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What3WordsDUBAI, June 29, 2016. Aramex has invested US$2.94 million as part of US$8.5 million in new funding for what3words, an addressing platform based on a global grid of 57 trillion 3mx3m squares, where each square has a unique pre-assigned three-word address.

The company says the solution helps anyone who needs to find or share a location - whether they are navigation apps, governments, logistics firms, travel guides or NGOs, says the company.

Aramex says it will use what3words in its e-Commerce fulfillment operations across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia for last-mile delivery. The company has already invested in a number of mobile-based last-mile solutions including Grab and Logisure in India, Shippify in South America and CashBasha in Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

Aramex CEO Hussein Hachem commented: “By integrating three word addresses into our e-Commerce operations we are now better able to reach more consumers worldwide, even those in difficult-to- access locations. The partnership is also perfectly aligned with our commitment to becoming a global addressing standard.”

Available in 10 languages and used in more than 170 countries, what3words will use the new investment to launch its voice recognition product in the smartphone, wearables, and automotive sectors as well as develop its three-word address system in several Asian languages.

Product integrations include Navmii for Norway’s National Mapping Agency, the U.N. data collection app UN-ASIGN, and the world’s largest geographic software providers Esri, Safe Software and Boundless.

MEMPHIS: June 17, 2016. FedEx Corp. has reported revenue of US$50.4 billion and net income of US$1.82 billion for its latest financial year endng May 31.

“Fiscal 2016 was a successful year for FedEx in many ways,” said Fred Smith, FedEx Corp. chairman, president and CEO. “Our May 25 acquisition of TNT Express capped a historic year of significant accomplishments that benefited shareowners, team members and customers, and strongly positions FedEx for long-term profitable growth,” he added.

The announcement follows a decision by the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) to withdraw all charges alleging the company was involved in money laundering when providing shipping services to illegal Internet pharmacies.

In 2014 FedEx denied charges by then DoJ attorney for Northern California Melinda Haag - an Obama political appointee - that it had been involved in drug trafficking by carrying shipments on behalf of the pharmacies.

FedEx 767At the time Haag declared: "This indictment highlights the importance of holding corporations that knowingly enable illegal activity responsible for their role in aiding criminal behavior."

Responding to Haag's charges FedEx senior vice president Marketing & Communications Patrick Fitzgerald said: "We want to be clear what's at stake here: the government is suggesting that FedEx assume criminal responsibility for the legality of the contents of the millions of packages that we pick up and deliver every day.

"We are a transportation company – we are not law enforcement. We have no interest in violating the privacy of our customers. We continue to stand ready and willing to support and assist law enforcement. We cannot, however, do the job of law enforcement ourselves."

Haag's prosecution was based on a campaign begun in 2005 to shut down illegal Internet-based pharmacies. In 2014 her office obtained convictions against nine people for distributing controlled substances. Most received prison terms in addition to forfeiting US$94 million.

In 2013 UPS paid US$40 million and signed a "Non-Prosecution Agreement" to avoid charges for allegedly similar behavior.

Commenting on the DoJ action to now dismiss all charges Fitzgerald said: “FedEx is and has always been innocent. The case should never have been brought. The government should take a very hard look at how they made the tremendously poor decision to file these charges.

He added that many companies would not have had the courage or the resources to defend themselves: “The power of the government was greatly misused when the case was initiated, but the government’s integrity was redeemed by the decision to dismiss the charges today,” he declared.

FedEx said it remains committed to its long-standing cooperation with law enforcement to prevent misuse of its transportation networks.

Earlier this year Haag rejoined the San Franciso-based Orrick law firm where she worked in 2003. She left her position with the DoJ in September 2015.

MIAMI: May 26, 2016. Miami International Airport (MIA) wants to establish itself as a free trade zone in 2017 as part of a goal to being a global air cargo hub, according to airport director Emilio Gonzales.

Gonzales said MIA continues to grow and last year produced an economic impact of US$34 billion as the only U.S. airport serving more than 100 air carriers – adding six more in 2015.

MIA pharma hub"Equally impressive was air cargo, we are still the number two airport in the USA for cargo. Last year we added Trans Cargo and Ocean Air - we now serve 41 all freight airlines to 106 destinations," he declared.

Gonzales said there had been a "significant" rise in non-traditional cargo in 2015, including US$100 billion of arts and antiques, US$2.3 billion of medical equipment and US$3.3 billion worth of pharma - which the airport said it was “looking to grow considerably".

