All-new Toyota HiAce vans for Australia

Toyota has launched an all-new HiAce range of vans. According to Toyota Australia, the first new HiAce in 15 years offer improvements in driver comfort, performance, safety and functionality with the same expansive carrying capacity as its predecessor.
As the first new HiAce in 15 years, it has been completely redesigned with a new semi-bonneted configuration to more than meet the needs of commercial, private, corporate and fleet buyers.
Sitting on a substantially longer and wider all-new platform, the new HiAce combines efficient new turbodiesel and V6 petrol engines that deliver more power, refinement and driveability, the latest suite of Toyota Safety Sense features and a redesigned cabin with improved ergonomics for greater driver comfort and convenience.
Toyota Vice President Sales and Marketing Sean Hanley said every aspect of the all-new HiAce has been designed to appeal to owners who often spend long days behind the wheel.
“Its impressive carrying capacity is even more flexible and user-friendly with increased internal width, and increased height on LWB versions, and dual sliding side doors on van models which, for the SLWB variants, can take a standard Australian pallet. We are also providing HiAce customers with the same high level of safety as found in our passenger cars and SUVs with a full suite of advanced Toyota Safety Sense technologies,” Sean said.

Amazon invests in delivery start-up Deliveroo

Deliveroo has announced that Amazon is leading a new $575MM Series G shared funding round. This will make Amazon the largest investor in this round.
Amazon joins existing investors T Rowe Price, Fidelity Management and Research Company, and Greenoaks.
According to the company, this series of funding will bring customers the food they want whenever and wherever they want it, offering even more work for riders, and helping restaurants to grow their businesses by reaching new customers.
“Amazon has been an inspiration to me personally and to the company, and we look forward to working with such a customer-obsessed organisation. This is great news for the tech and restaurant sectors, and it will help to create jobs in all of the countries in which we operate,” Will Shu, founder and CEO of Deliveroo said.
“We’re impressed with Deliveroo’s approach, and their dedication to providing customers with an ever increasing selection of great restaurants along with convenient delivery options. Will and his team have built an innovative technology and service, and we’re excited to see what they do next,” Doug Gurr, Country Manager, Amazon UK said.
The new investment will contribute to:

  • Growing Deliveroo’s engineering team based in its London headquarters
  • Expanding Deliveroo’s delivery reach in order to continue offering its service to new customers
  • New innovations in the food sector, for example through delivery-only super kitchens “Editions”, as well as new formats that will help restaurants expand to new areas at a lower cost and lower risk, bringing more choice to local neighbourhood
  • Increased support for restaurant partners, and new tools to offer riders flexible and well-paid work

Read more about Deliveroo in Australia here.

Study reveals winning logistics strategies for the last mile

Increasing urbanisation is making the last mile of delivery more complex and critical for the success of e-commerce companies, according to new research and market research.

With over 600 million more people forecast to live in urban environments by 2030 and new technologies creating opportunities for both service enhancement and disruption, online retailers and their logistics partners are being challenged to embrace bold new approaches in order to survive and compete. In the white paper, Shortening the Last Mile: Winning Logistics Strategies in the Race to the Urban Consumer, DHL and Euromonitor have identified the four main trends that are shaping urban last mile transportation –localised delivery, flexi-delivery networks, seasonal logistics and evolving technologies –and ways in which companies can adapt their supply chains to the changing market environment and achieve competitive advantage.

“The last mile is increasingly becoming the key battleground in the e-commerce supply chain, and companies will have to develop targeted strategies in this area to compete effectively. It’s not just about transportation, but about companies’ overall approach to managing inventory –getting the right items to the right place at the right time. DHL is developing focused solutions to help e-commerce companies reach their end customers quickly and efficiently, from using machine learning to better route shipments within cities to adding more automation to our delivery networks,” Katja Busch, Chief Commercial Officer, DHL said.

