Brussels wades into TNT-UPS merger
UPS and TNT said on 19 October that they have received a Statement of Objections (SO) from the European Commission (EC) over the competitive effects of their intended merger on the international express small package market in Europe. The two carriers described the SO
as a normal step in a second phase merger procedure. It is a confidential document that sets out a provisional position of the Commission and does not prejudge the final outcome of the case. UPS and TNT Express added
that they would respond to the EC “within a couple of weeks, and intend to preserve the confidentiality of the document and discussions in line with common practice.” They reiterated their belief that
competition in Europe “continues to be significant, coming from multiple players who offer similar services. The combined company will help create a more efficient logistics market, thereby improving the competitiveness of Europe and the solutions offered to businesses
and consumers. Those benefits include future improvements to e-commerce to help achieve the EU objective of a Digital Single Market. In addition, customers and consumers will benefit from a broader portfolio of services and better global access, along with lower supply-chain costs overall and improved service levels in terms of timing and reliability.” They added that they were
working to complete the transaction in early 2013.
Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) has extended the offer period for the transaction to 28 February 2013. Earlier,
TNT Express chief
executive Marie-Christine Lombard said that she would leave the company by the end of September to pursue an alternative career. Chief financial officer Bernard Bot will take over as interim CEO aſter her departure. The takeover of TNT by UPS would not be affected, the Dutch company added.
FedEx moves its green goalposts
FedEx says it has nearly achieved the environmental
goals it set
itself in 2008 – 12 years early – and has produced a revised, more aggressive target in its fourth annual Global Citizenship Report The carrier says it is well on its
way to achieving the 20% aircraſt emissions intensity reduction and fuel efficiency improvement goals it set for 2020, having reduced aircraſt emissions intensity by 13.8% - by replacing the aging Boeing 727 with new B777 planes - and improved vehicle fuel efficiency by 16.6% at the end of its 2011 fiscal year. It has now committed itself to a 30% reduction
in global aircraſt emissions intensity by its original 2020 target date and wants to source 30% of its jet fuel from alternative fuels by the year 2030. It is also using more all-electric
commercial vehicles in cities around the globe – even electric tricycles in Paris – and is increasing its fleet of hybrid vehicles. William Martin, FedEx’s
managing director of UK operations, told FBJ that the company wanted to achieve the reductions irrespective of any increases in traffic volume. This would be achieved in several areas including
maximising efficiency of planes and vehicles and introducing new electric and hybrid vehicles, in short, “connecting the world in an environmentally responsible manner.” Major gains had been made just
by modernising the aircraſt fleet, replacing older types such as the 727 with 757s or MD11s with 777s. On the roads, electric and hybrid
vehicles were increasingly being used and in fact FedEx had worked with manufacturers such as Modec and Nissan to help develop prototypes. An electric tricycle was even on trial. A big part of the
emission improvement was also down to careful attention to plane and vehicle load factors. Around 5% of fuel costs
could also be saved by encouraging drivers to adopt more economical techniques, coupled with telematics for close monitoring of driver and vehicle performance and route planning. “Conservatively, we can make a 5% difference immediately, simply by reducing the amount of erratic driving,” said Martin. The effect of gentler driving techniques on journey times was negligible, he pointed out.
New soſtware to open up the parcels market
Shipping solutions specialist Kewill has launched a Universal Carrier Module in Europe. It aims to give shippers complete control of the parcels carriers they use without having to worry about compliance and service restrictions, while releasing them from dependence on carrier-based soſtware. UCM will be especially useful
in helping shippers ‘plug in’ to the services of regional and smaller carriers, explained Kewill’s vice- president of marketing and
14203-Seatruck 270x60mm Advert 23/10/2012 1:47pm Page 1
business development, Alan Gold. That made it of particular relevance to the European market, where there are a large number of such operators. “In Europe, company shipments are oſten broken down among hundreds of small carriers. However, they all have different requirements in terms of manifests, the format and amount of information required from the shipper and shipping labels oſten vary,” he told FBJ. Rules on shipment size, whether or not
any hazardous cargo could be accepted and the rules governing them all varied from carrier to carrier, he said. For smaller carriers, Kewill
could provide a ‘compliance template’ allowing major shippers to plug into their services quickly and easily. As well as opening up the market to carriers, this could also help shippers obtain advantageous shipping rates, as smaller and regional carriers oſten offered very keen pricing, Gold
pointed out. At the moment, he said, the market was “quite unfair” because it was hard for smaller carriers to attract shippers, even though they oſten offered some of the most attractive pricing. Initially, UCM will be targeted
at the parcels sector. In theory, there is no reason why it could not be extended to the freight forwarding or pallet delivery sector, but the market here is complex and very fragmented, Alan Gold said.
Issue 6 2012
NEWS ROUNDUP ROAD & RAIL
The Council of Transport Ministers reached a political agreement on new digital tachographs at its meeting on 29 October in Luxembourg, clearing the way for the devices to be fitted in new trucks by around mid- 2018. The new-style tachos would be GPS-linked and should present fewer opportunities for fraud. However, the agreement of the European Parliament, is still needed. MEPs have been calling for the new tachos to be fitted from 2017 and for retrofitting of existing vehicles so that all trucks have then by 2020. The Council and Parliament have however agreed to drop the idea of combining the driving licence with the driver card, on cost grounds.
Hellman Worldwide Logistics UK has signed a new road freight partnership with Belgian groupage operator, H. Essers for a new daily shuttle system between their respective countries. The service will operate to Hellmann’s System Alliance standards and will link Belgium and the industrial regions of the UK in 48 hours door-to-door. It follows similar partnerships between Hellmann UK and Diehl Spedition in Stuttgart and Itella Logistics in Scandinavia.
UK and European pallet distribution network Pall-Ex officially launched its Northern Hub in Carlisle. Local mayor, Councillor David Wilson cut the ribbon at the 40,000 sq ft terminal close to the M6. It is operated by Pall-Ex member RJ Murray & Son Ltd,and provides logistics services, with pick and pack, storage and warehousing services.
TNT Express has added a new road service to and from Montenegro, following the recent addition of Albania, Macedonia, Belarus and Moldova. The twice-weekly scheduled departures to Podgorica, Montenegro’s capital, is available for parcels or freight up to 500kg per piece.
Priority Freight is investing in a Polish business entity based in the Lower Silesia region near Wroclaw. It aims to strengthen its service offering, particularly for automotive, aerospace, energy and pharmaceuticals.
Network Rail, the owner and operator of the national rail network, has launched an industry consultation on reforming the management and ownership of rail freight property. The aim is to promote freight network capacity on the railway and facilitate competition between rail freight operators by making a number of key sites more accessible. It includes transferring most of DB Schenker Rail UK’s 250 property interests across the rail network to Network Rail. The consultation closes on 28 November.
Eurotunnel tested an Alstom Prima II locomotive in the Channel Tunnel on the nights of 29 and 30 September to check compatibility with systems and safety standards. The tunnel operator said the tests would help it develop rail services without the need to use the scarce and complex Class 92s which are at present the only locos licensed to haul freight through the tunnel.
DB Schenker Rail has, as planned, added a second weekly rail freight service between Barking and Wroclaw in Poland, with the first train leaving East London on Monday 8 October at 23.36. The train is only the second regular rail freight service to use the High Speed 1 rail route, the only European sized railway in the UK. Chief executive of DB Schenker Rail UK, Alain Thauvette, said DBS’s ultimate objective was to operate five rail freight services per week.
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