Acknowledging MIA’s cargo facilities needed modernizing, he said the airport recognized the importance of air cargo: We are invested in air cargo and we are going to grow [it] to where it should be. We want to make sure that what we do is what people need and want."

Gonzales added MIA was working towards taking a more proactive role in air cargo and was in discussion with several more major carriers.

"We are a global air cargo hub but not a global air cargo facility. But we have 400,000 sq.ft. available and we are going to invest in this and change this.

We have to engage the ground transportation folks, it would be criminal if we didn't," he added. "We cannot do this by ourselves and we understand that."

MIA BRUBRUSSELS/MIAMI: May 25, 2016. Brussels and Miami airports have announced they will launch a new organisation in October this year to improve the quality and handling of pharma products by air.

Both airports are an IATA certified Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV).

The new organisation called 'Pharma Aero' will focus on airport communities that support the IATA CEIV program with the ultimate goal of enabling lane certification for pharma transportation by air.

Together with IATA, Brussels was the first to launch the CEIV program in 2014 followed by Miami last year. Since then the management of both airports have been working together and have now decided to formalize their relationship in three main areas: engaging stakeholders via networking and events; standard setting through benchmarking and new establishing new protocols; and setting up a knowledge center to share best practises and audit support.

According to Miami airport director Emilio Gonzalez (left in picture), the tie-up with Brussels is designed to leverage Miami’s strength as a pharma hub by collaborating with other airports that share a common goal of strengthening pharma certified trade lanes and extending supply chains to reach new international markets.

“We are very pleased to work with our friends at BRU on this important initiative,” he declared.

Steven Polmans (right in picture), head of Cargo at Brussels Airport added: “In the past three to four years, we have been working very closely with the pharma manufacturers, which has resulted in the IATA CEIV program we organised at Brussels.

"We now want to continue and strengthen our approach by bringing it on a global level to create end-to-end solutions for the pharma industry. The [new] organisation will be very much content focussed, developing solutions and creating transparency in very close co-operation with the pharma industry,” he noted.

SYDNEY: March 30, 2016. Brambles, the global supply chain logistics company operating primarily through the CHEP and IFCO brands, says it is committed to being a better business, improving local communities and sustaining a better planet in the next five years.

Since 2010, the company has reduced carbon emissions by 20 percent; sourced 97 percent of wood products from certified sources; achieved 75 percent zero wood waste to landfill at sites comprising 92 percent of production volumes; supported more than 100 food banks; contributed US$1.45 million in in-kind donations last year; and eliminated 460,000 tonnes of waste from landfill, and saved 1.38 million trees in Fiscal 2015.

CHEPThe Brambles pooling model reflects the adoption of circular business practices of recover, reuse, reduce and recycle. Customers use its pallets and containers for their supply chains while eliminating the financial and environmental costs and risks of purchasing and disposing of one-way ULDs.

The company says its Sustainability goals for the next five years are zero deforestation – 100 percent chain of custody for all lumber supply globally; zero emissions – 20 percent reduction in CO2 per pooled unit; and zero wood and plastic waste to landfill.

Brambles is also committed to ensure 30 percent of its senior management and Board positions are held by women, and a greater use of its products and services to make annual reductions in packaging and food waste and CO2 levels in customer supply chains.

Brambles CEO Tom Gorman said: "Our 2020 Sustainability goals set a new challenge for us – one that we are excited and committed to undertaking. Our commitment to sustainability fits intrinsically with our model, our markets and our customers' needs and I am delighted to see our goals also align so directly with the Sustainability goals established by the UN."

For its Fiscal 2016 H1 ending December 31 2015, the company reported an 8.0 percent increase in revenue to US$2.75 billion, an operating profit of US$462.7 million, and a net profit of US$290.9 million.

Gorman commented: "We continue to see considerable opportunities to invest for growth at attractive rates of return, where we can leverage the strength of our existing customer relationships, intellectual property and embedded network scale. As such, we continue to anticipate growth capital expenditure during FY17 to FY19 of approximately US$1 billion."

GREENWICH, CT. May 11, 2016. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters has joined with XPO Logistics workers in the U.S. and Europe to protest against what they claim is the company’s anti-worker behavior.

In October last year XPO completed its US$3.0 billion purchase of Con-way to become the second largest less-than-truckload (LTL) provider in North America.

XPO chairman and CEO Bradley Jacobs said at the time: "We have an unprecedented opportunity to create value for our customers and investors as a result of the Con-way transaction. We're moving quickly to eliminate redundancies and leverage our scale to better serve our more than 50,000 customers."

