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Fuel a more sustainable future

BASEL, Switzerland: Panalpina has reported net revenue of CHF6.75 billion for 2013 – up 2.3 percent over the previous year. Gross profit rose 6.55 percent to CHF1.56 billion and its net cash position grew 159 percent year-on-year to CHF42.5 million.

Panalpina Crane B Panalpina CEO Peter Ulber acknowledged that while the company was able to improve its results by CHF 80 million last year, "we still have much to do to reach the targets we have set ourselves. We are therefore focusing our organization into converting more of our considerable gross profit into net profit."

Last year Ulber replaced Monika Ribar, who had been with the company for 22 years. He acknowledged "her great service in developing Panalpina, and especially for succeeding in transforming the corporate culture into a professionally managed company."

Panalpina's revenue from European operations, its largest region in terms of turnover, declined 1.9 percent to CHF2.6 billion in 2013. Americas' revenue rose 1.0 percent to CHF2.3 billion and Asia-Pacific increased 2.3 percent to CHF1.26 billion. The newly created business region Middle East, Africa and the CIS produced a 32.6 percent rise in revenue year-on-year to CHF574 million.

Airfreight traffic revenue declined 1.6 percent to CHF3.05 billion in 2013 while ocean freight rose 6.3 percent to CHF 2.78 billion. The company's logistics business also saw an increase - 2.8 percent year-on-year - to CHF921 million.

The company says air and ocean freight remains the foundation of its business while logistics and project business will be developed as an important differentiator. Apart from strengthening its position in the UK, Netherlands, France and Italy, the Panalpina says it also aims to expand intra-Asia and on Asia-outbound trade lanes as well as in the United States: "Where management feels the market potential is currently not fully tapped."


AUCKLAND: Kuehne + Nagel International has been fined NZ$3.1 million plus costs of up to NZ$100,000 for its role in a New Zealand-based airfreight cartel.

The Swiss-based logistics giant was the holdout defendant in cartel case brought by the New Zealand Commerce Commission in 2007 against six forwarders who have now been fined a total of NZ$11.95 million. The other five were DB Schenker; Bax Global (now part of DB Schenker); Panalpina World Transport (Holdings) Ltd; EGL (now part of CEVA Logistics) and Geologistics International (Bermuda) Limited.

KN AucklandFollowing a whistleblower filing, the other defendants admitted their roles and paid fines totaling NZ$8.85 million in 2010 and 2011. However Kuehne + Nagel challenged the Commission's jurisdiction over its role in the self-described 'Gardening Club' cartel that hit customers with a 'security' surcharge on airfreight shipments between the UK and New Zealand.

"The Gardening Club was a classic hard-core cartel. Members attended covert, off-site meetings outside of business hours and used code words to describe the agreed surcharges," explained Commission chairman Mark Berry. "Our investigation uncovered emails in which Gardening Club members referred to the agreed surcharges as '...the new price for asparagus for the forthcoming season...,' and 'the price of marrows.'

"When members lacked confidence that cartel members were performing the illegal agreement, they emailed [each other] in terms like, 'I hear... concerns about the price of produce from the garden of Velcro, which appears to be operating as a charitable cooperative for the benevolence of vegetable eaters rather than growers...'" he added.

In December 2010, EGL settled with the Commission and was ordered to pay a penalty of NZ$1.15 million. In the same month, Geologistics International (Bermuda) Limited also settled and paid NZ$2.5 million. In June the following year, BAX Global, Schenker AG and Panalpina World Transport (Holdings) Ltd agreed to pay fines of NZ$1.4 million, NZ$1.1 million and NZ$2.7 million respectively.

"This case involves deliberate and secretive conduct by the freight forwarding companies, but it's important for businesses to recognise that cartels can also take on a less obvious form, like a conversation about pricing at a trade association meeting or a 'nod and a wink' agreement between competitors not to discount a certain product." said Berry.

SINGAPORE: Singapore's Competition Commission (CCS) has issued a provisional notice to 11 forwarders operating services to the country from Japan that they have infringed section 34 of its competition laws.

The companies include the principals and subsidiaries of Deutsche Post; Hankyu Hanshin Express; "K" Line Logistics; Kintetsu World Express, MOL Logistics; Nippon Express; Nishi-Nippon Railroad; Nissin Corporation; Vantec Corporation; Yamato Holdings; and Yusen Logistics.DHL singapore

CCS says it began the probe after receiving an application for immunity from one of the companies in the alleged cartel. Subsequent investigation concluded the "forwarders attended meetings in Japan where they exchanged information, discussed and agreed on certain fees and surcharges in relation to airfreight forwarding services for shipments from Japan to other countries, including Singapore."

