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MEMPHIS, TN: July 22, 2016. In an echo of the UK's Brexit rejection of multilateral trade as exemplified by the 28-country European Union, presidential hopeful Donald Trump has now rejected the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in favor of renegotiated bilateralism that would put America first.

Speaking at the end of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Trump declared: "No longer will we enter into these massive transactions, with many countries, that are thousands of pages long — and which no one from our country even reads or understands."

Penny PritzkerIt's a view not shared by FedEx nor the current U.S. secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker (right) who held a private meeting with Memphis business leaders this week to discuss the benefits of a ratified TPP for both Tennessee and the United States.

"Today was an important opportunity to discuss how new trade agreements will benefit Tennessee's businesses, and most importantly, Tennessee's workers," she said. "By creating access to some of the fastest-growing markets in the world, the Trans Pacific Partnership in particular will make products made here Tennessee and all across the country more competitive in an increasing connected global economy. In addition, TPP will make it much easier for small and medium sized businesses to begin exporting or increase their exports with clearer rules and greater transparency," Pritzker added.

According to the U.S. Trade Representative more than 170,000 small and medium-sized businesses export to TPP countries. This number is expected to grow with access to 800 million consumers in the Asia-Pacific region following removal of 18,000 tariffs on American-made products.

Commenting on the Pritzker meeting FedEx Freight president and CEO Michael Ducker noted: "FedEx strongly supports passage of the TPP. Today, e-commerce allows even the smallest businesses to connect with the world. Through the TPP the U.S. has an opportunity to provide America's small businesses with better access to customers in some of the world's fastest growing markets."

Havana Wolfsonian poster 1MEMPHIS: April 06, 2016. FedEx wants to operate a B757 freighter to provide expedited and general airfreight services from Monday to Friday between Miami and Havana, Cuba with a return flight via Mérida, Mexico commencing September 01, 2016.

In a filing with the U.S. Department of Transportation, the company says it is making a “very modest request” in seeking to operate five out of the 140 weekly flights that are available to U.S. airlines.

If approved, FedEx says it will set up a trucking network linking three additional Cuban cities: Mariel (with its port and developing trade zone), Santiago de Cuba, and Varadero, a major tourist destination. As a result the company would link nearly 1,000 U.S./Cuba city pairs with a single flight.

According to David Cunningham, FedEx Corporation executive vice president and COO, the B757 operation from its Miami hub is primarily designed for U.S. and Cuban shippers while its backhaul routing via Mexico allows the company to replace existing Convair 500 capacity and make the overall operation economically viable.

Noting that combination airlines would be offering belly freight services limited by “significant passenger baggage volumes that typify many Cuba visitors’ luggage haul”, FedEx said a single B757 freighter would be the right thing to do for U.S. trade with the emerging economy.

“Cargo services, especially those which facilitate trade in high value goods, are not luxuries or frills in a scheduled air transportation market, but a necessity, offering greater economic value over carrying belly cargo on combination aircraft. FedEx’s services are also important to small businesses seeking to participate in the global market,” it argued.

With the expansion of the U.S. Export Administration Regulations to allow the export of high-value goods including computers, Cuba is a potential market for U.S. businesses that use airfreight according to the company.

In addition, FedEx says the U.S. Postal Service will need air cargo support for a renewed link with Cuba, as will the U.S. State Department and the Department of Defense with its existing naval facilities at Guantanamo Bay.

“Offering the best services, connecting to the largest network, providing tools for regulatory compliance and possessing the financial security to maintain the service, a grant to FedEx in this proceeding is the best step that the Department can take to advance U.S.-Cuba trade,” the company concluded.

MEMPHIS, TN: March 22, 2016. FedEx Trade Networks, the international forwarding arm of FedEx Corp., has re-launched e-trade facilitator Bongo International as FedEx CrossBorder.

FedEx purchased St. Petersburg-based Bongo International for US$42 million in December 2014 to enhance its portfolio of global e-commerce solutions. Bongo enables global consumers and businesses to purchase on-line using a U.S. address for delivery to more than 200 countries worldwide.

FedEX MemphisThe company has developed e-commerce technology that includes duty and tax calculations; export compliance management; HS classification; currency conversions; international payment options inclusive of language translation; shopping cart management and fraud protection.

