Year: 2004

UK Business Express could be sold

Patricia Hewitt, the Trade and Industry Secretary, must decide by January 23 whether to force Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay to sell or close the home shopping business they bought from GUS May 2003.

Alternatively, it may ask the Barclay brothers to sell off the equivalent arm of their Littlewoods home shopping group, Business Express. The commission is concerned that the combined businesses will have a significant share of the home delivery business, restricting competition.

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FedEx moves Asia hub to China

FedEx will move its Asia-Pacific transport and distribution centre from the Philippines to Guangzhou, China, the Guangzhou Daily has reported. According to FedEx, the lease of the eight-year-old Asia-Pacific hub in Subic Bay in the Philippines expires in 2007, and the runway and apron at Subic Bay have limited expansion room due to its deep water and hillside boundaries.

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New Omani Postal Law in Offing

As part of the government’s plan to privatise Oman’s postal services, the government is proposing a comprehensive postal law. “The government is currently evaluating a strategic report prepared by an adviser. The plan is to restructure and commercialise the country’s postal sector,” Ahmed bin Abdulnabi Macki, minister of national economy and deputy chairman of the Financial Affairs and Energy Resources Council said. “In fact, the plan is to introduce commercialisation ahead of privatisation. Privatisation is expected to improve efficiency and help the sector remain competitive. “The plan also involves development of a comprehensive postal law and regulations. Privatisation of the sector will follow the restructuring, after having operated for a period on a commercial basis.” Macki added.

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Plan emerges for Japan Post

The state-run Japan Post will likely be transformed into a special joint-stock corporation in which the government would have a 100% stake, government sources said.

The planned corporation would operate subsidiaries to provide nationwide mail-delivery services and regionally-based postal savings and insurance services, according to the sources.

These ideas constitute a sketch of plans being contemplated as a result of the government’s ongoing study of how to privatize the three state-administered postal services–mail-delivery, postal savings and insurance services.

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TAT Express and La Poste

The expres parcels service TAT Express (see photo), which belongs to the french stata mail service La Poste recently announced a comprehensive restructuring programme. Under the first phase, 380 jobs will be cut and depots closed. TAT Express is to close 14 of its present 47 branches across France. The affected branches are those in Agen, Angers, Arras, Beauvais, Chilly- Mazarin, Limoges, Metz, Mulhouse, Pau, Saint-Etienne, Saintes Toulon, Valence and Roissy.

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The GLS Holding, parent compamy of 18 European parcel, courier and express serbice companie, is to construct new premesis costing EUR 5 million in Lyon (France. Upon completion, the present depot and regional hub will be merged. Construction work is expected to start in the first quarter of 2004 and to be completed in time for the companys autumn season.

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20% growth in demand for express courier services in Mumbai

The express and courier industry has had a good year with corporates adopting logistics solutions in a big way. At the same time, the common man is accessing express and courier services on a daily basis, according to Mr Tushar Jani, Chairman, Blue Dart Express Ltd.

The demand for express and courier services has spurred around 20% growth in the segment over the year, he said.

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Internet plan for UK post offices

Plans to offer free Internet kiosks in the UK’s 18,000 sub post offices to allow customers to pay bills online are being drawn up, it was confirmed.

The Federation of Sub Postmasters said it was working on the proposals in a move to secure the future of post offices.

Customers would be able to shop online, pay bills and search for local information via touch screens inside the special kiosks.

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