<![CDATA[ Hapag-Lloyd launches online quotes tool ]]> Hapag-Lloyd has launched a new quotation tool “Quick Quotes” enabling online direct bookings.

Hapag-Lloyd has launched the new online Quick Quotes quotation tool enabling shippers around the world to speed up their quotation process for container shipments.

Quick Quotes generates online quotations for container shipments in seconds and provides clients transparency on the detailed pricing. To get an online quotation for a shipment, all one has to do is log in via the Hapag-Lloyd website, choose the start location and end location as well as a commodity and container type. Customers will receive a binding quotation within seconds and can then make their bookings right away via the Hapag-Lloyd online business platform.

Besides getting a quote and placing an immediate booking for a shipment, additional services are available such as checking for shipping schedules, managing documents or tracking shipments.

“Quick Quotes enables our customers globally to get a fast quotation at any time, which will contribute to a better and more efficient customer experience,” said Rolf Habben Jansen, chief executive officer of Hapag-Lloyd.

Source: Hapag- Lloyd

<![CDATA[ Royal Mail launches UK’s first ever parcel postbox ]]> Royal Mail has launched a trial for the UK’s first ever parcel post-boxes in Northampton and Leicester.

Royal Mail has launched its first ever parcel post-boxes in Northampton and Leicester, attempting to help small businesses and eBayers.

The parcel post-box trail in the Midlands will allow customers to post pre-paid parcels through securely designed parcel post-boxes, in the same way that they currently post a letter. The trial will run until November and has seen 30 post-boxes adapted to accept parcels.

For the proof of concept trial, Royal Mail is repurposing some existing meter mail drop boxes. With a wider aperture and secure design for mailing larger items, the parcel post-boxes make the posting of larger prepaid parcels both safe and convenient.

For the trial, 17 parcel post-boxes will be sited in Northampton and 13 in Leicester. At the end of the trial, Royal Mail will review consumer feedback and usage of the parcel post-boxes. A decision will then be made whether or not to introduce some parcel post-boxes in various locations across the UK.

A spokesperson for Royal Mail Parcels, commented “The trial is aimed at giving more flexibility to online sellers who might be running a business in their spare time and not keeping regular office hours.”

Source: Royal Mail Group

<![CDATA[ Universal Logistics Holdings acquires Southern Counties Express ]]> Universal Logistics Holdings has announced its acquisition of Southern Counties Express for a cash purchase price of $65m.

Universal Logistics Holdings has announced its acquisition of Southern Counties Express. Servicing the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach for more than 25 years, Southern Counties offers full-service harbour drayage, transloading, warehousing, and project cargo services to a portfolio of companies across a number of industries, including retail, electronics and health & fitness equipment. Partnering with over 250 independent contractors, Southern Counties reported total operating revenues of $54.4m for the year-ended December 31, 2017. Pursuant to the acquisition, Southern Counties will operate as part of Universal Intermodal, Inc. and is expected to be immediately accretive.  

Jeff Rogers, Universal’s Chief Executive Officer, commented on the acquisition: “The addition of Southern Counties gives Universal a meaningful footprint in southern California and a solid platform for further expansion in this key transportation market.”  

The cash purchase price was $65m, subject to customary post-closing adjustments. Plethora Businesses served as exclusive financial advisor to Southern Counties.

Source: Universal Logistics

<![CDATA[ Walmart, JD.com invest $500m in Chinese logistics service ]]> The Chinese firm Dada-JD Daojia has announced that $500m, invested jointly from Walmart and JD.com, will bolster its network.

Dada-JD Daojia has raised $500m from existing backers JD.com and Walmart, which it says will quicken the growth of its delivery network across China.

The logistics company said it intends to use the funds to invest in supply chain technology and serve merchants on its platform, which connects scooter-riding drivers in about 400 cities with about 1.2m online merchants and delivers everything from packages to groceries. Walmart’s Chinese-based supermarkets are one of Dada-JD Daojia’s key clients. It currently serves 200 Walmart stores in 30 major Chinese cities.

Formed when JD merged certain business assets with Dada Nexus Ltd., the company is distinct from JD’s own logistics operations in that it mostly relies on freelance couriers. 

Philip Kuai, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Dada-JD Daojia commented: “At peak times, Dada-JD Daojia delivers 1m orders per day, and its platform also acts as a shopping portal that promises delivery within an hour of orders. Dada-JD Daojia will deepen our partnership with leading retail partners and improve supply chain efficiency via technology.” 

