Rounding up the top stories of the week from the pages of Post&Parcel, with EU clearance for La Poste and Swiss Post to merge international units, FedEx completing two acquisitions, and PostNL rethinking its consolidation plans…
FedEx Express acquires Rapidão Cometa and TATEX
This week saw FedEx Express completing two acquisitions to expand its operations in Brazil and in France.
Acquiring its Brazilian express logistics partner, Rapidão Cometa e Transportes, FedEx took on a company that had annual revenues of more than $500m in 2011. Recife-based Rapidão Cometa has been operating about 70 years, running a range of air and freight transport and logistics services to more than 5,300 locations across Brazil.
The company also completed its acquisition of French business-to-business express firm TATEX, which currently handles more than 19m shipments each year, with about 700 vehicles and 1,000 employees generating annual revenues of about EUR 150m.
USPS network consolidation plans getting under way
With the US Postal Service now in the process of consolidating its mail processing network, its Inspector General has called for lessons to be learned from a particularly problematic consolidation carried out last year.
The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found that the consolidation of a single mail plant in Maryland, close to the US capital, led to “significant” delays in mail services and a $558,000 increase in transport costs.
The Postal Service is set to close 48 of its 461 area mail processing plants across the United States in the next two months, with plans to close a further 92 in January and February 2013.
EU Commission approves La Poste/Swiss Post international JV
The European Commission approved clearance for La Poste and Swiss Post to bring together their international mail businesses, although the Swiss operator will have to sell Swiss Post International France.
The French and Swiss national postal operators believe they can better compete against the major players in the international mail market by working together. The Commission said it had concerns that unless SPI France is sold, La Poste would become more dominant in the French international mail market, but Swiss Post confirmed it will sell the unit.
The new venture will provide international outbound business mail delivery services and mail preparation services, logistics services, express delivery services and freight forwarding. It will also offer marketing and contract logistics for the print media industry, and international standard business-to-consumer parcel delivery – which would include ecommerce packages.
DPD launches carbon neutral shipping in six markets
European parcel carried DPD has now adopted carbon neutrality for its services in six major markets, at no extra charge to customers.
The company owned by La Poste’s GeoPost Group officially started its “Total Zero” programme at the start of July in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Netherlands, the Benelux region and Switzerland.
The offsets will apply to shipments originating from those markets, regardless of where those items are bound, anywhere in the world. The firm said its other business units across Europe should begin providing Total Zero from 2013.
PostNL to slow delivery network reorganisation
PostNL has suspended its closure programme for delivery offices in the Netherlands for the rest of the year, after agreeing with unions to rethink plans to reorganise its letter mail delivery network.
The Dutch postal service had been planning to centralise its delivery operations into nine key processing plants and to close around 300 delivery offices. It had also been planning to switch to part-time workers as part of efforts to reduce costs and improve flexibility with regard to arising mail volumes.
Responding to quality problems in its restructured delivery operations, PostNL said this week it will now undertake its reorganisation in phases, postponing the opening of new central preparation locations to 2013. It will now test out the approach in a number of pilot studies.