The white paper found that the major urban trends all create various challenges in terms of cost, service impact and organisational strain. For example, the growth of seasonal logistics as a result of increasingly popular holidays and promotional days such as Asia’s Singles’ Day or national Cyber Days, places significant pressure on logistics companies to build up additional capacity and hire resources to cope with short-term volume surges, which can in turn be difficult to predict. Urban customers’ demands for speed and convenience are forcing retailers to overhaul their warehousing networks, replacing centralised networks with local fulfilment and distribution infrastructure, which can require more accurate balancing of inventory.


First-ever worldwide drones standards unveiled

The ISO Draft International Standards for Drone Operations have been released for public consultation, with the final adoption of the world’s first drone standards expected in 2019.
The rules, which form a voluntary code of practice, are the first set of international standards for drones.
“Most drone makers are doing everything they can, but some don’t use existing materials. They may not come from an aviation background, for example. Everybody across the industry believes drones can be safe and of great benefit to mankind. Operators and service providers alike are keen to establish a baseline,” Robert Garbett, ISO drone expert said.
The standards include a flying “etiquette” around no-fly zones, geo-fencing technology that can stop flights in restricted areas, flight logging requirements as well as training and maintenance standards.
They also call on flyers to keep drone hardware and software up to date and have a human monitor for all flights.
Read more:

what3words enters the mainstream logistics chain

DB Schenker is integrating what3words location technology into the eSchenker portal, with the aim of improving operational efficiencies by allowing deliveries to be made to any precise three by three meter squares.
what3words has divided the world into this squares, each with a unique address made from three dictionary words – a 3-word-address.
///smiling.always.seating, for example, refers to the exact three meter square of the front door to the DB Schenker Head Office in Essen.
The what3words integration will enable more than 110,000 DB Schenker clients, who make over 500,000 bookings a month, to optimize their supply chains by specifying pick-up and drop-off points using a 3-word-address.
CIO/CDO of DB Schenker Markus Sontheimer said: “Our cooperation with what3words is a new service of DB Schenkers’ ‘connect strategy’ towards a fully digital eco-system. Especially with regard to trade shows or exhibitions, it provides our drivers with exact delivery points and thus allows us to serve our customers even faster and better.”
CCO of what3words Clare Jones said: “In a recent study conducted in Germany, we found that 73% deliveries struggle to find a home or business address. And, in more than a quarter of cases, delivery drivers have to seek additional information in order to locate an exact drop-off point. what3words solves this problem for both sides – improving efficiencies and improving customer service.”
Logistics companies around the world face a global challenge: imprecise addressing. Large sites such as factories, warehouses or events spaces often have several access points, making specific drop-off locations or delivery entrances extremely hard to identify and navigate to. The DB eSchenker portal is paving the way in the logistics industry. By adopting new technologies such as what3words, shipments are likely to get to their destination securely and on time, maintaining the highest standard of customer service possible.
Deutsche Bahn invested in what3words in 2016, with the two companies working together on the future of logistics and transport.

