Mainfreight reveals its "best-ever" financial results

Mainfreight has announced its full year financial results to 31 March 2019 in what the company has referred to as its “best-ever” results. Highlights include:

  • Revenue $2.954 billion Up $337.39 million or 12.9 per cent
  • EBITDA $257.05 million Up $41.94 million or 19.5 per cent
  • Net profit (before abnormals) $141.08 million Up $29.08 million or 26.0 per cent
  • Adjusted for foreign exchange impact, revenue is up 10.8%, and EBITDA up 18.0 per cent

Specifically for Australia, the company reports a revenue of AU$710.17 million, up AU$86.90 million or 13.9 per cent.
According to a statement released by the company the organisation has a relatively slow start to our financial year, but ends with satisfactory full year results.
The statement reveals plans are underway for additional domestic freight facilities in Sydney and on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast and construction of a new Adelaide facility is expected to commence late 2019.
In the Logistics business, four new warehouses were opened with an additional AU$12 million of new business.
Mainfreight’s standing in the premium beverage sector continues to grow. New warehouse business has in turn flowed into domestic freight tonnage.
Additional warehousing capacity is planned in the coming year for Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, including purpose-designed capacity to aid warehousing of retail dangerous goods, which will be complemented by our specialist dangerous goods transport business, ChemCouriers.
In addition, the Air & Ocean business improved both its sales growth and profitability over the prior year, with a strong emphasis on export related growth, particularly in the perishable airfreight sector. As with the balance of our Air & Ocean network globally, there is an emphasis on the development of LCL consolidation activity, the statement concludes.
 
 

Descartes acquires NZ logistics tech company

Descartes, a global software-as-a-service solutions provider for logistics-intensive businesses has announced that it has acquired Core Transport Technologies NZ Limited, a NZ electronic transportation network that provides global air carriers and ground handlers with shipment scanning and tracking solutions.

CORE has been connecting commercial airlines, ground handlers and the wider logistics community with trading partners and government postal authorities around the world for more than ten years.

Customers use CORE’s network to accurately track international mail, parcel and cargo shipments as well as US domestic mail and parcel shipments. CORE’s solutions leverage mobile technologies and data analytics to help customers automate processes and increase operational efficiency.

“As US domestic and international ecommerce continues to grow, more demands are being placed on carriers and their partners to deliver efficiently and report events in real-time. The CORE acquisition complements our recent investment in Velocity Mail, helping us to better serve the logistics service provider community working with postal authorities around the world. CORE’s solutions also extend beyond mail and parcel shipment tracking, with air cargo tracking solutions that we can add to our Global Logistics Network,” Ken Wood, EVP of Product Management at Descartes said.

“We continue to look for opportunities to add customers, solutions and content to our Global Logistics Network to help our customers manage the lifecycle of shipments. By combining with CORE, we’re strengthening our position in the growing domestic and global ecommerce market. We’re also adding new solutions to our Descartes Global Air Messaging Gateway that we believe will present a compelling opportunity for our global air cargo community to enhance real-time tracking and visibility of air shipments.,” said Edward J. Ryan, Descartes’ CEO.

CORE is headquartered in Nelson, New Zealand. Descartes acquired CORE for up-front consideration of $US 21.0 million, plus potential performance-based consideration. The up-front consideration was satisfied with cash from Descartes’ existing acquisition line of credit. The maximum amount payable under the all-cash performance-based earn-out is $US 9.0 million, based on CORE achieving revenue-based targets in each of the first two years post-acquisition. Any earn-out is expected to be paid in fiscal 2021 and fiscal 2022.

DB Schenker to acquire NZ firm SB Global Logistics

DB Schenker and SB Global Logistics have entered into a definitive agreement under which DB Schenker will acquire SB Global Logistics from 24 September 2017.
“DB Schenker NZ has enjoyed a 20-year relationship with SB Logistics, from which we have seen both companies grow together off the back of mutual respect and confidence in service,” said Mark Harrison, Director – New Zealand, DB Schenker AU/NZ.
“This relationship has endured through many challenging global climates, always showing resilience and trust in achieving the foundations of our agreement.  The backbone of this relationship has led us to today, where we begin our process of merging the two organisations with absolute confidence given our extensive knowledge of how each work.”
Stephen Bateman, Director, SB Global Logistics added, “This purchase has been well thought out with due consideration to the future of SB Global Logistics business, staff and customers.
“SB Global Logistics Christchurch has grown over the past 27 years to become a well-respected and trusted organisation. This is a credit to a team of people who have shown tremendous dedication and resilience, and always striving to achieve a high level of service.”
The operations of SB Global Logistics Christchurch will continue ‘business as usual’ under its new owner, DB Schenker, and its management team will remain in the business to ensure a smooth transition.

