s European facilities.
“We programmed it to learn the whole of the plant floor so, together with sensors, it doesn’t need any external guides to navigate,” Eduardo García Magraner, engineering manager, at Ford’s state-of-the-art body and stamping plant in Valencia, Spain, where the robot is being trialled, said.
“When it first started you could see employees thinking they were in some kind of sci-fi movie, stopping and staring as it went by. Now they just get on with their jobs knowing the robot is smart enough to work around them.”
According to Ford, delivering spare parts and welding material to different stations around the plant is a crucial element in keeping Kuga, Mondeo and S-MAX production going. For Ford workers though, the task is time-consuming and relatively mundane.
In a statement, the company said the robot does not replace employees but can save up to 40-employee hours every day by taking over this role, allowing operators to use their time on more complex tasks.
The robot is equipped with an automated shelf that has 17 slots to hold materials of different weights and sizes. To avoid errors, the opening and closing of these slots is automated, meaning operators in each area only have access to the materials assigned to them.
“Survival” is one of a number of smart robots employed in Ford’s European facilities, including the “Robutt” and co-bots in Cologne, Germany. The self-driving robot uses LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology to visualise its surroundings, a technology also used in Ford’s prototype autonomous vehicles.

New CEO for DHL Express Europe

DHL Express has appointed Alberto Nobis as its new CEO for Europe, paving the way for his return to the Global Management Board of DHL Express.
ALberto was the Global CFO for DHL Express from 2009 to 2012 before relocating to his home country of Italy in 2013. As CEO DHL Express Italy, Alberto Nobis helped to drive the division’s growth in the Italian market. Effective January 1, 2019, he has taken over responsibility for Express Europe from John Pearson, who became the Global CEO of DHL Express.
“For DHL Express, quality and growth are the pillars of our past and future success. Since his move to Italy as Managing Director, Alberto has proven that he is capable focusing on both. His efforts to push the Express Italy business on all fronts have contributed to Italy becoming one of our largest market and one in which we expect continuing high performance. We are looking forward to seeing Alberto use his in-depth expertise to take DHL Express to the next level of its growth Europe-wide in 2019 and beyond,” John Pearson, Global CEO DHL Express said.
Alberto has over 10 years of experience at DHL Express, including several management positions as CFO and CEO for the time-definite shipping provider of the Deutsche Post DHL Group. In his new role, he is responsible for almost 50 countries in Europe with focus on the Region’s performance across the four dimensions that define the strategy: people at the core are motivated to provide great service quality, with a direct positive impact on customers’ loyalty and, finally, on DHL’s network profitability.
“It is both a great honor and an exciting challenge to be appointed CEO for DHLExpress Europe. In this position, I can count on the decade of experience I’ve gained at DHL Express and on the support of our people and network to increase our performance for customers throughout Europe. I am greatly looking forward to working with John to achieve the next level of growth for DHL Express,” Alberto Nobis, CEO Europe at DHL Express said.
 

CEVA Logistics expands global partnership with IKEA as it opens New York Distribution Centre

CEVA Logistics and IKEA have celebrated the opening of a new Customer Distribution Center (CDC) at Staten Island on the US east coast.
Under a five-year deal to provide warehouse management and fulfilment services, CEVA will manage the 975,000 sq ft (906,000 sq m) site.
Built on a previously vacant 200 acre piece on land on the west shore of Staten Island, the focus of the new CDC will be on delivering items to customers who order products online or purchase larger items at an IKEA store or Planning Studio for home delivery. The facility is already fully operational and works seven days a week.
Brett Bissell, CEVA’s Chief Operating Officer, Contract Logistics, who represented the company at the recent Grand Opening, told the audience: “We have developed an excellent working relationship with IKEA where we have focused on the cultural alignment between our two companies so that we can deliver the operational excellence IKEA demands every time.
“We’ve used our logistics expertise to design and deliver solid solutions which specifically meet your needs and enable this huge facility to run effectively.  We then combine the skills and experience of our operations managers and supply chain designers to make the building work for you on a day-to-day basis.”
“We are proud to partner with CEVA logistics to operate our new Staten Island fulfilment center, which has brought 200 new jobs in the market,” said Tanja Dysli, Customer Fulfillment Manager, IKEA Retail U.S. “The new facility will help meet the delivery needs of our New York-area customers whether they are shopping in our stores, the IKEA Planning Studio or online.”
CEVA and IKEA have worked together since 2015 with successful working partnerships in the UK and Australia.

