Drones services market to grow rapidly

The global drone services market is estimated to expand at a rate of 32.5 per cent between now and 2027, according to a report from Transparency Market Research. The report found that Asia Pacific is anticipated to be a highly lucrative market for drones throughout the forecast period. 
The commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicles was first recorded in Japan in the early 1980s, where they were used to spray pesticides on rice fields. Since then, drone technology has provided advanced and new applications to all major industries.

Drones are being considered the next key disruptor in the construction industry. With the adoption of UAVs, the construction industry directly benefits in terms of increased savings and safety, enhanced communication, and accurate measurements and insights. The benefits of using drones can be vouched by the 239% increase in the adoption of drones in the construction industry witnessed in 2017. (This is the highest usage of drones in any sector that uses commercial drones). Thus, the commercial drone industry and the construction sector stand to benefit from each other, with construction being the largest end-user industry of drones. This factor is expected to drive the global drone services market during the forecast period.
Global Drone Services Market: Prominent Regions
North America accounted for a key share of the global drone services market in 2018. The region is expected to dominate the global market between 2019 and 2027, owing to the increasing demand in the infrastructure, media & entertainment, and agriculture sectors in the region. Among countries/sub-regions, the U.S. constituted a significant share of the market in North America in 2018. The U.S. makes high investments in R&D activities aimed at innovating new technologies. Also, it is the most technologically-advanced country.
Europe is projected to be the second-largest market for drone services during the forecast period. The region is anticipated to hold a considerable share of the global drone services market during the forecast period. The rising use of drone delivery services in the healthcare and warehouse industries in the region is expected to augment the adoption of drone services in Europe in the next few years.
The market for unmanned aerial services in China is valued at CNY 30 Bn per year, with the government pushing to increase standardisation and automation in the agricultural sector in the country. Lucrativeness of the drone services market in Asia Pacific is anticipated to increase in the next few years, owing to extensive research and development activities taking place in the fields of aerial photography, videography, mapping, and data collection in the region.
Key players operating in the global drone services market are displaying synergies through close cooperation and collaborations in the areas of sales, marketing, and production. Manufacturers are also expanding through organic methods, such as increasing their production capacity, in order to meet the rising demand.

Australia Post announces three-year sustainability commitments

Australia Post has announced a new three-year plan with 19 commitments that will create economic, social and environmental value for the Australian community, the company says.
As a sign of its action on those commitments, it has also announced that it will be launching a new range of recycled and recyclable plastic satchels, as it moves away from using virgin plastic and gives used plastic another life.
The first recycled plastic satchel will be launched with major customer Country Road this year in time for Christmas, with a transition across the business in early 2020.
Group Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director Christine Holgate said Australia Post was building on its long, proud history of responsible citizenship.
“One of the things about sustainability and doing things like recycled packaging is for the people that work in your business. They want to work for organisations where they’ve got strong values,” she said.
Coming into effect last month, the new Plan is underpinned by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – the world’s sustainability agenda for 2030.
Australia Post has charted its path with a suite of “2030 aspirations”, aligned to the SDGs it impacts the most, including achieving world-class safety metrics, gender equality across the business, and becoming a low-carbon logistics provider.
The Plan outlines Australia Post’s intent to put sustainability front and centre of all it does while also meeting increased customer demand for sustainable products, services and solutions.
“All of our big delivery facilities now use solar generation for electricity – we’re one of the biggest property owner and tenants – so it’s not about spending more, but spending wisely,” Ms Holgate said.
The commitments are grouped within three themes:

  • Everyone is included – creating vibrant, inclusive communities; and providing safe, fair and fulfilling work for our extended workforce
  • Everyone prospers – by delivering responsibly and profitably; and providing great customer experiences
  • Everyone thrives – by reducing our environmental impacts and facilitating a circular economy.

“The people of Australia expect us to do more – there’s a bigger expectation on an organisation that provides a community service to be leading in this type of work,” Christine said.

