After a record year in 2016, Deutsche Post DHL Group is facing the future with confidence.
“2016 was an excellent year for us and we have a clear idea of what the future of logistics will look like,” said Frank Appel, CEO, DHL, at the Annual General Meeting in Bochum in late April. “We are investing in expanding our network and in technology. We are working in a focused and connected way – and we will continue to grow.”
Appel also confirmed the Group’s ambitious targets – operating profit is to rise from €3.5 billion ($5.1 billion) to around €3.75 billion ($5.5 billion) in 2017, and EBIT is to be increased by an annual average of more than 8 per cent between 2013 and 2020.
Speaking to shareholders, Frank Appel voiced his optimism that global trade would continue to grow despite mounting protectionist tendencies. “World trade drives prosperity, and prosperity promotes peace,” he said. “We therefore don’t need less globalisation, but more – and we need it now and sustainably.”
He stated that countries should invest more in education and infrastructure in the interests of long-term growth.
“Logistics is the backbone of global trade,” he said, adding that global teamwork was impossible without it. “Of all logistics service providers, we have the strongest global presence. We have the widest range of offerings and most extensive experience. We know how logistics works and, as the market leader, we have a clear idea of how our industry can continue to contribute to global prosperity,” he added.
The Federal Government has announced that two new railway bridges will be constructed in regional NSW, along the route of the Inland Rail project.
The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) welcomed the news as a sign of the Government’s continuing commitment to the project.
“This announcement is further evidence that we are making progress in the construction of Inland Rail,” said Michael Kilgariff, Managing Director, ALC.
“Confirmation that two new bridges are to be constructed between Parkes and Narromine shows that the Federal Government is essentially futureproofing sections of existing rail track to accommodate the larger trains the Inland Rail line will facilitate,” he added.
“Replacing timber bridges at Tomingley West and Narwonah with reinforced concrete structures is an important step in making certain existing rail infrastructure will support the delivery of Inland Rail,” he said.
Kilgariff added that the Inland Rail project will feature prominently in the Inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities, which is now under way, and from which the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy will be developed.
“The ALC considers that a port-to-port rail freight link from Melbourne to Brisbane should form the backbone of this Strategy,” he said. “As well as the obvious benefits to the ports in those two cities, there are substantial economic benefits to be realised in key regional centres along the route.
“With the nation’s freight task set to grow by 26% over the next decade according to the National Transport Commission’s Who Moves What Where report, it’s essential that freight operators have access to a supply chain that is both safe and efficient.
“Inland Rail will play a critical part in achieving that objective by allowing more efficient movement of freight, reducing congestion on our key road transport corridors, and creating employment opportunities in regional Victoria, NSW and Queensland.”
PostNord has teamed up with door-opening solution manufacturer Assa Abloy to launch a new service that will allow online shoppers to have their parcels delivered inside their front door, Post and Parcel reports.
The delivery method is made possible with digital locks and single-use codes. Once the driver has used the code to open front door and deliver the parcel, the code becomes invalid and the customer receives a delivery notification.
PostNord and Assa Abloy are now starting a pilot project along with e-retailers Jollyroom, Apotea and Komplett that will involve 100 households in Lerum, a town east of Gothenburg, trialling the delivery option.
Johan Hellman, Head of eCommerce, PostNord commented, “It should be simple and convenient to shop online. This is why we want to give consumers greater choice and the opportunity to receive their e-commerce items in several different ways.
“We’re seeing a clear trend and a demand for greater choice on delivery, and we’ll now be able to deliver items inside the front door in a secure way. The recipient doesn’t need to be at home or be available at a particular time, which makes it both simple and convenient.
“Our ambition is for PostNord to deliver items in the way that best suits the recipient.”
Amazon has broken its silence over an impending move to Australian shores, which is expected to shake up competition among domestic retailers.
The e-commerce giant has confirmed it is searching for a “large distribution and fulfilment centre” in Australia with the introduction of services including Amazon MarketPlace, Amazon Prime Now, Amazon Pantry and Amazon Fresh on the cards.
“Amazon Web Services launched an Australian region in 2012, we launched a Kindle Store on Amazon.com.au in 2013, and we now have almost 1,000 employees in the country,” Amazon said.
“We are excited to bring thousands of new jobs to Australia, millions of dollars in additional investment, and to empower small Australian businesses through Amazon Marketplace.”
According to a report in the AFR, more than 1,000 Australian companies already sell their wares on Marketplace, which “gives them access to customers in Australia and overseas.”
“We are optimistic that by focusing on the things we believe customers value most – low prices, vast selection, and fast delivery – over time we’ll earn the business of Australian customers,” Amazon’s statement added.