Volkswagen moves further into logistics market with acquisition

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.

CEVA trials truck route from China to Europe

CEVA Logistics Greater China has sent the first-ever TIR (Transports Internationaux Routiers) truck from Khorgos, China via Kazakhstan to Europe.
The trial run was on 13 November, 2018 and was operated as a joint initiative between CEVA Logistics, the IRU (International Road Transportation Union) and CEVA’s partners Alblas and Jet-rail.
The truck arrived in Poland on 24 November, with no disruption or Customs issues after 11 days on the road. The closing TIR at its final destination was after 13 days on 26 November.
According to CEVA, the new road service will deliver a cost saving of about 50 per cent compared to air options. With a lead time door-to-door of between 10 to 15 days, it will be 30-50 per cent faster than rail.
Customs sealed in Khorgos, the first TIR truck from China to Europe started its 7,000 kilometers journey via Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus to Poland in the afternoon of 13 November. It was a historic moment when the truck, operated by CEVA’s partner Alblas International Logistics, left Khorgos to cross the border into Kazakhstan.
“This is a day to remember. Together with our partners, we have trialed TIR all the way to Europe today the very first time,” Kelvin Tang, Director Road & Rail at CEVA Logistics Greater China said.

TMHA equips new NewCold Melbourne facilities

Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA) has supplied equipment to new cold storage market entrant, NewCold.
NewCold Melbourne opened its two warehouses in August and September, with 45 leased Toyota and BT forklifts.
Netherlands-based NewCold Advanced Cold Logistics reportedly decided to approach TMHA for its first Australian operations due to its relations with Toyota in Europe.
The 34-metre-high warehouses have a combined 40,800m2 of floor area, storage for over 200,000 pallets, 39 loading docks and operate around the clock.
One is a cold store at minus 23oC, the other a chilled store with two, eight and 11oC environments.
“This makes Toyota our material handling partner of choice, while the comprehensive service offering is unique and cost effective as well,” said Ray Perry, Director – Oceania, NewCold.
“We appreciate that Toyota does not only supply the forklift [equipment] but will also service the equipment as and when we need it.
“Being a logistics and warehouse service provider, Toyota shares common customer values with NewCold. We trust that we will benefit from TMHA’s wealth of knowledge in the industry in Australia to increase our productivity, while staying ahead of our competition.”
Jason Fennell, Corporate Account Manager at TMHA, said local discussions with NewCold began in October 2016 and a decision was made in May 2017.
“We received a request to assist NewCold from our corporate division and worked from there,” he said.
“NewCold uses a variety of suppliers and products in Europe. However, the core business is to be able to pick orders, replenish stock, load and unload required deliveries, and store required long-life stocks on a 24/7 basis.
“This is the company’s first development in Australia, so we are committed to working with them to develop the relationship and ensure we cover all the material handling requirements, as well as making this process easy for the customer.”
The initial equipment roster for NewCold’s Melbourne facilities includes 21 BT electric pallet jacks, 10 Toyota 8-Series FBE18 three-wheel electric forklifts, seven BT RRE140H reach trucks, four Toyota 32-8FG30 internal combustion forklifts, a pair of 32-8FG18 Toyota forklifts, a BT RRE250H reach truck and four battery chargers.

