ALC blasts vehicle ban plans

After speaking last week of the importance of freight-friendly urban planning, Australian Logistics Council (ALC) Managing Director Michael Kilgariff has further commented on the realities of banning commercial vehicles from using certain zones and routes.
“A central business district is, first and foremost, a place of business,” said Kilgariff. “If we want businesses to grow and create jobs, then ensuring they can get their goods delivered in a timely fashion is a fairly basic requirement.
“At the moment, a lack of adequate street loading zones, as well as new residential and commercial buildings with poor (or non-existent) freight delivery facilities are already making CBD delivery a more cumbersome and costly exercise.”
Kilgariff noted that banning vehicles from city centres altogether is “neither realistic nor desirable,” and suggestions that bicycle deliveries alone could accommodate the freight needs of CBD businesses and residents in high-rise CBD apartment complexes are “pure fantasy.”
“You cannot deliver a large screen TV, or a family’s weekly groceries, using a bicycle,” he added. “Our planning systems must facilitate efficient freight movement, while also protecting amenity.
“The movement of freight is essential to the everyday functionality of Australia’s cities. Without policy changes that facilitate greater efficiency in freight delivery, the primary purpose of our CBDs – to be places of business – is in jeopardy.”

DHL contemplates ‘final mile’ in Australia

Logistics company, DHL, will consider an ‘Uber-style’ model for its ‘final mile’ parcel delivery offering in Australia, according to The Australian.
DHL eCommerce Global Head, Charles Brewer, told The Australian that DHL was considering a ‘capital light’ model due to the company’s double-digit growth in Australia.
“Do we want to play in this space in Australia?” Brewer said. “That is the question we need to answer over the next few weeks and months. Last mile is the one that excites most people we talk to.
“The volume is there. The market exists. The question is, can you create a sustainable proposition in the space?  Australia is a great market, a big market, I like the look of it, but we need to do our maths,.”

New AusPost chief comments on the challenge ahead

Christine Holgate, announced last week as the new Managing Director and Group CEO of Australia Post, succeeding Ahmed Fahour, has spoken to the Seven Network’s Sunrise team about the task ahead for the postal service.
Asked about the biggest trial she anticipates Australia Post will face, Holgate noted that utilisation of the company’s workforce as letter sending declines will be difficult going forward.
“Clearly, one of the biggest challenges is you’ve got this army of these fantastic trusted people going out to our homes every day, but the letters they’re delivering are declining,” she said, adding that she is keen to keep the nation’s post workers relevant in the community and in their jobs.
When questioned about her salary expectations when entering the position, after the disclosure of her predecessor Fahour’s excessive pay packet resulted in his departure from the company, Holgate noted that remuneration wasn’t a consideration.
“I know this might sound peculiar to people, but I never asked what the salary was,” she said. “It wasn’t actually a factor in me deciding to do the job, I always said to John [Stanhope, Chairman (non-executive) of Australia Post’s board of directors], ‘you’ll pay me what you think is fair’, and to me, taking the job had nothing to do with pay.”
See the interview below.

