Year: 2007

FedEx holds positive view to China Express market

FedEx Corp. expressed great confidence in China’s time definite delivery (TDD) business in 2008.

The US-based company will meet new opportunities in expanding its businesses in China as its new Asia-Pacific transferring center at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport is about to start operation in 2008 and the consuming market in the country is booming, said Eddy Chan, president of FedEx China.

The company has released its market promotion plan for 2008, with China as a focus. It purchased the stake of Tianjin Datian W. Group Co., Ltd. in their venture this March and Datian’s express assets in China, laying a good base for its plan in the country.

Besides, the US company started up its TDD services in China on June 28 this year, providing the services for customers in 19 cities of the country. It is providing overnight delivery service for over 30 main Chinese cities and next-day delivery service for over 200 cities in the country.

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Royal Mail loses contract to TNT

Royal Mail has been dumped by Preston council bosses in favour of postal operator TNT. Preston Council’s postal bill was slashed by over GBP 17,500 in the move.

Preston Council is expected to approve plans to transfer all mail to TNT although Royal Mail will still deliver the bulk of the mail through what is known as ‘Downstream Access’ – this is where rivals can sort and handle mail but leave Royal Mail to deliver it.

Royal Mail has complained to Postcomm that Downstream Access allows its rivals to poach business contracts but leaving Royal Mail to do the legwork.

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Czech Post wants to sell medicine

Czech postal service operator Èeská pošta (ÈP) plans to operate its own pharmacies in the future to better use the network of post offices.

ÈP CEO Karel Kratina said the company was interested in over-the-counter drugs. He added that CP is also considering the distribution of books as a way to better use its fleet of vehicles.

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Swiss economic minister Leuthard wants postal services liberalised

Swiss economic minister Doris Leuthard said she wants to see the Swiss postal service liberalised.

In an interview with Swiss newspaper NZZ am Sonntag, the federal councillor of the department of economic affairs said it is ‘conceivable’ that Swiss Post could become a form of listed company, pointing out that Swisscom AG is today already a listed company.

She added that she would also not rule out the possibility of adopting the Austrian model of a partial privatisation of Swiss Post. A draft on post market reform is to be presented by the department of the environment, transport, energy and communications.

As to whether the federal government should reduce its stake in Swisscom to under 50 pct, Leuthard said the issue will be discussed by the federal council — or the Swiss cabinet — in the coming four years.

‘I think that the Federation should hold a blocking minority stake for strategic reasons,’ she added.

The federal council will also be discussing the issue of sovereign wealth funds in Swiss companies and whether measures are needed to regulate such events, she said. In terms of foreign investments, the council will seek to clarify which companies would be defined as having strategic importance.

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DHL's Hickler shares views on shipper service, markets

LM: Much has been made of DHL’s commitment to improving customer service in the U.S. How are things going on that front?

HH: The important thing to note is that we are not claiming victory. We are putting a stake in the ground. Our industry—whether it is 3PLs, supply chains, or broader logistics—does not have a Starbucks- or Ritz-Carlton-type equivalent that says this company really gets the customer and is all about driving a better and unique customer experience. That is what we are targeting.

LM: How are you doing that?

HH: By coming in with the realization that customers in general are not thinking that our industry is about the customer. But we think there is a place for that, and our customers are telling us that. Bain & Company surveyed 360 companies and found that 80 percent of those surveyed said their customers were receiving superior service. That means there is a huge mismatch there, and we want to change that in our industry. It is a bold move, but I think that is what our brand stands for, and we have to do things to stand behind that.

LM: What steps need to be taken for DHL to stand behind that belief?

HH: We believe we need to shift from a performance paradigm to one of service. This industry has been one that is all about incredibly high performance levels, whether it is express, package delivery, or overnight. And it is in relation to how our processes are engineered, its relation to the IT capabilities, or just how we can deliver the product. It is a very performance-oriented discussion, and that is ingrained in the actual fabric of the product that the differentiation lies in the service paradigm. Those are the chips needed to get into the game; we need to be highly reliable across all dimensions, but that doesn’t really define anything that would “wow” the customer. That dimension is service.

