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ZURICH: March 01, 2018. According to Alain Guerlin, director  and head of Products, Services & Technology Management at Swiss International Air Lines, air cargo is entering a new era. Digitalization and new technologies are creating the foundation for new business ideas and models. However with all the players in the supply chain now demanding high quality services, he wonders whether there's more to it than just technology:

Digital transformation is happening everywhere: travel and tourism, retail, education, automotive, you name it. Where do we stand in the air cargo industry? Even though air cargo players are quite slow on the digital uptake, technologies such as electronic messages, smart data sharing platforms, blockchain, IoT, augmented reality, artificial intelligence are already a fact today and are changing the way we are doing business.

Startup companies and micro trends are also shaping our future (and they are doing it much faster than us!). Online marketplaces already exist where shippers and logistics providers can meet, based on preferences, requirements, budget...

But is it really all about technology? Technology alone is not enough. It is a matter of connecting technology with processes, data and, ultimately, people.

It takes intelligent process co-ordination to ensure the right info is reaching the right person at the right time. And it takes smart data to ensure smart decision-making.

At Swiss WorldCargo we have started our digital transformation with a focus on projects that can really enhance the customer experience and enable us to go for smart decision-making. For instance, we are looking at use cases driven by the Internet of things (IoT): there is potential to connect virtually anything (e.g. high-end sophisticated pharma containers) to the internet and accelerate data-driven logistics.

We are also looking at big data analytics and machine learning systems, which will allow to digitalise logistics processes and, at the same time, will bring about new ways of gaining in process efficiency, new opportunities to interact with our customers and ultimately also drive new business models.

Two growing business segments have especially been on our radar that are very much driven by this absolute necessity of modernization and meeting specific customer needs: Pharmaceutical & Healthcare and eCommerce. But we have also been looking at the whole subject of customer experience: we want to create an advanced level of customer service that extends beyond basic service activities, to include a more personalized and customized approach that creates value in a customer-centric business setup.

All in all, at Swiss WorldCargo we definitely support the call for modernization and digitalization, because we believe it will help us increase productivity and gain in efficiency, stay connected with our customers and meet their needs, offer the required visibility and transparency and, most important of all, enhance the customer experience.

Listening to our customers, as well as anticipating their needs, is the most crucial thing, because this is the only way we can remain relevant as a premium service provider.

Alain Guerin is the former head of Cargo Marketing for Swiss WorldCargo.

AMSTERDAM: February 28, 2018. Air Cargo analyst WorldACD says the average global air cargo yield dropped to US$1.89 in January 2018 - 7.8 percent below the December level, but 16.8 percent higher than in January 2017:

"Taking the year-over-year (YoY) figures for January 2018 at face value, 2018 would seem to be off to a very good start.

"Virtually all airlines recorded US$ revenue growth, more than one third of all reporting airlines realized volume increases from 10 – 50 percent, and worldwide volumes were up by 8.5 percent (from Europe and Latin America even by more than 11 percent).

"The origin Africa was the month's outlier (exception) on two counts. It showed a negative volume growth YoY of [minus] 6.7 percent, [and] it was also the only region showing a positive US$ yield change month-over-month of 1.8 percent.

"All other origin regions recorded US$ yield drops from 1 – 10 percent MoM, bringing yields back from the lofty peaks they reached towards the end of 2017.

Top growth percentages YoY among the largest origins in Africa came from Ghana (23 percent); in Asia Pacific from Australia (26 percent) and Japan (21 percent); in Latin America from Chile (22 percent) and Colombia (14 percent); in Europe from Germany (18 percent) and the UK (10 percent); in the Middle East & South Asia from Bangladesh (9.0 percent) and India (3.0 percent); and in the USA from the Midwest (12 percent) and the Atlantic South (10 percent).

Yet, it is too early to qualify this year's start. We have the straightforward information that the worldwide US$ yield rose by 16.8 percent YoY in January, helped considerably by a devaluing US$ [as] the YoY yield increase was a mere 1.6 percent in €.

"Volume trends, however, are difficult to interpret as Chinese New Year (CNY) - a sizeable influence on overall trade – [began] on January 28 last year and on February 16 this year. CNY normally has two effects on trade: a spike in trade before, and trade diminishing afterwards. And although the negative influence is usually felt during the two weeks following CNY, the first four days (January 28-31 in 2017) bore the brunt of the decrease.

"Thus, with GDP-growth in the world continuing, one would expect January to be much better in 2018 than in 2017 - but by how much?

"Based on FTK-data for the first three weeks of January, we believe that YoY volume growth in this 'pre-CNY-period' may well have been in the range of 4-6 percent. A serious growth, surely, but hinting at an overall growth pace lower than the increase shown in the full January figures.

"Once February data will be in, we will be able to judge how the start of 2018 has really been.