Shippit brings Australian logistics veteran on board

Online logistics management platform Shippit has appointed Dominic Culbert as its Head of Logistics.
Culbert joins Shippit from his most recent role as the Group Logistics and Delivery Solutions Manager at Mysale Group, where he oversaw the implementation and setup of OzSale’s international and domestic delivery network, comprising of over 65 shipping lanes across 10 countries.
Prior to this, he was Head of Distribution at BCP Marketing Services and developed supply chain solutions for Microsoft, Novell, Cisco, Palm, and Apple.
With over 18 years of experience in ecommerce logistics, Culbert will be responsible for driving the Shippit’s logistics strategy as it strengthens its position in Australia and expands into the APAC market.
“When it comes to managing the end-to-end shipping process, Shippit is doing it better than anyone else in the space, which is what attracted me to the role,” said Culbert. “I’m excited about further developing and growing their platform.
“I see numerous opportunities to drive improvement in ecommerce shipping around tracking, visibility and cost savings, particularly in the Asian markets, which are growing in leaps and bounds.
“Shippit has the ability to fill a niche in this region where customers want cost effective, seamless international solutions. For us that means expanding our offering such as adding new carriers and new capabilities to cater to the needs of global retailers.”
“Locally, a majority of companies aren’t well informed about how to optimise their shipping. A big part of our role will be educating retailers about the variety of shipping options available and then improving and broadening our service to continue to meet our customers’ needs.”
Shippit Co-founder, Will On, said the hire was a strategic part of Shippit’s vision and would help to drive its growth trajectory.
“This marks a major milestone for our business,” said On. “Dominic’s appointment is amongst a number of strategic positions we have created. He was instrumental in the global success of OzSale and his experience is second to none. We couldn’t be more fortunate to have him on board to join us in driving the vision we have set for Shippit.”

Fastway Couriers Australia appoints new CEO

Fastway Couriers Australia has announced the appointment of Peter Lipinski as CEO of the delivery firm, effective immediately. Lipinski will oversee the introduction of a range of innovative technologies and operational enhancements, including the development of ‘Fastway International’, which is expected to launch in mid-2017.
Lipinski has been with Fastway for more than six years, mostly recently serving as Chief Operating Officer. “I’m delighted to continue at Fastway Couriers Australia in my new role as CEO,” Lipinski said. “We’re passionate about what we can offer our customers and have access to some of the best technology available, making 2017 an extremely exciting time for all of us. Now, with greater technology behind us, the sky is the limit.
“I look forward to working with my team to drive profitability and grow our services. Together with our Aramex family, we’ll optimise technologies to launch our latest initiative, ‘Fastway International’. This will be our latest service offering which will set us apart once again, and provide our customers with all the tools they need to make their business a success. We’re confident that we’ll offer our Australian businesses the ability to send and receive parcels on a global scale by mid-year.”
Peter’s predecessor, Richard Thame, has been appointed to Regional Director – Australia and New Zealand of Aramex, a global logistics and transport provider which purchased Fastway in January 2016.

Mercedes-Benz Vans invests in autonomous final-mile robots

Mercedes-Benz Vans has invested in start-up enterprise Starship Technologies, a company developing ground-based, autonomous delivery robots. The arrangement is an extension of the automotive giant’s strategic future initiative ‘adVANce’, launched in September 2016.
Through the adVANce program, Mercedes-Benz is committing to support small businesses with up to €500,000 ($710,000) in backing from a €500 million ($710 million) pool, to help them explore innovative transport ideas that will satisfy the future needs of customers in the ‘last mile transportation of goods and people’ field.
As lead investor in Starship Technologies, Mercedes-Benz Vans is participating in the €16.5 million ($23.4 million) financing round. The two companies already introduced the so-called ‘mothership’ concept back in September 2016. The concept combines the advantages of a van with those of an autonomous delivery robot. A Sprinter presented as a prototype serves as a mobile loading and transport hub for eight robots. Thanks to the intelligent interlinking of delivery processes, it will play a part in significantly improving the efficiency of last-mile delivery logistics.
“The robot can only travel short distances under its own power and until now has had to return to the warehouse to be reloaded after each delivery,” said Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans. “The introduction of the van as a mobile hub widens the operational radius of the robots significantly, while also rendering superfluous the cost-intensive construction and operation of decentralised warehouses.
MercedesVans adVANce;
“We see the combination of these two technologies as an opportunity to give our van customers access to some completely new services and business models. At the same time, we make the delivery process much more convenient for the end customer. The concept makes it much easier to deliver goods to the end customer on time.”
The two companies announced at the recent CES 2017 in Las Vegas that initial pilot tests for this combination of van and robot will take place in Europe over the coming months, with a real-world environment pilot project scheduled to take place later this year.

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