The acquisition followed the purchase in June 2015 of privately-held French trucking and logistics company Norbert Dentressangle for €3.24 billion.

The Teamsters claim XPO broke its promise not to lay off any workers in France for at least 18 months after the company was purchased and says “similar struggles” with XPO are now taking place in Britain, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands.

XPO TEAMSTERS 1According to James Hoffa, Teamsters general president, corporate greed is at the center of the labor dispute: “XPO port and rail drivers are fighting company wage theft in excess of US$200 million because of persistent misclassification as independent contractors, a scheme the National Labor Relations Board ruled is designed to deny workers of their legal right to form a union.

“And after settling multiple lawsuits in the company’s last mile division, XPO is now facing a new class action lawsuit from misclassified drivers at 3PD, valued in court documents at US$75 million,” he added.

XPO purchased 3PD, a heavy goods, last-mile logistics 3PL for US$365 million in July 2013.

"We applaud today's action in Greenwich,” said Steve Cotton, general secretary of the International Transport Workers Federation. “This event is the first time that a new network of concerned workers has taken action on XPO. The company has to listen. The company has to talk."

Commenting on the worker protest Hoffa noted: “Not surprisingly, XPO executives are not thrilled about the Teamsters’ outreach to its employees. The company, led by CEO Bradley Jacobs, seems hell-bent on trying to follow the typical Wall Street method of purchase, gut and sell at a huge profit; workers, families and their livelihoods be damned. Jacobs followed the same method previously in the oil, waste management and equipment rental industries.”

XPO’s web site features a brief video from a town hall meeting by Jacobs at XPO Last Mile. Speaking to workers he declares: “I’m so proud of what we do, what you do. You’re great. I hope you know you’re great…what you do is amazing.” Introducing the video, Last Mile CEO Karl Meyer adds: “In the end it is all about people, and we have the best people in the industry.”

The Teamsters says it plans more events in an effort to get Jacobs to meet with the protesting XPO employees.

SINGAPORE: February 16, 2016. Singapore Post has purchased an additional 17.91 percent of the equity in Shenzhen 4PX Information Technology (4PX) for S$36 million.

Under the deal, SingPost through its wholly-owned subsidiary Quantium Solutions International has increased its equity interest in 4PX from 18 percent to 35.91 per cent.

4PXHeadquartered in Shenzhen, 4PX provides logistics, software and consulting services to 20,000 merchants in more than 50 locations in China and globally.

Ms Goh Hui Ling, SingPost deputy CEO, International Mail said: “The additional investment in 4PX, with its extensive logistics capabilities in warehousing, express delivery and freight forwarding, is a key part of SingPost’s strategy to leverage on the rapid growth in China’s eCommerce activities.”

Formed in 2004, 4PX has more than 2,600 employees and operates warehouses in China, Australia, UK, Germany and the US.

In a related move SingPost has made a profit of S$64 million from the partial sale of its stake in GD Express Carrier (GDEX) for S$78.4 million to Yamato Asia, a subsidiary of Yamato Holdings. SingPost now has a 11.2 percent shareholding in GDEX. 


Group CFO Mervyn Lim noted: “This deal gave us a good return on our investment and also boosted our available resources to drive SingPost's eCommerce logistics growth as it pivots into the U.S. with the recent investments in TradeGlobal and Jagged Peak.”

The company said it would continue to reap business synergies through its collaboration with GDEX and Yamato: “Collaborations and partnerships are vital to SingPost as we connect the dots in building a global eCommerce logistics ecosystem. We continue to work with strategic partners in Malaysia and the rest of Southeast Asia while leveraging the Quantium Solutions commercial network, as well as those of our associated companies to reinforce the ecosystem we are building,” added Lim.

PURCHASE, NY: May 05, 2016. Amazon.com is to lease 20 B767-300 converted freighters from Atlas Air for seven to 10 years beginning in the second half of 2016.

In an echo of the Air Transport Services Group deal in March this year (Amazon takes to the air), Amazon has been granted warrants to acquire up to 20 percent of Atlas parent Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (AAWI) over a five-year period at US$37.50 a share and a further 10 percent of the company over seven years.

ATLAS AIR 767As of April 2016, AAWI had a total of 15 B767 freighters on ACMI and dry lease with DHL Express, one to Florida West, and three more in the process of conversion from passenger to freighter units, according to company data. The new agreement with Amazon makes no mention of where the additional 20 aircraft will come from.