Uni students compete with autonomous robot technology

Engineering students from across Australia and New Zealand are exploring smart transport technology through an autonomous robotics competition in September.
This year, the National Instruments Autonomous Robotics Competition (NIARC) has a theme of ‘Transportation Innovation’, which will see the autonomous robots navigate a ‘smart city’.
The robots must follow road rules, adjust speed in line with school zones and highways, pick up ‘passengers’ and return home safely. Each robot’s objective is to earn the most amount of points by completing the required tasks as quickly and efficiently as possible.
“Today’s vehicles are supercomputers on wheels but there are still so many exciting innovations to come,” said Chandran Nair, Vice President for Asia-Pacific, National Instruments.
“Car manufacturers are racing to bring autonomous vehicles to market and the technology has the potential to change everything about the way we move people and goods. That’s why we are so excited to be able to offer students the opportunity to be a part of that change.
“The industry will face increasingly complex systems and demands for improved speed, productivity and efficiency. By enabling the students to work with industry-leading hardware and software, we can help provide them with the real-world skills needed to become tomorrow’s top engineers.”
Now in its seventh year, NIARC has grown from just 11 teams to more than two dozen, all from leading Australian and New Zealand universities. Previous winners include, University of Wollongong (2016), University of South Australia (2015), University of New South Wales (2014) and more.

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CEO of NZ materials handling firm Gough Group to retire

New Zealand-based transport, materials handling and equipment supplier Gough Group has announced its CEO, Karl Smith, will retire at the end of 2017.
According to the Gough Group, Smith has been CEO for the last nine years and is retiring to take up new opportunities within New Zealand.
He has led the company of more than 850 employees and its network of over 50 locations in Australia and New Zealand since 2008, and Board Chair, Keith Taylor, described him as a “tenacious and resilient leader” who had made a “tremendous contribution” to the Gough Group.
“He leaves an excellent foundation for the Group to continue to grow in both New Zealand and Australia,” Taylor said.
“Karl has been an inspirational leader of the Group across our New Zealand and Australian businesses and has built a great culture with our team, our customers, and our major original equipment manufacturers such as Caterpillar, Palfinger, Hyster-Yale, SAF-Holland and WABCO.”
Deputy Chairman and Majority Owner, Ben Gough, said Smith would leave a lasting legacy of performance and leadership in all his dealings across the many stakeholders.
“The past few months have seen the highest monthly sales for the Group in our 85-year history and we now have the strongest order bank we have seen for over 10 years under Karl’s leadership. We will sorely miss him,” Gough said.

Cloud software company wins New Zealand Post contract

Australia and New Zealand cloud software company PrimeQ has won a major contract with New Zealand Post designed to improve parcel and mail monitoring and deliveries.
PrimeQ will help the parcel service to deliver over 560 million items each year by automating its transportation and warehousing requirements through the Cloud.
PrimeQ will install, deliver and support cloud-based transport management system (TMS) and warehouse management system (WMS) software from Oracle.
“New Zealand Post will be able to monitor deliveries in real time, creating a better customer experience via the Cloud,” said Andrew McAdams, CEO, PrimeQ.
“PrimeQ’s installation of a state-of-the-art TMS will use the power of data to track the transportation of letters and parcels at every step of their journey and improve planning of bulk pick-ups and deliveries.
“PrimeQ is also consolidating and upgrading New Zealand Post’s WMS to better service e-commerce businesses seeking to outsource their warehousing and deliveries.”
Design work on New Zealand Post’s new TMS and WMS is now complete, with final configuration and pilot testing due to commence in the coming weeks.
“Our work with PrimeQ will contribute to improved parcel and mail deliveries across the country,” said Alan Court, General Manager – Transport and Logistics, New Zealand Post.
“It will also support the growth of New Zealand Post’s third-party logistics business, using the benefits of the Cloud.”
McAdams said PrimeQ would support New Zealand Post to become the first organisation in New Zealand to transfer a WMS into the Cloud.
“This is a major win for PrimeQ off the back of our rapid expansion in New Zealand and will create significant benefits for New Zealand Post,” he said.
“By replacing New Zealand Post’s legacy system with cloud-based Oracle solutions, PrimeQ can offer lower capital costs and rapid implementation times while creating greater delivery efficiencies.
“We will go live within six months, compared with 12 to 18 months for an on-premise system.
“Oracle has established a three-year SaaS subscription with New Zealand Post that includes technical support.”
PrimeQ is the only business in Australia and New Zealand to focus solely on Oracle cloud business solutions and services.