Source: Scmp.com

<![CDATA[ Japan Post Group reports fourth quarter financial results ]]> Japan Post Holdings’ ordinary income has decreased by 3.4% year-over-year.

Japan Post Holdings has released its financial results for the fourth quarter ended June 30, 2018. Total ordinary income decreased 3.4% to ¥*3,159.1bn in the fourth quarter, compared with ¥3,271.1bn in the fourth quarter 2017. Net ordinary income decreased as well by 7.9% year-over-year to ¥210.1bn compared with ¥218bn. This was largely driven by the changes in the Japan Post Insurance subsidiary, where ordinary incomes decreased by 6.4%.

Fourth quarter ordinary income for the Japan Post Co. subsidiary totalled ¥950.1bn, an increase of 4.1% over the prior year, primarily driven by the increase in volumes of Yu-Pack handled by the Postal and Domestic Logistics segment. Net ordinary income increased 236.4% year-over-year to ¥25.1bn

In the Post Office segment, operating income totalled ¥331.6bn, a 1.2% increase from the same period 2017. Net operating income decreased 26.6% to ¥10.8bn.  

The Post Co.’s Postal and Domestic Logistics Business segment managed to generate an operating income increase of 36.1% to ¥497.7bn. Segment’s growth was led by growing demands in Yu-Pack and Yu-Mail, where volumes increased by 24.6% year-over-year, respectively 1.84%. Net operating income was 21.3% higher than in Q4 2017.

In the International Logistics Business segment, the operating income totalled ¥169.0bn, a 4.9% increase from the same period 2017. EBIT increased 188.88% to ¥0.6bn, mainly due to a decrease in net operating loss in the Global Express business.

Source: Japan Post Group

*¥=0.0079€/ ¥=0.0090

<![CDATA[ DHL appointed to operate and manage Central Marketing Group’s distribution centre ]]> DHL Supply Chain has been appointed by Central Marketing Group, a marketer and distributor of local and imported goods in Thailand to operate one of its warehouses.

DHL Supply Chain has been appointed by Central Marketing Group (CMG), a marketer and distributor of local and imported goods in Thailand to operate its warehouse in Samut Prakan province and manage its inventory of more than 500,000 stock keeping units from across 42 brands including Calvin Klein Jeans, Casio, Clarins, Lee, Topshop and Wrangler. 

Under this partnership, DHL will manage CMG’s logistics operations at its 12,000 sq m distribution centre. Technologies such as a ring scanner, the Bluetooth lightweight wearable scanner, which allows quick barcode scanning while letting the staff keep both hands free for related tasks, as well as WMOS (Warehouse Management Operating System, will be applied to try and improve operational effectiveness and cost efficiency. DHL says overall warehouse performance, including stock picking accuracy and on-time shipment delivery, will be improved after the implementation of these innovations.

Located on Bangna Trad Road, the facility is in close proximity to the Suvarnabhumi International Airport and connected to roads to Bangkok and Chonburi, allowing the business to support customers with domestic and international supply chain operations. 

Kevin Burrell, CEO, DHL Supply Chain Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar, said: “The opportunities for innovation are endless, and we are exploring future possibilities such as automated warehouses to further enhance operational efficiency and support customer future growth.”

Source: DHL

<![CDATA[ Wincanton extends Ibstock Brick relationship by four years ]]> Wincanton has signed a four year logistics contract with the UK largest brick manufacturer Ibstock Brick.

Wincanton has extended its relationship with Ibstock Brick, the UK’s brick manufacturer, by four years.

Ibstock Brick cited the fact that Wincanton is one of the market leaders in the sector with a large set of specialist networks as a major reason in choosing to extend the contract, along with the relationship between the two companies which has stretched for more than 20 years.

Wincanton manages 95% of the distribution of Ibstock Brick’s products and will be the sole supplier of transport at its new Eclipse factory in Leicestershire. This new site will add a further 100m bricks to the 850m that Ibstock Brick produces each year, a crucial supply of materials to merchants and housebuilders in a market tasked by the UK Government to deliver 300,000 new homes per year by the mid-2020s.

Ranald Forbes, Director of Construction at Wincanton, commented: “With a relationship spanning over two decades, we have grown with the Ibstock Brick business and we hope to continue to do so into the future.”