E‑commerce logistics costs hit USD 117.2 billion in 2017

A report published Thursday by Armstrong & Associates, Inc. (A&A) estimates that e‑commerce logistics costs in the US hit $117.2 billion — representing 6.9% of total US logistics costs. The report, E‑Commerce Logistics in the United States, provides a deep‑dive into e‑commerce logistics in the US, with a focus on domestic and international transportation, warehousing and fulfilment, last‑mile delivery, and reverse logistics.
E‑commerce retail is no longer a novelty — it’s the new normal. The industry has shown significant and sustained growth. In the last five years, we’ve seen a compound annual growth rate close to 15%, and the industry shows no sign of slowing down.
The role logistics plays in e‑commerce retail can’t be overemphasised. Providing two‑day delivery for a seemingly endless assortment of products is no small feat. E‑commerce as we know it would not be possible without a vast, efficient logistics infrastructure. Logistics networks are quickly growing and changing to meet the ever‑higher bar set by e‑commerce retailers.
The e-commerce ‘extra mile’
We frequently talk about the ‘last mile’ in logistics, the short but costly final leg of a product’s journey. E‑commerce retail has taken this concept a step further. The shift from brick‑and‑mortar to e‑commerce retail has resulted in a such a significant addition to the typical logistics journey for retail products that we think of this as e-commerce’s ‘extra mile’.
The well-travelled path from distribution centre to store location is being replaced by a much more complex series of moves: from distribution centres to fulfillment centres to parcel hubs and sortation centres to last-mile delivery providers for residential delivery. As logistically complex product categories such as groceries and furniture make the shift to e‑commerce, the ‘extra mile’ is only becoming more cumbersome and costly.
E‑commerce’s ‘extra mile’ was previously travelled by someone else — the customer. E‑commerce retail has assumed an entire logistics step that had previously only existed on a very small scale. Logistics networks have undergone dramatic changes to accommodate e‑commerce, but the transformation is far from complete. We estimate US e‑commerce logistics costs will grow at a rate of 18.8% through 2020.
About the report
E‑Commerce Logistics in the United States is for logistics providers, retailers, investors, and researchers who wish to understand the massive shift in logistics networks supporting e‑commerce retail. Readers will gain an in‑depth knowledge of e-commerce retail’s impact on domestic and international transportation, warehousing, last‑mile delivery, and reverse logistics; key logistics cost drivers; major challenges and innovative solutions; and services and technologies provided by leading third-party logistics providers.
Topics include:

  • E‑Commerce Logistics Costs and 3PL Revenues for 2017–2020E.
  • E‑Commerce Networks, Transportation Logistics, and Domestic Transportation Management.
  • The Last Mile.
  • E‑Commerce Warehousing and Value‑Added Services.
  • Cross‑Border E‑Commerce Logistics and International Transportation Management.
  • E‑Commerce Reverse Logistics.

 Logistics providers, retailers, and technology providers are rapidly innovating to create tomorrow’s e‑commerce landscape. Ten ‘Focus On’ sections provide case studies or analyses of emerging topics, including:

  • Amazon Logistics (including our estimates for Amazon’s total inbound, outbound, and fulfillment costs).
  • Same‑Day Grocery Delivery.
  • Value‑Added Warehousing and Distribution Services for Beauty Products and High‑End Apparel.
  • Shifting International Logistics Networks and the Global Impact of E‑Commerce on Fast Fashion.
  • Seasonality Trends in Cross-Border E‑Commerce Logistics.


Global logistics spending expected to reach $10.6 trillion by 2020

Recent research revealed by Frost & Sullivan finds that global logistics spending is expected to reach $10.6 trillion in 2020, with transportation accounting for the majority at 70%.
Emerging technologies such as cloud computing, big data, and crowd sourcing, coupled with an influx of tech-savvy start-ups, are revolutionising the space of urban logistics.
About two fifths of the overall logistics costs are associated with the last mile that are forcing providers to come up with newer innovative solutions to deliver packages within cities.
The research predicts the logistics market will rapidly move toward mobile freight brokerage-type, on-demand deliveries and autonomous technology, such as the use of drones and delivery bots which are set to solve the last mile delivery challenge by being more cost-effective to end users with lesser regulatory mandates.
“Spiralling last-mile delivery costs and changing customer demands are causing retailers to rethink their strategies and look toward new business models such as click-and-collect, locker boxes, on-demand and autonomous solutions,” said Vijay Narayanan Natarajan, Visionary Innovation Senior Research Analyst at Frost & Sullivan. “Moreover, the influx of start-ups in logistics has enabled innovative solutions that not only provide value-creation customized solutions for the consumer, but also tackle the inefficiencies currently witnessed.”
Further trends and developments driving growth include:

  • Digital freight brokering platforms reducing empty miles by 8% to 10%;
  • Shift toward low-emission and zero-emission solutions, such as use of low-carbon vehicles or bicycles;
  • Fleet operators expanding their strategies by developing urban distribution centers for effective logistics management; and
  • Retailers focusing on compact stores to reduce capital expenditure and bring products closer to a growing urban customer base.
Australia’s national truck laws must be substantially redrafted, the Australian Trucking Association said in response to the first issues paper of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) review.