"Looking one more time at 2017, we recorded the following trends in the various air cargo product categories. Average worldwide yield for special cargo (excluding perishables) was 45 percent higher than for general cargo; a year earlier, the difference was 50 percent. General cargo grew with 11 percent vs. 7.0 percent growth for other cargo categories, [while] the figures for 2016 were 3.0 and 5.0 respectively.

"High tech, flowers and pharmaceuticals showed the highest absolute growth of all special cargo. Biggest contributors to the growth in these categories were Hong Kong & Singapore, Colombia & Ecuador and India & Belgium respectively. Put differently, the biggest contributors to the growth in these three categories were DB Schenker, Cargomaster and Kuehne + Nagel respectively."

LONDON: February 26, 2018. With Britain's Conservative government continuing its attempt to cherry-pick a future EU relationship, David Jinks, head of Consumer Research at UK express shipping company ParcelHero, says its time to clarify the difference between retaining a Customs Union with the EU and remaining in the Single Market:

"Signing up to a permanent Customs union means no new tariffs on UK- EU goods and ends the threat of new red tape and border delays.

"In a speech at Coventry University Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn said: 'we have long argued that a Customs union is a viable option for the final deal. So Labour would seek to negotiate a new comprehensive UK-EU Customs union to ensure that there are no tariffs with Europe and to help avoid any need for a hard border in Northern Ireland.'

"Without getting into party politics, as an international company that ships thousands of parcels a month to the European Union, we strongly support Britain remaining in a Customs union with the EU.'

"Membership of a Customs union means we will continue to share external tariffs with all EU member countries post Brexit – meaning no new tariffs and taxes between the UK and EU, and no border delays and complicated Customs Invoices just to send parcels and goods to France or Germany.

"Britain currently shares a common set of tariffs with EU on imports from outside the EU, for instance there is a 10 percent tariff on cars and a 2.7 percent duty on golf clubs from outside the Union. Continued membership of a Customs union with the EU will end the threat of new tariffs and taxes being imposed on UK exports to Europe and visa-versa.

"This means British goods won't suddenly become far more expensive and uncompetitive in Europe, and EU-manufactured products won't suddenly go up in price for British consumers.

"Signing up for a permanent Customs union is very different and less contentious than continued membership of the Single Market.

"A Customs union is not at all the same as the Single Market, which used to be known as the Common Market. While a Customs union is about what happens at the borders of the EU, the single market is about free movement of goods and services within the European Union.

"The Single Market applies not only to goods but also services, investments and people.

"It is the Single Market which requires the free movement of people within the European Union, to allow for the exchange of services such as plumbing. That is likely to be far more of an issue with Brexit voters than border tariffs.

"We hope that all sides come to realize that remaining within a Customs union with the EU doesn't go against the spirit of the vote in favor of Brexit and won't impact on discussions around immigration or remaining under EU legal jurisdiction."

LONDON: February 08, 2018. Many British companies have already moved on from the EU and are looking at Australia as a major export market according to David Jinks, head of Consumer Research at shipping specialist ParcelHero.

"Ignore all the talk of the US or BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China) being at the forefront of British exports post Brexit. Since the vote, ParcelHero has seen a huge 54 percent rise in interest in shipping to Australia.

"Australia seems to have been overlooked in all the excitement about new emerging markets. Yet ParcelHero has seen a surge in shipments since June 2016. This is not surprising considering Australia is now the world's 13th largest economy, and our two countries have a shared language and Commonwealth heritage.

"Britain already ships £4.1 billion of goods to Australia, making it our 21st largest export market – but there is enormous potential to drive that up considerably further. It's not so long ago that Britain and the U.S. were almost entirely dominant in the Australian marketplace; now we are only its tenth largest importer.'

"Australia boasts one of the highest thresholds before there are any tariffs to be paid on imported goods, making it a highly tempting market for UK manufacturers and retailers. The AU$1,000 level means goods worth up to around £560 can be exported into Australia without incurring any duties or taxes – that's a very generous limit.

"Donald Trump's short-sighted decision to pull the U.S. out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that Australia was to launch with 11 other trading partners (including Japan, Canada and Singapore) has left the remaining TPP potential members regrouping and making very encouraging noises about including Britain in the Partnership, post-Brexit. This would lead to what amounts to a significant free trade deal with Australia and the other signatories.

"Australia's three major cities, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, hold half its entire population. That makes targeting export sales to Australia easier than you might think, given how large the country is.

"ParcelHero is shipping products Down Under in ever greater numbers, from clothing and lighting to car parts and books. UK retailers and manufacturers are clearly building relationships and investigating markets in Australia in readiness for Brexit. We've also shipped quite a lot of distinctly British niche products recently, from ketchup and pickles to Highland dancing items – not surprising since 1.2 million Brits. have made Australia their home.