FedEx Trade Networks president and CEO James Muhs explained: "E-tailers ship their orders to one of our domestic locations, and FedEx CrossBorder gets the orders to the customers' international destinations.

"Only about one-third of U.S. based global e-commerce sites accept foreign currencies, and research tells us that customers are more likely to abandon shopping carts that only show U.S. dollar pricing," added 28-year FedEx veteran Charles 'Chip' Hull, vice president of CrossBorder.

FedEx says online buying behavior represents over US$1 trillion in sales and is forecast to nearly double within the next four years. Earlier this month, the company launched a grant contest in the UK to encourage small businesses expand internationally.

First rolled out in the U.S. in 2012 and extended to Hong Kong, Singapore and Brazil in 2015, the contest is also being held in Germany and France for small businesses with fewer than 100 employees that have been operating for two years or more.

"Small businesses are facing a number of challenges every day, whether sourcing finance, evolving market conditions or meeting the government's targets. We want to help these businesses flourish while encouraging entrepreneurial spirit," said Raj Subramaniam, executive vice president, Global Marketing and Communications, FedEx Services.

To register visit: http://uk.grant.fedex.com/

AMSTERDAM: February 16, 2016. TNT Express has reported a 3.5 percent increase in revenue of €6.9 billion for 2015 and a turnaround in operating income from -€86 million to +€38 million year-on-year. The company also reduced its net loss 74.4 percent from -€195 million to -€50 million during the period.

Fourth quarter revenue rose 4.1 percent to €1.86 billion and the operating income of €57 million contrasted with an operating loss of €53 million in Q4 2014. The result coincides with an announcement that a third party has objected to Brazil’s economic regulator approving the TNT/FedEx merger.

TNT Express resultsTex Gunning, TNT’s CEO Tex Gunning said he was “very pleased” with the Q4 results and noted accelerated growth in the company’s international Europe express business as well a 5.1 percent increase in 12-month revenue from its SME target group: “We expect further year-on-year improvements in adjusted operating income in full year 2016. Good progress has also been made towards closing of the FedEx offer to acquire TNT. Pre-integration planning is well on track and we are all looking forward to a bright future with FedEx,” he added.

During the year, TNT invested €309 million to modernize its transport and IT infrastructure, compared to €190 million in the prior year. The company also launched new road and air connections, expanded network coverage and reported an improvement in its on-time delivery performance.

Revenue from its largest business segment - international Europe – rose 4.4 percent in 2015 to €2.86 billion; Asia Middle East and Africa (AMEA) increased 10.6 percent to just over a €1.0 billion; and intra-country revenue (“Domestics”) rose 1.3 percent to €2.58 billion compared to the previous year.

AMEA produced the highest operating income margin of 6.4 percent compared to 5.5 percent the previous year, and was followed by Europe with 2.4 percent – an increase from 1.1 percent in 2014. The “Domestics” margin continued to decline from -0.3 to -0.5 percent during the period.

The company said it expects to achieve structural improvements from this year onwards; continued economic volatility in Brazil; restructuring charges of €10 million in the first quarter; and its acquisition by FedEx to close in the first half of 2016.

HOOFDDORP, Netherlands: TNT has reported Q3 revenues of €1,67 billion, up 2.3 percent year-on-year, and an operating loss of €27 million, down from -€51 million for the comparable period last year.

Net loss for the period was -€48 million, down 10.9 percent from the Q3 loss in 2014.

TNT handoverThe result follows a joint statement by TNT and FedEx acknowledging that as they have not received a 'Statement of Objections' from the European Commission, the proposed FedEx acquisition of TNT is now expected to conclude in the first half of 2016.

For the first nine months of 2015, TNT revenues were €5.05 billion, a year-on-year increase of 3.3 percent. Adjusted operating income for the first nine months of 2015 was €55 million, down 65.4 percent from the same period last year.

The company said profitability was affected by "transition costs related to the execution of the Outlook strategy, lower volumes from international accounts and pricing pressures".

The net loss increased from -€55 million to -€69 million during the period. Net cash by the end of Q3 was €223 million – down from €414 million in the first nine months of 2014.