Source: Wincanton


<![CDATA[ A.P. Moller – Maersk adjusts expectations for 2018 financial result ]]> A.P. Møller – Mærsk A/S’ has adjusted its earning expectations down as uncertainties increase.

A.P. Moller – Maersk (APMM) has adjusted its earning expectations for 2018. As highlighted in the APPM’s financial report for Q1 2018 the expectation for the 2018 result was subject to increased uncertainties impacting container freight rates, bunker prices and rate of exchange due to geopolitical risks, trade tensions and other factors.

Based on the outlook for freight rates for the rest of the year and continued high bunker fuel prices, APMM’s new expectation for earnings before interests, tax, depreciations and amortisations (EBITDA) is in the range of $3.5-$4.2bn and a positive underlying profit. The previous expectation for EBITDA was in the range of $4.0-5.0bn and an underlying profit above 2017 ($356m). The remaining part of the guidance is unchanged.

Revenue was $9.5bn for APMM in Q2 2018 and EBITDA was $0.9bn. For the first half year, revenue was $18.8bn and EBITDA $1.6bn. EBITDA in Ocean was $0.7bn for Q2 2018 reflecting improved unit cost, which both in total and at fixed bunker was down by more than 5% compared to Q1 2018. However, profitability was negatively impacted by an average bunker price increase of 28% compared to the same period last year while average freight rates were 1.2% lower. 

Source: Maersk

<![CDATA[ U.S Postal Service continues to push for regulatory reform amid continued losses ]]> The U.S Postal Service continues to push for legislative change amid a Q3 net loss of $1.5bn.

The U.S Postal Service (USPS) has reported revenues of $17.1bn in the third quarter of 2018, up by 2.4% year-on-year.

Total mail volume declined by a combined 397m pieces, or 1.2%, while Shipping and Packages revenue increased by $475m, or 10.2%, on volume growth of 7.5%.

The net loss for the quarter totalled $1.5bn, a decline in net loss of $651m compared to the same period last year, the result of nonrecurring adjustments to retirement and retiree health benefit plans to account for revised actuarial assumptions. Excluding the effects of these adjustments, the net loss for the quarter increased by $507m.

“The root cause of our financial instability is a flawed business model that is imposed by law. We encourage the Congress to engage in a broad public policy discussion and pass postal reform legislation,” said Postmaster General and CEO Megan J. Brennan. “We support legislation under consideration in the current Congress which would provide immediate flexibility to the organization, allow the Postal Service to invest in our future and continue to provide the prompt, reliable, efficient and universal service the public expects.”

Brennan added that in addition to enactment of postal reform legislation, continued aggressive postal management action and regulatory changes, including a less rigid and more responsive pricing system, are required.

“After adjusting for actuarial changes related to retirement and retiree health benefit plans, the quarter results reflect ongoing trends. The secular declines in mail are somewhat offset by package growth, and labor productivity continues to improve,” said Chief Financial Officer Joseph Corbett. “However, absent changes to our business model, net losses are expected to continue.”

Source: U.S Postal Service

<![CDATA[ Avnet reports fourth quarter financial results ]]> Avnet’s operating profit has increased to $127.9m in Q4 2018, up from $93.3m in Q4 2017.

Avnet Inc. has released its financial results for the fourth quarter ended June 30, 2018. Total revenues increased 9.8% to $5.06bn in the fourth quarter, compared with $4.56bn in the fourth quarter 2017. Operating income increased as well by 37% year-over-year to $127.9m compared with $93.4m. This was largely driven by the strict control over the operating expenses which resulted in an additional $37m of savings in the Q4 2018.

Fourth quarter total revenue for the Electronic Components segment totalled $4.67bn, an increase of 9.6% over the prior year. As a result, operating profit increased 5.3% year-over-year to $160.1m, primarily driven by its competitive pricing strategy and well as by its minimum order level quantities strategy.

In the Premier Farnell segment, the revenue totalled $391m, a 12.8% increase from the same period 2017. The operating profit increased 29.6% to $46m, mainly caused by the four additional suppliers that managed to cut down the operating expenses by over 20%, as well as by doubled online sales year-over-year.

Bill Amelio, Chief Executive Officer, Avnet commented “We can now guide our enterprise and startup customers alike from idea to product and product to market. We do this by reducing complexity and delivering solutions that get products to market quickly and cost effectively. Our ecosystem is foundational, and when coupled with our ongoing transformation initiatives, we see a very exciting road ahead.”

Source: Avnet