DHL and VW launch car-boot delivery pilot

DHL Parcel and Volkswagen are launching a joint pilot project in Berlin in which Volkswagen will deploy 50 VW Polos to be used as mobile addresses for the delivery of their DHL parcels.
The project partners have worked in recent months to develop and test a solution for in-car delivery. The vehicles are fitted with the required equipment for in-car delivery, called ‘We Deliver’ by Volkswagen. To use the new service, customers need to register with DHL Parcel and enter their trunk as the delivery location in their customer profile.
“Since we’ve already tested car drop delivery successfully in other projects in Germany and continue to offer it for Smart drivers, we’re pleased to win Volkswagen as another partner – our partnership allows us to offer this attractive service to an even broader target group,” says Achim Dünnwald, CEO, DHL Parcel. “As an innovation leader in the parcel sector, our objective at DHL Parcel is to be able to offer in-car delivery as an option to as many recipients as possible in Germany, offering personalised processes to make the sending and receiving parcels even easier for our customers.”
The VW Polo driver will be notified via email about the delivery process and receive a delivery notice when a parcel has been delivered to the vehicle’s trunk. During the ordering process in an online shop, the driver can specify a two-hour time slot between 10am and 9pm during which DHL will deliver the parcel. For delivery, the vehicle will need to be parked in a place accessible to the parcel courier. Possible delivery sites include the office parking lot, a park-and-ride facility, or any other address at which the vehicle is located during the time slot specified during the order.
The DHL parcel courier receives the delivery location information from the DHL Delivery app, which provides vehicle’s exact position via GPS. The app also issues a single-use, time-limited code to access the vehicle. In combination with the customer-specific car ID, which the recipient receives from Volkswagen and provides as part of the delivery address, the courier can open the vehicle’s trunk. Once the courier closes the trunk, the access code is cancelled. Not only can the VW Polo drivers receive parcels, they can also leave returns in the trunk to be picked up.

Amazon leases first Australian DCs

E-commerce behemoth Amazon has leased its first distribution centre in Australia, ahead of the rollout of its business here in the coming 12 months.
The Australian Financial Review has shared property agent CBRE has helped the online retailer decide upon a 24,387sqm warehouse on a 7.7-hectare site formerly occupied by Bunnings in Dandenong, southeast of Melbourne in Victoria.
The facility has been vacant since Bunnings moved to another Dandenong warehouse, and has been available for lease since October 2014, the AFR added.
Amazon is also rumoured to have selected its first Sydney location. ChannelNews has reported that the company is believed to have made a deal for a large fulfilment facility in Eastern Creek, at the Oakdale Industrial Estate.
The estate is owned by the Goodman Group, the same property agent that has helped Amazon set up its warehouse network across Europe and the US.
According to ChannelNews, Amazon’s Australian warehouses will be robotic and set up by US logistics fit-out specialists in the coming months.

Freight association to advise UK Government on Brexit

On Wednesday 30 March UK Prime Minister Theresa May invoked Article 50 to begin negotiations for Britain’s exit from the European Union. The British International Freight Association (BIFA) – the trade body representing the UK’s freight forwarding companies – responded with a statement noting that speculation on the outcome of the move cannot yet be made, and the Association will aid the government in traversing the path ahead for trade.
“In the run up to the UK’s eventual exit we will be working with Government to try and ensure that the movement of the UK’s visible import and export trade does not become overburdened by over complicated trade procedures,” said Robert Keen, Director General, BIFA.
“Clearly there are significant areas of concern for our members, which are responsible for much of the physical movement of that trade, over the eventual outcome, including the physical infrastructure, trade arrangements and Customs practices that will be reviewed as part of the Brexit negotiations,” he added.
“I have already gone on the record to warn about the huge number of pundits offering solutions when nobody really knows what is likely to happen in reality.
“BIFA’s focus now will be presenting the views of our members to the various government departments that we deal with, as well as working with organisations such as the Confederation of British Industry and International Chamber of Commerce to make sure that all parties negotiating the post-Brexit landscape are fully aware of the potential challenges for which they will need to find solutions.”

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