The 11 forwarders have 35 working days to respond to the notice after which the commission will make a final decision on the possible infringement.

According to the CCS, cartel activities include, amongst others, agreements between businesses to fix prices, to rig competitive bidding processes, to divide up markets and to restrict production. The commission says businesses found participating in cartel agreements are likely to incur "sizable" financial penalties. Depending on its behaviour, the CCS says a whistleblower can be entitled to full immunity if it has not begun an investigation or up to a 100 percent reduction in penalties if it has.

ISTANBUL: Netlog, one of Turkey's largest logistics groups, together with its partner Belgium-based Belspeed is to purchase the TNT Fashion Group.

Terms of the sale have not been disclosed and the deal is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2014. TNT Express says the move is part of its strategy to focus on core activities.

Netlog 2Netlog Logistics Group is Turkey's largest logistics and transport company with an annual turnover of over US$500 million. The company has activities in retail, fashion, food, fast-moving consumer goods, automotive logistics as well as in cold chain distribution and warehousing. The group of 15 companies is owned by the Cak family and Yildiz Holding, one of Turkey's largest conglomerates with a consolidated turnover of US$11 billion.

Created in 1983, Belspeed is a fashion and lifestyle 3PL focused on retail, wholesale and business-to-consumer e-fulfillment sectors. With annual revenues of US$35 million, the company provides supply chain and logistics services out of Belgium and the Netherlands to 28 countries in Europe.

Headquartered in Oldenzaal, the Netherlands, TNT Fashion Group offers supply chain services for the fashion and lifestyle industry, including warehousing, packing/repacking, distribution, retailing and e-fulfilment services.

According to Netlog, the combination of Belspeed and TNT Fashion will produce a European market leader in fashion, lifestyle and e-commerce logistics with annual sales in excess of €150 million supported by 1500 employees.

CakThe CEO of the newly combined group, Belspeed co-owner Johan Milliau, commented : "Since our management buy-out supported by Saffelberg Investments, we have discovered the exciting growth market of fashion and lifestyle...Now we are looking at a quantum leap in our development, more than quadrupling in size. Over the past years we have developed a strong partnership with Netlog Group and the family Cak, which resulted in joint operations in Turkey last year.

"Combining forces with a successful and well-run company like TNT Fashion makes us the reference in fashion & lifestyle logistics in Europe. Our next expansion will be in the USA, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Asia, regions where our customers ask us to offer the same high end service as we do in Western Europe and Turkey," he added.

Gokalp Cak (left), Netlog Logistics Group vice chairman noted: "Approximately 65 percent of our turnover is generated by domestic logistics where we have developed massive expertise. For the past three years we have done local acquisitions within Turkey to complete our services scope. Now we aim to become a recognized and a preferred partner across Europe, the US and the Far East. TNT Fashion is a perfect fit in our development. The company has a highly successful management and is strategically in the best location for European Logistics dealing with North America. Together with our partner Belspeed, we are in for exciting times."

CONNECTICUT, USA: XPO Logistics has reported a net loss of US$$48.5 million in 2013, compared with a loss of US$20.3 million for the previous 12 months. Net revenue for the period rose 152 percent to US$702.3 million.

The revenue growth, and losses, reflects the purchase last year of East Coast Air Charter, Covered Logistics, Interide Logistics, 3PD, Optima Service Solutions and NLM. In January 2014 the company announced it would also acquire Pacer International, the third largest provider of intermodal services in North America and the largest provider of intermodal services in the cross-border U.S./Mexico market.

XPO LogisticsXPO said its strategy of long–term growth through acquisitions has enabled it to become the fourth largest freight brokerage firm, the largest provider of last-mile logistics for heavy goods, and the largest manager of expedited shipments in the U.S.

Despite a 137.1 percent increase in fourth quarter revenue year-over-year to $257.2 million, the company reported a net loss of US$10.6 million for the quarter, compared with a net loss of US$9.3 million for the same period in 2012. As of Februrary 21, 2014 XPO said it  had approximately US$358 million in cash.