Lindsay Australia reveals record revenue results

Lindsay Australia, delivered a record revenue for the 12 months ended 12 June 2019. The company reported a revenue of $386.07 million and a net profit after tax of $8.87 million, an increase of 10.2 per cent over the prior year, as part of its FY2019 results.
Underlying Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) for the financial year increased $1.57 million to $37.72 million, an increase of 4.4 per ent. On a reported basis, EBITDA increased 11.8 per cent to $40.41 million. The uplift in the EBITDA benefitted operating cash flow and lowered the Group’s net debt position.
Transport external freight revenue for the year grew $18.54 million (7.4 per cent) to $268.26 million. Produce freight volumes were negatively impacted in some regions due to adverse weather and seasonality but these reductions were offset by growth across capital cities and additional revenue from expansion and refrigerated rail. Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth revenues collectively increased 14 per cent for the year.
Transport is reported to have made a divisional contribution in FY2019 of $31.22 million, which included additional fuel tax credits of $3.36 million relating to prior years.
Import/Export logistic revenue for Lindsay Fresh Logistics increased by 18 per cent in FY2019 to $5.48 million. Investment in new equipment during the second half of the year will reportedly generate revenue for the division by providing value-add services for both existing and new customers.
Rural external revenue growth for the year grew $4.07 million (3.7 per cent) to $113.99 million. Rural made a Divisional contribution in FY2019 of $3.87 million, an increase of $880,000 (29.4 per cent). the division was also able to benefit from operating cost reductions from the branch rationalisation and consolidation.
“We are pleased to announce a strong set of results for the 12 months to 30 June 2019, achieving record revenue and over 10 per cent growth in net profit after tax. This result is a testament to our investment strategy which has seen is diversify our location and service offering over recent periods, mitigating industry risk and capturing new revenue,” Kim Lindsay, CEO at Lindsay Australia said.

ACCC looks at Asahi-CUB deal

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is assessing Asahi’s proposed purchase ($16 billion) of Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) which, if the deal closes, would affect more than half of Australia’s beer market.
The proposed acquisition was announced 19 July 2019 and involves Asahi acquiring CUB by way of a share acquisition.
The ACCC said in a request for submissions dated 23 August 2019 that its investigation is focused on the impact on competition, specifically: whether Asahi and CUB compete closely for the supply of beer, cider and spirits products; the likely impact on prices; and the extent to which large customers, such as supermarket chains, hotel groups or distributors, could sponsor entry or expansion by a rival supplier if the proposed acquisition were to result in a price increase.
Submissions are open until 6 September 2019. The provisional date for the announcement of the ACCC’s findings is expected to be 31 October 2019.
The ACCC is testing section 50 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 which prohibits acquisitions that are likely to have the effect of substantially lessening competition in a market.
The Australian Financial Review claims that a combined Asahi-CUB would likely comprise more than 50 per cent of Australia’s beer market which could make divestment for some of the smaller brands a possibility.
Asahi manufactures and sells alcoholic beverages, soft drinks and food products in Japan and internationally. In Australia, Asahi manufactures and supplies a range of international and domestic beer brands, ciders and spirits.
CUB is owned by the Belgium-headquartered, multinational brewing company AB InBev. CUB, based in Victoria, is an Australian brewing company which produces beer, cider and spirit products.
CUB operates six breweries in Yatala (Queensland), Abbotsford (Victoria), Hobart (Tasmania), Brookvale (New South Wales) and Port Adelaide and Hindmarsh (South Australia).

New Sales and Marketing Director for SMC Corporation in ANZ

SMC Corporation has announced Tim Keech will join the company as a Sales and Marketing Director, responsible for the Australian and New Zealand markets.
Tim has worked for prominent industry brands throughout his career with extensive experience in Industrial Automation across various industries both locally and internationally. Skilled in Process Automation and Control, Drive Systems Application Engineering, Control Systems Design, and SCADA, Tim combines a background in sales with an Engineering Degree from Sydney’s University of Technology.
Wayne Driver, Managing Director for SMC Corporation ANZ welcomes Tim to the SMC Leadership Team and believes that his experience and knowledge of the automation industry throughout each of the regions will be of great value. “Tim is now responsible for our sales team as well as our marketing function on both sides of The Tasman. This role is critical to our company’s continued success and Tim’s approach to our business will add tremendous value in the era of Industry 4.0 and digitisation”.
Optimistic about the future, Tim says that it’s an honour to join the SMC team. “SMC has such a long and proud history of delivering quality and reliability. I’m looking forward to being part of the company’s future as it continues to innovate and meet our customers ever changing needs to remain competitive.”
“It’s exciting to be part of a company that has some unique value propositions around energy savings, cutting edge wireless technology and Industry 4.0 dedicated solutions. Working with our partners and strong local engineering team to align these capabilities with the needs of the industry is something that excites us all at SMC” concludes Tim.
According to the company, this appointment ensures SMC’s ongoing commitment to its customers in the continuous pursuit for improved processes and enhanced customer service. Tim’s energetic personality and strategic approach to business will further strengthen SMC as the industry leader.