Deutsche Post DHL Group will double the production capacity of its own electric vehicles – the StreetScooter electric van – from 10,000 to as many as 20,000 by the end of 2017.
In addition, the company is now also selling its own electric vehicles – which have so far been optimised for postal operations and delivery purposes – to third parties.
At least half of this year’s annual production is planned for external prospective buyers of the vehicles, the company has shared.
In future, DHL hopes to sell its vehicles to municipal authorities, strategic partners and large fleet customers in Germany and the rest of Europe, aiming to at least double its own StreetScooter fleet from the current 2,500 vehicles this year.
“The large demand for the StreetScooter and our own ambitious climate-protection goals have encouraged us to further expand our commitment in the area of electro-mobility and to also make our expertise available to others,” said Jürgen Gerdes, board member for Post – eCommerce – Parcel, Deutsche Post DHL Group.
“As a result, we are confirming our aspiration to remain the engine of electro-mobility and to become market leader in green logistics.”
DHL Express has put its first fully electric vehicle on Australian roads following a successful trial. The electric vehicle is a Renault Kangoo ZE Van and will be used as the company mail car in Sydney, driving between DHL Express offices.
The Renault Kangoo ZE Van is part of the company’s already operational fleet of hybrid delivery vans. The electric vehicle, dependent upon the driving style and conditions, can be on the road for an average of four hours, an equivalent travelling distance of 100 kilometres on a single charge, eliminating the production of 4.75 tonnes of carbon emissions from the environment over the course of one year. The vehicle runs on a lithium-ion battery and takes six to nine hours to complete a full charge.
“As a global company, we acknowledge the environmental impact of our day-to-day operations and our responsibility to reduce this wherever possible,” said Gary Edstein, CEO/ Senior Vice President at DHL Express Oceania. “Globally, we have seen a 30 per cent improvement in our carbon efficiency since 2008 – and we are aiming to further improve this through new green initiatives like this electric vehicle.”
Overseas, DHL Express has introduced electric vehicles, including electric vans and scooters, on routes in Germany, Japan and Taiwan.
DHL’s parent company, Deutsche Post DHL Group will also proceed with increased production of its own StreetScooter electric vehicle in 2017.
The company announced on March 8 the ambitious target of reducing all logistics-related emissions to zero by 2050. On the road to achieving this, it has also outlined a number of interim goals, including increasing its carbon efficiency by 50 per cent and operating 70 per cent of its own first- and last-mile delivery with clean transport solutions by 2025.
“We looked to our DHL Express colleagues around the world to see the solutions they had developed and were inspired by the success of electric vehicles in these countries,” Edstein said.
“In 2016, we trialled an electric courier van delivering to Sydney’s CBD, and found that a wider rollout of electric vehicles within DHL Express Australia’s courier fleet would require more conveniently located electric charging stations in cities across the country, and vans that can travel longer distances without needing to recharge.”
“Compared to small, densely populated European and Asian cities where electric vehicles are currently operating, Australian cities have unique geographical challenges in terms of distance.”
Commonwealth Bank Australia (CBA) and ASX-listed software company GetSwift are reportedly partnering to offer the bank’s retail merchants access to the tech company’s delivery software. News.com.au reports that retailers banking with CBA processing contactless payments with the bank’s ‘Albert’ app will also be able queue, route and dispatch deliveries.
According to Bane Hunter, Executive Chairman, GetSwift, the technology will make the vendors delivery-ready, especially important given the recent confirmation that Amazon plans to launch soon in Australia.
“For vendors, it’s a cost effective way of tackling the threat from Amazon, Foodora, UberEats, Deliveroo and other global technology companies attempting to capture this space,” Hunter said. News.com.au also revealed that consumers will be able to pay for goods on arrival using the CBA platform due to the partnership.
GetSwift will also work with CBA to develop technology to improve sales and delivery processes, including a GPS-tracked payment terminal.
MaxiTRANS has secured one of the nation’s largest ever contracts of its kind by signing an agreement to supply 395 Maxi-CUBE and Freighter trailers to Coles Supermarkets in New South Wales and Western Australia.
After much speculation in the marketplace, the company made the outcome of the $60 million agreement public on 4 April on the back of a factory visit by the Hon Wade Noonan MP, Minister for Industry and Employment and Minister for Resources, and Coles’ Head of Transport, Tony O’Toole.
MaxiTRANS’ new Managing Director and CEO, Dean Jenkins, used the opportunity to commend Coles on its commitment to local manufacturing. “We are proud that Coles has chosen to partner with MaxiTRANS,” he said. “This is a tremendous show of support by Coles in Australian regional manufacturing.”