Bradley Jacobs, chairman and chief executive officer of XPO commented: "For the second straight quarter, we increased our gross margin percentage in every one of our business units...Our acquisitions of Optima Service Solutions and NLM in the fourth quarter, and our recent agreement to acquire Pacer International, have strengthened our positions in last-mile logistics, expedite and intermodal. In freight brokerage, the largest component of our 2013 revenue, we grew the business into the fourth largest provider in North America through acquisitions, cold-starts and recruitment."

Jacobs said the company expects to generate revenue of US$2.75 billion by the end of 2014 that will include "at least US$400 million" of historical revenue from acquisitions. For 2017 he says XPO will produce US$7.5 billion in revenue and an EBITA of US$425 million.

BASEL, Switzerland: The Panalpina Group has reported a consolidated net profit of CHF 11.7 million in 2013 on revenues of CH6.75 billion, compared to a loss of CHF 71.8 million on CHF 6.61 billion the previous year.

Provisions for fines dropped from CHF 59.2 million in 2012 to CHF 40.9 million last year although when combined with a fourth quarter impairment of CHF 19.1 million (2012: CHF 29.6 million), total non-recurring charges in 2013 were CHF 60.0 million – down from CHF 88.8 million in the previous year.

panprojectsPeter Ulber, who replaced CEO Monica Ribar in June last year, commented: "We recovered from 2012 and gained market share in a low-growth environment in 2013. I am happy to state that we outperformed the market in both air and ocean freight. But there is still a lot of room for profitability improvements, especially in logistics and ocean freight."

The company thinks the global airfreight market will grow 2-3 percent and ocean transport rise 4-5 percent in 2014 and expects corporate growth to exceed these forecasts.

"In 2014 we will focus on stabilizing our performance in airfreight and improving productivity and operating margin in ocean freight," said Ulber. The company says it will make turning around its loss-making logistics unit a "top priority" while exiting overland capacity commitments. "We see logistics as an important differentiator to complement our end-to-end offering," Ulber added.

Last year Panalpina reported a second consecutive CHF 39 million loss on its logistics services despite a 16 percent year-on-year increase in gross profit to CHF 437.7 million - caused primarily by "a number of loss-making facilities and unprofitable road activities."

Total liabilities for the group have risen from CHF 1.20 to CHF 1.24 billion in the last three years with total equity falling from CHF 928 million to CHF 709 million in the same period. Cash and cash equivalents fell from CHF 573.5 million in 2010 to CHF 336.9 million last year.

BASEL, Switzerland: Panalpina has begun automatically calculating the emissions from all transport services provided to its customers in 20 EU countries.

The logistics company is using a calculator from Hanover-based EcoTransIT World to determine upstream emissions from fuel production, other greenhouse gases including methane and nitrous oxide, and overall energy consumption.

Panalpina says the calculator, based on the new reporting standard EN 16258, enables its customers to reduce the environmental impact of their global transport chains.

According to Lindsay Zingg, global head of Quality, Health, Safety and Environment at Panalpina, "EcoTransIT is a proven technology for mass calculations with a flexible interface. With the new system we can run far more accurate and detailed reports and do it much more efficiently than in the past."

Panalpina CO2 CalculationZingg says the next step will be to make the tool directly accessible to Panalpina's customers: "Our goal is also to be able to give up-front online information on the CO2 impact of a single shipment. Our final stage will be to include CO2 levels and other environmental data in invoices."

EcoTransIT calculates emissions for each shipment including pre- and on-carriage movements based on distance, weight, transport mode, and the type of vessel or aircraft. Currently all necessary shipment information is sent from Panalpina's communication platform to EcoTransIT servers where algorithms are applied to calculate emissions and other parameters. The subsequent results are then used by Panalpina to run customer reports.

EcoTransIT was begun by in 2000 by five European railway companies - DB Schenker Rail, Schweizerische Bundesbahnen (SBB), Green Cargo AB, Trenitalia S.p.A, and the Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Français (SNCF).The group has since expanded with the addition of Red Nacional de los Ferrocarriles Españoles (RENFE) and Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Belges (SNCB).

The tool was built by the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (ifeu) in Heidelberg, the Öko-Institut from Berlin, and the Rail Management Consultants GmbH (RMCon/ IVE mbH) in Hanover.

"We want to be a pro-active player in environmental aspects. By providing our customers with the best possible accuracy and transparency for measuring the environmental impact of their shipments, we enable them to make informed decisions about the optimal mode of transport and routes," adds Zingg.

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