A family affair

As Allied Express celebrates its 40th year of operation, Logistics & Materials Handling caught up with Michelle McDowell, Managing Director to find out more about the organisations history as well as its future. Read more

Linfox unveils new site in QLD

Linfox has unveiled its new Acacia Ridge Intermodal Terminal in Southeast Queensland.
The nine-hectare site strategically located in the growth corridor of the state features five different temperature-controlled zones to manage a range of perishable products including food, beverage and health care according to Linfox Executive Chairman Peter Fox.
The high security warehousing complements the recent purchase of land in Willawong near Brisbane where the company intends to build a multi-user distribution centre as part of its ongoing investment in the Sunshine State.
“Sustainable design has been front of mind, with solar-power generation, smart LED lighting and water-capture facilities earning the design a five-star Green Star rating,” said Peter Fox in a statement issued by Linfox online.
“We look forward to introducing our Queensland customers to the facility when it is completed.”
Recently BevChain, the beverage carrier Linfox acquired in late 2017, has partnered with Carlton & United Breweries to provide warehousing and metropolitan transport across its customer network in Brisbane.
The partnership, according to Fox, complements BevChain’s existing CUB network in New South Wales and Victoria and expands the BevChain group in Australia and New Zealand to more than 800 people.
“CUB and Linfox have a deep history extending back to 1968 and we are delighted they have chosen to continue our relationship through our BevChain team,” said Fox who recognised the business as an integral partner of the top brewers including Lion, whose 50 per cent stake in Bevchain Linfox bought out when it took full control.
“This expansion of our Brisbane network, along with the opening of our new Intermodal offering in north Queensland, broadens the possibilities for customers to extend their reach in north Queensland and beyond,” he said.
Linfox also confirmed it would custom-build 25 coal haulage vehicles to go with the bespoke high productivity tri-axle Lin-double it recently unveiled in partnership with South32 as part of the company’s metallurgical coal assignment in Woolongong, NSW.

ACFS Port Logistics commits to Altona site

Salta Properties has announced that ACFS Port Logistics has signed a 10 year pre-commitment lease for a 25,000 sqm warehouse and 37,000 sqm hardstand at Nexus Altona.
Salta Properties Managing Director, Sam Tarascio said securing support from Australia’s largest privately-owned container logistics company in ACFS Port Logistics reinforces the demand for the Port Rail Shuttle Network. “We welcome ACFS Port Logistics’ support in the Port Rail Shuttle Network and look forward to developing an innovative solution that enhances its business operations.”
“ACFS Port Logistics joins a list of high calibre organisations at Salta Properties’ Altona and Dandenong sites, which have set-up base at inland port locations to maintain their competitive advantage in anticipation for the government to activate its Port Rail Shuttle Network,” Sam said.