Capital expenditure increased to €62 million in the third quarter of 2015 from €41 million last year as TNT opened three new automated sort facilities in Madrid, Swindon and Eindhoven while upgrading existing centers.

TNT CEO Tex Gunning commented: "We continue to support FedEx in obtaining all necessary approvals and expect the transaction to close in the first half of 2016. Revenue growth from SMEs continued in the third quarter. Service performance and customer satisfaction further improved.

"Our investments in IT and productivity are on track. As said, time is needed for these profound transformations to influence the bottom line. 2015 is a transition year for TNT. We expect to see year-on-year margin improvements from 2016 onwards," he added.

BEIJING: February 02, 2016. China's online sales company JD.com (Jingdong mall) has appointed DHL as a preferred supplier for its International Business Group, which focuses on consumers in markets outside China.

In return, JD.com (reportedly testing drone technology), will have access to a suite of logistics solutions across all DHL business units under its 'Fast Growing Enterprises' initiative.

Currently providing JD.com international express services between China and France, DHL will add air, ocean and road freight; warehousing; parcel delivery; e-commerce services; and fulfillment distribution centers in key regions internationally.

JD.com drone testingDHL will also support the design and development of JD.com's expanding global supply chain network. Alfred Goh, global head of Fast Growing Enterprises explained: "Through our collaboration with JD.com, we will be able to gain better insights into the intricate requirements of online retailers spanning cross-border shipping, facilitation services, and multichannel last-mile delivery."

Wu Dongming, CEO of DHL Express China said the company's 30 years of experience in the country makes it well-positioned to support the "evolving needs of China's online consumers [who] will require in-depth knowledge of international transport, warehouse, and distribution".

Victor Xu, president of JD.com's International Business Group added: "JD.com is setting the global standard for the ecommerce experience with our reputation for delivering high-quality products at amazingly fast speeds. Partnerships with global leaders such as DHL will further enhance the level of service we offer our customers and merchant partners throughout the world. The expansion of our partnerships with DHL will ensure we continue to strengthen our high standards of efficiency and convenience, even as we quickly scale up our cross-border ecommerce services."

Operating seven fulfillment centers and 166 warehouses in 44 cities, JD.Com says it has the largest fulfillment infrastructure of any e-commerce company in China.

JD.com reported a 71 percent rise in gross merchandise volume (GMV) to US$18.1 billion for the third quarter of 2015, with net revenue increasing 52 percent year-on-year to US$6.9 billion.

Despite an overall net loss of US$83.5 million for the quarter due in part to rising sales acquisition costs, Richard Liu, founder and CEO commented: "This was another quarter of strong growth, as JD.com increasingly becomes China's source for fast, worry- free shopping online."

 

BRUSSELS: UPS says a study of over 700 purchasing managers in France, Germany, Italy and the UK shows 65 percent are already bypassing industrial distributors and purchasing direct from manufacturers.

With an additional 30 percent thinking about going direct, UPS thinks industrial distributors "must embrace the full potential of e-Commerce channels and offer a superior buying experience" if they want to maintain their market positions.

UPS survey of purchasing managersThe survey, conducted by TNS, shows that more than 50 percent of European industrial buyers are sourcing and buying online with 42 percent spending more than half of their budget this way. Additionally, 75 percent of respondents say they would shift spending to a distributor with a more user-friendly website and better customer service.

The TNS findings indicate that UK industrial distributors perform better than other countries on returns and online purchasing, suggesting they are utilizing e-Commerce more so than other countries in Europe.

"Once price and quality standards are met, buyers are willing to explore vendors that better fit their needs, whether because of a more convenient website, a better service offering or simply quicker answers to product questions," said Scott Aubuchon, vice president for Marketing, UPS Europe: "To maintain their market position, distributors must adapt their selling model and provide excellent service."

A further 78 percent of respondents also expect their distributors to offer them more on-site, post-sales services - such as installation, repairs and maintenance.

The TNS research also suggests UK customers are starting to recognize the benefits of industrial e-commerce with 51 percent choosing to research a new supplier online. And with 52 percent of customers "very" or "somewhat likely" to convert to a manufacturer for supply, UPS says industrial distributors must also be aware of the serious threat from manufacturers and 3rd party websites.