Commenting on the deal, AAWI president and CEO William Flynn said: “We are excited to begin a strategic long-term relationship with Amazon to support the continuing expansion of its e-commerce business and to enhance its customer delivery capabilities.”

AAWI also reported Q1 revenue of US$418.6 million - down from US$444.8 in the same period last year - and net income of just US$471,000 compared to US$29.2 million in Q1 2015.

The company said its reported results included a special charge for aircraft engines held for sale and also reflected an effective income tax rate of 42.8 percent due mainly to nondeductible acquisition-related expenses incurred in connection with the acquisition of Southern.

“Our first-quarter adjusted EPS was in line with our expectations and our outlook for adjusted EPS growth in 2016, including the immediate earnings contribution we expect from our acquisition of Southern Air Holdings, which we closed on April 07,” commented Flynn.

HAMBURG: February 03, 2016. Lufthansa Cargo CEO Peter Gerber and his Hapag Lloyd counterpart Rolf Habben Jansen have criticized state-aid for Gulf airlines and Chinese shipping companies saying such subsidies distort competition and create an uneven playing field.

Hapag Lloyd Alfa RomeoGerber said the EU should make it difficult for Arab oil states to continuing supporting their airlines at current levels: “Without government subsidies, the three airlines there wouldn’t be able to survive given the dumping prices they are currently offering in the cargo field,” he said. “The Arab states are preparing themselves for the post-oil era, when it’s all gone.”

Both men think logistics is meant to be a replacement for disappearing oil revenues in the Gulf while continuing subsidies in China coupled with low freight rates are meant to safeguard that country’s exports.

The two CEOs also criticized the length of time it takes to build new infrastructure in Europe – saying the construction of roads, railways, ports or airports “can often drag on for over one or even two decades”. Gerber suggested politicians and the business community should cooperate better to speed up the process in order for the EU to remain competitive.

For Gerber, an example of this lack of cooperation is the ban on night flights at Frankfurt that has had a negative impact on his air cargo business, while for Habben Jansen the legal constraint on dredging the Elbe river is threatening to make the port of Hamburg less competitive: “Hamburg is competitive, but Hamburg should also stay competitive,” he declared.

Gerber said the most important challenge for Lufthansa Cargo in the near-term is to digitalize all transport documents and drive IT harmonization across the entire airfreight sector. With ocean freight much more advanced in paperless transactions, Habben Jansen noted Hapag-Lloyd is more focused on carrier alliances and improving yield management, adding: “Here, we could still learn something from our counterparts in airfreight.”

PULLACH, Germany. May 03, 2016. IFCO Systems, part of Brambles, a ULD pooling company that includes CHEP, has acquired Empacotecnia SAS, a provider of reusable plastic crate (RPC) pooling services based in Colombia. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Empacotecnia generated sales of US$3.3 million from six million RPC rentals last year. Founded in 2006, the company has seven service centers in Colombia serving major retailers Grupo Exito and Cencosud Colombia.

IFCO Systems CEO Wolfgang Orgeldinger said: “This acquisition complements our strong organic growth in South America by adding a successful market leader with strong financial returns and a promising growth outlook to the IFCO family.”

IFCO operates a pool of over 225 million RPCs in 37 countries to move perishables from producers to grocery retailers.


Part-sale of DB Schenker

BERLIN: May 04, 2016. Deutsche Bahn is to develop an implementation plan for a third-party minority holding in DB Arriva and DB Schenker. A final decision will be made later in the year according to a statement.

Chairman of the company’s supervisory board Utz-Hellmuth Felcht commented: "If we don't take action, the group's debt will increase substantially by 2020. A third-party equity interest limits the level of debt and creates the financial scope necessary to continue the quality and investment campaign in Germany

Felcht said for the next four years, €50 billion or 90 percent of the group’s total investment, will be spent on German rail operations with €20 billion being financed through internal resources. DB management board chairman Rüdiger Grube added: "Our express intention is for DB Arriva and DB Schenker to continue to be fully consolidated in DB's balance sheet."


TNT says goodnight to Innight

TNT INNIGHTAMSTERDAM: May 04, 2016: TNT Express is to sell its overnight distribution subsidiary TNT Innight to the private equity firm Special Situations Venture Partners III (SSVP). Terms have not been disclosed and the deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2016.

The company said the sale is motivated by the need to concentrate its resources on strengthening core express delivery activities.