Qube announces leadership change and full year results

Qube Holdings has announced its latest financial results and a leadership change this week.
Qube reported strong market positions and its diversification strategy enabled it to continue to achieve solid earnings growth and deliver on guidance despite challenges in some parts of the business for the year ended 30 June 2019.
Underlying Net Proft after Tax (NPAT) for the reported period was $123.2 million (+15.4 per cent year-on-year); statutory NPAT attributable to Qube was $196.6 milion ($212.6 million pre-amortisation; and underlying revenue growth was $1.73 billion (+4.7 per cent).
Other highlights for the year ended 30 June 2019, according to Qube, include: sound progress with planning, construction and leasing activities at Qube’s Moorebank Logistics Park (MLP); Patrick delivered a solid increase in earnings supported by market growth, increased market share and productivity improvements; acquisitions and growth capex completed or announced during the period provided further diversification and support future earnings growth; and statutory earnings include sizeable fair value gains on Qube’s investment properties (slightly below the comparable FY18 gains) which were partially offset by theimpairment of Qube’s investments in NSS, Prixcar and Quattro.
“In the face of some strong economic headwinds, this is a pleasing result,” Qube Managing Director, Maurice James, said with reference to releasing the full-year results.
“Qube’s diversification strategy has protected the business from a slowing economy and helped deliver our continued good performance.
“Throughout 2019, management focussed on growing market share, defending margins in a competitive environment while maintaining tight control of costs across the business units.
“This result also reflects Qube’s significant investment over many years on equipment, facilities and technology to build scale, improve efficiency and reduce costs, thereby enabling it to provide a cost effective, reliable service to its diverse customer base.
“The result also benefitted from several acquisitions that expanded Qube’s service capability, geographic and product diversification and brought additional management depth and expertise to the group,” he said.
In Financial year 2020, Qube expects similar overall economic and competitive conditions to FY’19 with a continuation of the subdued trends in container, grain, vehicle and general cargo volumes and no significant change in conditions in Qube’s other key markets including bulk commodities, forestry products and oil and gas related activities.
Qube’s organic growth opportunities, combined with the earnings from its recent and future capital expenditure, are expected to support sustainable earnings growth over the medium to long term.
Qube this week also announced the appointment of Stephen Mann to the board of
directors, effective 1 September 2019.
Mann is reported to have extensive strategy, transformation and business development experience across multiple geographies and different industries including rail, infrastructure, resources and transport.
Mann was reportedly selected via a comprehensive recruitment process from a strong talent pool comprising equal numbers of men and women. He was ultimately identified as having the skillset best aligned to Qube’s long-term strategy, particularly in the area of intermodal and infrastructure development.
“I’m very happy Steve has agreed to join the Qube board and believe he will make an excellent contribution,” said Qube chairman, Allan Davies.
“Steve’s mix of skills and experience will be valuable to Qube’s operations and strategy, particularly the ongoing development and operation of the Moorebank intermodal project,” he said.

Australia Post announces record revenue, but profits still falling

Australia Post has announced for FY19 record group revenue of $6,990 million, up two per cent. However it also announced a profit before tax of $41 million, down almost two-thirds from last year’s results.
This letter revenues declined almost 9 per cent to $2,216 million and losses from this business increased to $192 million.
This full year profit result is in line with that achieved three years ago, although masks the significant transformation from a letter business to a growing delivery and services organisation.
Australia Post has forecast that although Group revenue will grow in FY20, there will be continued pressure on profitability due to the ongoing impact of letter losses.
“This year we saw record domestic and international parcel revenue as more and more customers are choosing Australia Post as their preferred partner to deliver their ecommerce ambitions,” Christine Holgate,  Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Australia Post said.
“We also signed the historic Bank@Post community agreements this year, first with Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac, and now more than 70 financial institutions have signed on. The Community Representation contribution will enable customers to continue to conduct essential banking transactions in 3,500 Post Offices across Australia using the Bank@Post service.”
Other highlights for the financial year included:

  • Continued investment program across the operational network – invested $424 million including $300 million CAPEX in robotics and automation and 1000 electric delivery vehicles purchased to support the growing ecommerce market, offering significant safety and environmental benefits
  • Increased investments were funded from improved operating cashflows, cash grew $36 million
  • Customer Net Promoter Score up 3 points to 20.5 – a standout performance compared to other logistics operators and retailers
  • Secured an agreement with important post office licensees – providing increased payments for parcels and financial services, in addition to upgraded technology.
  • Strong customer uptake of alternate delivery options – more than 90 million parcels delivered via the Post Office network and increasing use of 24/7 Parcel Lockers in 350 locations and growing
  • Full acquisition of Aramex Global Solutions, now known as AP Global, completed in December 2018 contributing $78 million in additional revenue and giving Australia Post full control of its international commercial arm.
  • Disposal of 10 per cent stake in Aramex parent for $228 million, reducing exposure to risk

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