BONN: DeutschePost DHL has reported a net profit of just €49 million for Q3 2015 - down 89.5 percent from the same period last year – on a 3.0 percent increase in revenue to €14.4 billion.

Revenue at its troubled Global Forwarding, Freight division fell 5.7 percent to €3.6 billion year-on-year as the group wrote off €345 million in development and implementation costs of its planned New Forwarding Environment (NFE) IT system.

dhl supplychain automotiveAs a result, the division's EBIT fell to -€337 million compared to +€71 million in Q3 2014, and included €308 million write-down of NFE investments, €37 million in pilot program costs, and €39 million relating to a legal dispute with a joint venture partner.

Last month DPDHL said it was "still weighing potential alternatives to NFE" while looking at implementing a step-by-step replacement and upgrade of the DHL Global Forwarding IT platform: "This could rely on a flexible IT architecture, potentially enhancing and converging existing systems and also incorporating advanced 'off-the-shelf' solutions that have been commercially proven within the freight forwarding industry," said the company.

Group revenue for the first nine months of 2015 rose 6.4 percent to €43.9 billion although the net profit fell 39.2 percent year-on-year to €870 million due to what the company cited as "legal and regulatory exposures in the Post - eCommerce - Parcel (PeP), Express and Global Forwarding, Freight divisions" in addition the effects of a strike by German postal workers.

Frank Appel, group CEO said 2015 was a transition year: "We are working systematically to position each of our business divisions optimally and to achieve the long-term targets projected in Strategy 2020. We have recorded a number of one-off effects, which will de-risk and strengthen our ability to meet or exceed those targets. We expect that the benefits will begin to materialize already in 2016."

MEMPHIS, TN: FedEx Corp. which reported net income of US$692 million on revenue of US$12.3 billion for its fiscal 2016 first quarter, has donated US$1 million in cash and transport to deliver supplies and critical medical aid to the thousands of migrants and refugees arriving in Europe.

Red-Cross-1"FedEx is committed to helping those arriving in Europe to escape conflict, as well as showing our support for the communities who are also affected by this humanitarian crisis," said David Binks, president Europe at FedEx Express. "Working together with NGOs, we are utilizing our global transportation network and resources to deliver immediate assistance where it is needed most and that lays the essential foundations for rebuilding lives."

FedEx has donated US$1 million to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies appeal for assistance in Italy, Greece, Serbia, Hungary and Macedonia.

The company has also delivered large volumes of hygiene kits on behalf of Heart to Heart International for use by International Medical Corps to provide healthcare to refugees in Greece; carried medical supplies for Direct Relief in Turkey providing shelter for Syrian refugees; and donated funds from FedEx employees to provide "bags to the future" containing toys and other items for the youngest refugees affected by this crisis.

More than 10,000 FedEx employees around the world volunteered nearly 55,000 hours to celebrate the 11th annual FedEx Cares Week in September. The company began the tradition in a handful of U.S. cities in 2005 and has since expanded it to nearly 500 around the world. The FedEx annual giving campaign provides support in the form of "money and muscle" to hundreds of non-profit organizations.

"FedEx Corp. is performing solidly given weaker-than-expected economic conditions, especially in manufacturing and global trade," said Fred Smith FedEx Corp. chairman, president and CEO. "Our profit improvement program is on track and delivering impressive results, and I am very confident FedEx is well positioned to deliver value for shareowners, customers and team members in fiscal 2016 and beyond."

The company announced that FedEx Express, FedEx Ground and FedEx Freight will increase shipping rates by an average of 4.9 percent effective January 04, 2016 and will also increase surcharges for FedEx Ground shipments that exceed the published maximum weight or dimensional limits.

LOUISVILLE, KY: United Parcel Service has reported revenue of US$14.2 billion for the third quarter ending September 30 and net income of US$1.25 billion – an increase of 3.5 percent over the same period last year.

International operating profits rose more than 10.0 percent to US$507 million in the third quarter as total shipments increased 1.9 percent to 1.1 billion packages - driven by U.S. air products and European transborder shipments.