NZ and China expansion for FreightExchange

Sydney company FreightExchange is looking to take its online freight capacity marketplace overseas, with support from the NSW Government.
John Barilaro, Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW, Small Business and Skills, said the company, which received a $98,000 Building Partnerships Grant from the private sector–led, NSW government–backed ‘Jobs for NSW’ program, had grown 587 per cent in 2015/16, with revenue of more than $1 million and over 800 carriers and 1,700 shippers on its books.
“FreightExchange is a great example of a clever company developing technology to make NSW more efficient while creating jobs and growing the economy,” said Barilaro.
“Former management consultant and FreightExchange founder and CEO Cate Hull saw the massive amount of under-utilised capacity of trucks on Australian roads and she knew she was on to something.
“This smart online platform uses GPS tracking to take advantage of unused capacity on long-haul freight by connecting shippers with carriers and allowing them to instantly book their freight, get a price and get it moving.
“The company, which now has 12 staff and focuses on long-haul trucking, has developed apps which allow companies big and small to plug directly into the system to match unused capacity with freight orders instantly.
“After building the company from scratch, Cate is now hoping to take the company global, with a pilot set for New Zealand this month and plans to expand to Shenzhen, Singapore and Hong Kong,” Barilaro added.
Hull said the Jobs for NSW Building Partnerships grant had been a huge help in growing the business.
“To big businesses it might sound like a small amount but to us it was significant,” she said.
“We used the Jobs for NSW grant to build the product, but also to deal with the growing pains of a small company – the team has close to doubled in the past year.
“The more we can drive efficiency the better it is for NSW. The dream is to create a platform that in future orchestrates self-driving trucks and automates the buying of selling and freight capacity internationally – a global platform,” Hull said.

New General Manager for beverage logistics firm

Asset pooling beverage transport company Kegstar, owned by Brambles Limited, has announced the appointment of a new General Manager Australia & New Zealand, Nick Boots.
Boots brings over 20 years’ experience in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), beer, wine and supply chain industries, having worked for Nestlé, CUB, Fosters Wine Estates, McWilliams Wines Group and Supply Chain Services Australia.
Kegstar owns and manages stainless steel kegs on behalf of its customers – collecting empty kegs and redeploying them to other customers in the pool. Each Kegstar keg is uniquely identified and tracked when the keg moves through the supply chain.
The business launched in December 2012 with 880 kegs, one person and one customer. Global supply chain logistics company Brambles acquired a 30 per cent stake in March 2014 and moved to 100 per cent ownership on 1 December 2015. In Australia and New Zealand, Kegstar now owns in excess of 100,000 kegs that it rents to more than 150 customers each year.
“I am honoured to be working with the amazing team at Kegstar in Australia and New Zealand,” said Boots. “The Kegstar keg pooling model is the ideal format for brewers, cider producers, wineries and spirits producers looking for a keg solution that will take their business to the next level.
“Having worked with world-class brands over the past 20 years, I look forward to tapping into my own experience to ensure we continue to provide outstanding service offerings to our customers, partnering with them as they delight consumers.

CouriersPlease appoints new COO

Parcel delivery service CouriersPlease has appointed Hoy Yen Hooper as its new Chief Operating Officer.

Mark McGinley, CEO, and Hoy Yen Hooper, Chief Operating Officer, CouriersPlease.
Mark McGinley, CEO, and Hoy Yen Hooper, Chief Operating Officer, CouriersPlease.

Hoy Yen will drive the strategy and innovation of the company’s national operations as it expands its delivery and courier network across the country and overseas, overseeing the delivery of the more-than 17 million parcels CouriersPlease delivers yearly.
 
She will be responsible for the overall management, performance and strategic direction of CouriersPlease’s operations and instilling a customer-led, product-focus approach within the organisation.
Hoy Yen has nearly two decades of general management and commercial experience in the Australian and New Zealand logistics and supply chain sectors, most recently as the Head of Commercial Operations at Sendle, and previously as Managing Director at DHL eCommerce Oceania, and Commercial and Operations Manager at Deutsche Post Global Mail (Australia).
“I am looking forward to heading up the operations at CP at an exciting time for the logistics and eCommerce market in Australia,” said Hoy Yen. “With big players such as Amazon and Alibaba coming to our shores for the first time, CouriersPlease aims to become a leader in parcel deliveries.
“To meet this aim, I will be working towards cementing CouriersPlease’s focus, as an organisation, on customers. We will work hard to ensure that we develop solutions that meet customer needs in the ever-changing eCommerce environment.
 
“CouriersPlease is already about to launch some exciting customer-centric developments, including re-delivery to a neighbour, and I am keen to work with the team to launch them in the market.”
CouriersPlease CEO Mark McGinley said, “Hoy Yen has an exceptional track record in the industry, in strategy development, improving business processes and implementing new initiatives. She is bringing with her a vast depth of knowledge and experience in logistics and supply-chain management that will help drive the CP business as it expands operations to support the growing online retail market.”

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