LM: A lot of attention has been given to the state of our country’s transportation infrastructure, with congestion hitting maximum capacity and politicians and industry associations calling for a “national transportation policy” to address these issues head-on. What needs to happen to move in the right direction?

HH: The issues are the same as they have been since the West Coast labor strike occurred a few years back. The West Coast can very quickly become a bottleneck to transportation throughput, be that port throughput or road or rail infrastructure. In terms of national policy, understanding what the choke points are in how freight flows [for rail and trucking infrastructure component] is critical. From a customer standpoint, there is a lot of dialogue happening around adjusting the movement of goods and the location of distribution centers. They’re also looking at locations on different coasts to hedge themselves against problems. This is as much about customers looking at their supply chains as it is about legislation.

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Jetpak Night Flight shrinks Europe

The Nordic express delivery company Jetpak is launching a new service for the growing number of companies that have their central inventories in Northern Europe. With “Jetpak by Night” customers can place orders late in the evening and the goods are distributed from 7 a.m. throughout the Nordic region – or in the middle of the night if desired.

Jetpak collaborates with the airline Amapola, a subsidiary of Salénia AB, as well as with DANX in Denmark, which has years of experience of nighttime deliveries and whose delivery vans complement Jetpak’s 700 own delivery vans in the Nordic countries. Since April this year, Jetpak has also partnered with the German company time:matters for fast and reliable express deliveries in Europe.

A growing number of companies are moving their warehouses down to the Benelux countries. A total of 800 Nordic companies have already chosen to locate operations closer to the European market. At the same time, short storage times mean capital is also tied up for less time, while efficient distribution solutions become increasingly important.

The new “Jetpak by Night” service, which will be fully operational in February 2008, is expected to achieve annual sales of more than SEK 100 million (USD 15.56 million) and strengthen Jetpak’s position as the industry leader in door-to-door services by road and air.

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TNT Post: collective mobility agreement applies to efficiency projects

TNT Post intends starting a number of new projects in 2008 to standardise the collection, preparation, and delivery of mail as far as possible. The intention is to work more efficiently and thus contribute to the annual savings targets that were already announced and are necessary to remain successful in the longer term within a declining but increasingly competitive postal market.

After coordinating with the trade unions and the Works Council, TNT Post has decided that the various “social instruments” should already take effect with regard to employees who are subject to these efficiency measures.

In anticipation of the new collective labour agreement, employees of TNT Post to whom these measures apply can make use of the provisions of the collective mobility agreement that has already been drawn up. This social plan comprises a wide range of measures making it possible to carry out the planned reduction in the number of employees in a socially responsible manner. The expectation is that the reduction can largely be achieved by means of natural attrition and voluntary redundancies.

The collective mobility agreement will only take effect at the point when a new and satisfactory collective labour agreement takes effect for the company. These negotiations are currently taking place with the unions.

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Mexico's Postal Service Aims For MXN 10 Billion in Revenue By 2012

Mexico’s postal service said Thursday it aims to be self-funding with annual revenue of more than 10 billion pesos (USD 923.9 million) by 2012 under a five-year modernization plan.

In a press release, the postal service, or Sepomex, said to reach that goal, it will increase the number of mail carriers to 30,000 and open about 500 new offices by the end of 2012.

Sepomex currently has about 20,000 employees, 1,370 offices and annual revenue of about USD 250 million.

As part of its modernization program, the postal service will implement a tracking system for packages and has reached an agreement with the postal employees union to improve productivity.

Most firms in Mexico use private package delivery companies because of reliability problems with the postal service.

Sepomex has only two major corporate customers – phone company Telefonos de Mexico (TMX) and Citigroup Inc.’s (C) local unit, Banamex.

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