TNT Innight was founded in 1964 as Kutzner NachtExpress Termindienst in Munich (right) and thus claims to have pioneered the overnight delivery business in Europe. TNT acquired the company in 1996 and currently provides distribution services to automotive, agriculture, healthcare and engineering companies. Due to customer requirements Innight operates its own network separate from TNT Express using 2,600 vehicles from 40 facilities in Northern and Central Europe.

Founded in 2001, SSVP manages a portfolio of seven companies with annual worldwide revenues of €1.5 billion. The company intends to operate TNT Innight under a new brand name.


Tough to make an airline profit from cargo...

GENEVA: May 04, 2016. IATA says its members reported a 2.0 percent drop in traffic - as measured in freight tonne-kilometers - in March while capacity rose 6.9 percent compared to the same period last year.

The weak results reflect subdued growth in world trade with the most significant fall in demand in Asia-Pacific and North America.  Combined they account for some 60 percent of global freight traffic and reported monthly declines of 5.2 percent and 1.8 percent respectively.

"It is shaping up to be another tough year for air cargo. February 2016 world trade volumes were only 0.4 percent higher than at the end of 2014. And the expectations of purchasing managers give little optimism for an early uptick. The combination of fierce competition, capacity increases and stagnant demand makes this a very difficult environment in which to generate profits," said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO.


…unless you’re a lessor

DUBLIN: May 05, 2016. LCI, the aviation subsidiary of the Libra Group, has provided ACT Airlines two B747-400 freighters for an ACMI operation on behalf of Qatar Airways and Saudia, Saudi Arabian Airlines.

Istanbul-based ACT Airlines, popularly known as myCARGO, is 49 percent owned by China’s HNA Group. The company operates a fleet of eight B747-400F/ERF aircraft on its own behalf as well as other airlines.

LCI executive chairman Crispin Maunder commented: “The demand for air cargo is beginning to show signs of revival again and LCI intends to play an important role going forward in this market, providing good quality dedicated freighters, such as factory-built Boeing 747-400F freighter aircraft, on lease to existing and new customers around the world.”


 

SEATTLE/HANGZHOU: January 28, 2016. Amazon.com has reported 2015 fourth quarter net income of US$482 million after a 22 percent year-on-year increase in net sales to US$35.7 billion.

For the full year, net sales increased 20 percent to US$107.0 billion from US$89.0 billion in 2014. Net income was US$596 million, compared with net loss of US$241 million in 2014.

Amazon expects a net sales growth of 17 to 28 percent or US$26.5 billion to US$29.0 billion for the first quarter of 2016 compared to the same period last year, with operating income ranging from US$100 million to US$700 million compared to US$255 million in the first quarter 2015.

Amazon Fire HD“Twenty years ago, I was driving the packages to the post office myself and hoping we might one day afford a forklift. This year, we pass US$100 billion in annual sales and serve 300 million customers,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. “And still, measured by the dynamism we see everywhere in the marketplace and by the ever-expanding opportunities we see to invent on behalf of customers, it feels every bit like Day 1,” he added.

By comparison, the Alibaba Group reported a 108 percent rise in fourth quarter net income to US$1.9 billion on sales of US$5.3 billion, an increase of 32 percent year-over-year. Sales from its China retail marketplace rose 35 percent in the same comparative period to US$4.4 billion while international sales rose 17 percent to US$318 million.

Alibaba noted the quarter’s net income benefited from the sale of its movie-related businesses to Alibaba Pictures.

Daniel Zhang, Alibaba Group CEO commented: “We remain focused on our top strategic priorities, including global imports, rural expansion, increasing our footprint in first-tier Chinese cities and building a world-class cloud computing business.” CFO Maggie Wu added: “We had excellent results this quarter. We achieved impressive revenue growth as we are increasingly monetizing the user activity on our marketplaces, particularly on mobile devices. Meanwhile, we generated strong free cash flow of US$3.7 billion this quarter.”

Alibaba said its logistics information systems affiliate Cainiao is enabling same-day delivery in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Suzhou and Wuhan, and next day delivery in 88 cities, up from 41 in the previous quarter. During the quarter its last-mile delivery partners YTO Express and Best Logistics launched a guaranteed delivery time to customers enabled by Cainiao’s integrated data flow.

In December last year, Alibaba Group announced it was acquiring the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post for an undisclosed sum declaring: “China's rise as an economic power and its importance to world stability is too important for there to be a singular thesis.”

The move follows the purchase of the Washington Post by Jeff Bezos in 2013 for US$250 million: “The Post has the good fortune of being the newspaper of the capital city of the United States of America,” he said. “That’s a great starting point to being a national and even global publication.”

 

CSAFE Global

 

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