Revenue for the first nine months of 2015 was US$42.3 billion and net income was US$3.5 billion – a jump of 36.2 percent year-on-year. The company paid dividends of US$1.9 billion, an increase of 9.0 percent per share over 2014, and spent US$2.0 billion on a 20 million share buy-back.

"Third quarter results reflect strong progress on our long-term initiatives despite uneven economic conditions," said UPS CEO David Abney. "We remain committed to these strategies to support customers and improved shareowner value."

UPS package driverThe company's latest results follow a decision by the Independent Pilots Association (IPA) to seek release from federally mediated negotiations with UPS following a recent ballot of cockpit crew that called for strike action.

"UPS promises its customers on-time delivery, but after four years of labor negotiations, the company has failed to deliver a contract for its own pilots," said IPA president Robert Travis. "In a clear voice, UPS pilots have said they are willing to strike if necessary to finish the job," he added.

UPS and the IPA are scheduled to return to the bargaining table in early November and if the two sides fail to reach an agreement, the federal mediator is expected to implement a 30-day cooling off period after which the pilots can strike and the company can institute a lock out.

Should the 2,500 UPS pilots go on strike the Teamsters union said it will support the move: "If a strike is necessary, we will not cross your lines, but will stand with you on them," declared Teamsters general president James Hoffa.

Hoffa said the Teamsters have not forgotten the pilots' support when the union struck UPS for 16 days in 1997.

"UPS has continued to stall and drag its feet in completing an agreement with you and your hardworking members. Four years to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement is simply unacceptable," added Hoffa.

Meanwhile FedEx has ratified a six-year contract with its pilots. "Given that the pilots are the only major employee group at FedEx covered by a collective bargaining agreement, this deal brings labor peace to our main competitor," said Travis.

LOUISVILLE, KY: The Independent Pilots Association (IPA), which represents 2,600 pilots who fly for the United Parcel Service, says it members have voted overwhelmingly for strike action.

The move comes after several years of unsuccessful negotiations with UPS over a new contract.

UPS call strikeNext month the IPA will ask its members to give the union's leadership the authority to request a release from National Mediation Board (NMB) negotiations with UPS.

"The overwhelming outcome of this vote is both a show of IPA unity and a clear signal to UPS management that our crewmembers are serious about closing out this contract over the next two weeks in Baltimore," said Captain Tom Nicholson, president of the IPA.

UPS negotiates with the Teamsters on behalf of its drivers and sort center employees under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Unless renewed, labor contracts under the Act automatically expire at contract end and the employees are free to strike, and the company is free to lock them out of its premises.

In contrast, UPS pilot labor negotiations are conducted under the Railway Labor Act (RLA). As such, contracts do not automatically expire and both sides have to maintain the status quo while they begin the statutory negotiation process supervised by the NMB.

Unions governed by the RLA can only strike after exhausting the procedures outlined by the RLA. Since 2005, only six strikes have been allowed under the Act.

The IPA began direct negotiations with UPS in September 2011. As of November last year, both sides had been in direct negotiations for a total of 29 months and mediated talks for 10 months.

Nicholson added: "We only hope that UPS management is as committed to finishing this contract as we are. "We are in our third year of negotiations with UPS management over this contract. UPS knows what it's going to take to make a deal, and their actions at the table over the next two weeks will let us, and the NMB, know if they want to come to agreement or dig-in for the traditional UPS labor fight, which will further confuse our customers and leave them uncertain about the stability of the airline."

Absent a deal, should either party refuse arbitration the NMB will announce a 30-day "cooling off" period. After that, if no agreement is reached and the White House doesn't intervene, the IPA contract will expire and both sides are free to respectively strike and initiate a lock out.

The IPA said a recent survey of UPS customers had 47 percent saying a deal will be reached only after a work stoppage, or a strike and a long fight; 24 percent said they are making contingency plans in the event of a stoppage; and 91 percent will contract with another carrier in the event of strike with 69 percent choosing FedEx.

In August the Air Line Pilots Association International said it had reached a tentative agreement with FedEx - subject to ratification by its 4,000-plus pilots - that would last through 2021.

The IPA survey also noted that 10 percent of shippers "would never be willing to switch their company's business back to UPS after a UPS work stoppage".

Nicholson concluded: "The next two weeks are our last best hope for a quiet resolution to this contract."

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