Coles’ Head of Transport, Tony O’Toole, commented on the importance of MaxiTRANS’ local footprint for the outcome of the contract. “Coles is pleased to be able to support the creation of jobs in regional Victoria through this partnership with MaxiTRANS,” he said.
“We are always looking for ways to strengthen our relationships with local suppliers to help sustain the communities we serve every day, and we’re proud that deliveries to our stores will be made using trailers produced right here in Victoria.”
In his first big move as Managing Director of Toll Group, Michael Byrne has announced a major restructure of the company’s workforce, to make Toll ‘leaner’ and more competitive – the result of a strategic review Toll undertook looking at the company’s readiness for growth.
“The business is simplifying the number of operational divisions from five to three aligning with core segments in Global Express, Global Forwarding and Contract Logistics, which will form the executive team,” the company said in a statement.
Byrne said, “This is a great company, with a proud history and tremendous potential.
“However, our industry is rapidly changing and faces significant challenges; Toll must adapt, quickly.
“Our 100-day review of the business has highlighted clear markets and opportunities to deliver on our priority to drive organic growth, as well as the need to make some tough calls to reduce complexity and overhead costs.
“As a result of the changes, Toll expects that approximately 1,700 roles will be impacted globally, including back office and operational roles,” he added.
“This is a tough decision that has not been taken lightly.”
Byrne added that Toll will fully support employees impacted by these changes, including offering redundancy entitlements, redeployment opportunities where available and career transition support.
“The restructure I am announcing today will transform Toll into an organisation that is leaner, more competitive and more customer-focussed,” he said.
The Financial Times shared a comment from Japan Post on the move: “We are confident that the implementation of the reforms that have been decided by the new management team will contribute to Toll’s future growth.”
New Zealand Post has announced that David Walsh will take up the role of CEO from 1 May 2017.
The announcement follows the notice of retirement last year of Sir Brian Roche.
“Following an extensive search, which considered candidates from New Zealand and overseas, I have much pleasure in announcing David Walsh as our new CEO,” said Jane Taylor, Board Chair, NZ Post.
Walsh has been at NZ Post for two years as Chief Financial Officer and has provided executive leadership to the IT function.
Prior to joining NZ Post, he was CFO at KiwiRail in 2004, before moving into the role of General Manager, Corporate & Finance.
Earlier in his career, Walsh spent time in the NZ Racing Board, Fonterra, TransAlta NZ and Shell NZ.
Taylor said that since joining NZ Post, David has been instrumental in building the performance and capability of the Finance team, as well as taking an important leadership role across the Group Technology function.
“Most recently he has played a pivotal leadership role in working through the complexities associated with the Kiwibank partial sale and operational separation from NZ Post.
“The Board feels that the momentum behind the transformation already underway at NZ Post will benefit from the continuity provided by having an internal appointment. David knows the company well, knows where we are heading and knows what we need to do to become a more customer-centric, service oriented business, enabled by our digital future.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge Brian’s contribution to the NZ Post Group over his seven years as CEO and to thank him on behalf of the Board for his exceptional leadership in the transformation of one of New Zealand’s largest companies.”
NZ Post also announced that it had signed an agreement to facilitate commerce for New Zealand’s companies looking to do business in China.
The agreement with the Henan Bonded Logistics Centre (HNBLC) and Trademonster will simplify access for New Zealand companies to one of world’s largest consumer markets.
The signing took place at NZ Post’s Auckland Operations Centre and was attended by senior representatives of the People’s Government of Henan Province, including Chen Run’er, the Governor of the province.
HNBLC processes more than 90 million domestic parcels in China, and more than half of all cross border ecommerce trade. Trademonster has a strategic alliance with NZ Post and has strong relationships with the major ecommerce platforms in China, which is key for New Zealand SME businesses looking to enter China.
NZ Post CEO Brian Roche said the agreement is testament to the trust and loyalty that has been developed between the New Zealand Government and the Henan Government.
“Chief Executive of Henan Imported Materials Public Bonded Center Group Co. Ltd Madam Xu Ping brought her senior team to New Zealand to meet with our heads of business and to consolidate the business trading lanes that are now actively open between our two countries.
“This provides New Zealand traders with simplified access to one of the largest consumer markets in the world.”
Dene Green, General Manager, NZ Post International, said the Trademonster relationship, which is headed by Managing Director Gavin Yang, is one of the most exciting and supportive cross-border agreements NZ Post has ever had.
“NZ post carried more than seven million items between New Zealand and China last year. Supported by strong relationships such as these, this is forecast to grow by up to 15 per cent over the next 12 to 18 months as more Kiwis shop online and more Kiwi companies grow their ecommerce capability and sell into overseas markets.”
Image: Abaconda Management Group from New Zealand – New Zealand Post Building, CC BY-SA 2.0 source