Don’t ban the 'B' from the ‘CBD’

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) believes increasing restrictions on vehicular access in CBD areas across Australia are making it increasingly difficult for the freight logistics industry to serve consumers and businesses.
“To put it bluntly, Australia’s cities are not freight-friendly. This is an inevitable consequence of planning systems that do not properly account for freight movement,” said ALC managing director Michael Kilgariff.
“Australia is already one of the most highly urbanised countries in the world, and a significant proportion of the residential and employment growth projected to occur in the years ahead will be heavily concentrated in CBD areas.
“Accordingly, if we wish to grow our cities and ensure their continuing functionality and amenity, we must adopt policies which can support an increasing freight task.
“Yet increasingly, many of our urban planning systems and policy-makers pursue policies that impede urban freight delivery, especially in CBD areas, by limiting access for heavy vehicles,” Mr Kilgariff noted.
“A central business district is, first and foremost, a place of business. 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.
“Banning vehicles from city centres altogether – as some advocate – is neither realistic nor desirable. 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. Our planning systems must facilitate efficient freight movement, while also protecting amenity.”
Freight Doesn’t Vote – the ALC’s submission to the Discussion Paper on National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities – includes several suggestions from industry for dealing with the challenges of CBD freight delivery, including reverse curfews, trialling urban consolidation stations, and establishing freight-only infrastructure to facilitate more efficient deliveries.
“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 CBD – to be places of business – is in jeopardy,” Mr Kilgariff concluded.

Will retailers kill off transporters?

Amazon is moving into transport in a big way: first airfreight and now local deliveries.
Amazon and Walmart are moving to take greater control of customer deliveries, increasing the level of vertical integration across their supply chains. Is this the start of a trend and should parcel companies begin to worry?
Amazon trials own service…
Analytiqa reports that according to press reports, Amazon is trialling a delivery service in the US to make more products available for free, two-day delivery. According to reports on Bloomberg, the service began two years ago in India, and in recent months, Amazon has been marketing the service to US merchants in preparation for a national launch.
Reportedly named ‘Seller Flex’, trials have started in US West Coast states in anticipation of a wider launch in 2018
Set to rival the activities of parcel carriers like UPS and FedEx, Amazon will manage the pickup of packages from warehouses of third-party merchants selling goods on and their delivery to customers’ homes. Whilst Amazon could still use its traditional couriers for deliveries, it will now decide how a package is sent instead of sellers making those decisions, increasing the level of vertical integration across its supply chain.
The move is expected to provide Amazon greater flexibility and control over ‘last mile’ deliveries. It could assist in relieving overcrowding in its logistics centres as merchandise could be stored sellers’ own facilities, whilst also helping it to cut costs by achieving volume discounts.
… while Walmart buys Parcel delivery company
Walmart has acquired Parcel, a technology based, same-day and last-mile delivery company specialising in perishable and non-perishable delivery to customers in New York City. They also provide services like scheduled evening delivery and custom text message notifications for high-growth e-commerce companies looking to differentiate their customer service.
Parcel will continue to serve its existing clients, but Walmart will also utilise the start-up’s technology and network of delivery employees to offer its own same-day delivery for both and in New York City.
Jet already delivers some orders for no extra fee on the same day they are ordered, and Walmart believes Parcel will help it reduce the operating costs associated with those deliveries. will also start testing same-day delivery in the city soon, and both Jet and Walmart will offer both general merchandise as well as fresh and frozen groceries as part of these new express delivery options.

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