"So who knows what other markets remain untapped?"


AMSTERDAM: December 31, 2017. According to air cargo analyst WorldACD, November traffic figures confirm what most people in the industry already suspect: 2017 was a record year for airfreight:

“The record volume worldwide, as seen in October, has already been relegated to the history books one month later: November beat October by 1.3 percent.

“For the third month in a row, the year-over-year (YoY) yield increase in US$ had to be written in double figures, this time the highest since the recovery after the 2009-crisis: +17.3 percent YoY (note that the price of jet fuel increased by 35 percent over the same period).

“With volumes growing YoY at 7.8 percent in November and 8.9 percent in Direct Tonne Kilometers (DTKs), airline revenues in US$ for the month were more than 26 percent higher than in November 2016.

“The WorldACD volume index, showing every month the moving average for the then last 12 months, steadily increased over the course of 2017, from just over 120 in January to 131.6 in November (year 2008 = 100).

“The most striking feature of the November figures was the yield increase from Europe. Measured in euro, yields jumped by almost 19 percent YoY to all destinations worldwide. The Americas played an important part in this jump: YoY yields from Europe to destinations in North America rose by 28 percent and to Central & South America (C&SA) by 25 percent (40 percent and 36 percent respectively in US$).

“Other origin areas shared in the US$-yield bonanza with the exception of C&SA, which saw its overall yield decrease slightly YoY; while yields to its most important destination - North America - showed a marginal improvement of 1.3 percent YoY.

“In terms of November volumes, a number of markets showed double digit growth figures YoY. In the larger markets, these were Asia Pacific to North America (+11.5 percent), Europe to Middle East & South Asia (MESA) (+11.3 percent), and MESA to Europe (+21.1 percent).

“Of the smaller markets we should mention C&SA to Europe (+12.2 percent), North America to MESA (+19.5 percent), and MESA to Africa (+20.1 percent). Asia Pacific strengthened its position as a prime growth market.

“Looking at the various groups of airlines, we noted that airlines from Africa, North America Asia Pacific and Europe contributed more than average to the YoY volume growth of 7.8 percent with increases of 14.5 percent, 11.4 percent, 9.4 percent and 8.7 percent respectively.

“Airlines based in MESA grew by 5.2 percent YoY, whilst airlines from Central & South America saw their total volume decrease by 6.4 percent. Of the airlines growing more than 20 percent YoY, three are based in Africa, three in Europe and two in MESA.”


AMSTERDAM: January 31, 2018. According to the latest data from analyst WorldACD, global air cargo yield, including charges, reached US$2.05 by December 2017, 2.5 percent above November and 23.5 percent higher than the same month a year earlier:

"December 2017 saw a year-over-year (YoY) growth of 4.5 percent in worldwide air cargo volumes. Main contributors were the origin regions of Asia Pacific (plus 8.0 percent) and North America (plus 5.1 percent). Europe's growth was 2.2 percent only, whilst air cargo originating in Africa contracted by 7.5 percent.

"MESA (Middle East & South Asia) and Central & South America saw an increase in step with the worldwide average. It was Europe that grew most as a destination (plus 6.8 percent). Yield developments, however, drew most of the attention: Worldwide yields were up by 10 percent YoY, measured in €, and by a whopping 23.5 percent in US$.

"Compared to November, US$ yields rose by 2.5 percent, another noteworthy feature, as yields usually drop between November and December.

"For the four quarter as a whole, YoY volume growth was 6.6 percent, impressive in the light of the fact that air cargo - after years of a lackluster performance - started to grow again from September 2016. Of course, this fact made it more difficult for the industry to record strong year-over-year volume growth figures in the latter part of 2017. However, that difficulty did not stand in the way of serious revenue growth for the airlines in Q4, as yields in US$ started to grow with double-digit percentages from September 2017. "Capacity shortages in a number of markets, rate-of-exchange fluctuations, and rising oil prices all had a role to play in the resulting worldwide airline revenue growth of over 25 percent in the last quarter of a truly remarkable air cargo year.

"We can safely call 2017 a real bumper year. Many records were broken, and most signs remained on green for almost the entire year. Yet, the year was no different from other years in the sense that 2017 also knew winners and losers: Origin & Destination cities, sectors and companies that grew, others that lagged behind. Here is our top level YoY overview:

"While general cargo increased by 10.5 percent, specific cargo products grew 7.4 percent, making for an overall volume growth of 9.6 percent or 10.8 percent in Direct Tonne-Kilometers (DTK). Yield improvement in US$ was also larger in general cargo - plus 9.4 percent versus plus 5.9 percent.

"The categories with the highest volume growth were Valuables & High Tech., Pharmaceuticals and Flowers, with US$-yield increases of 8.0 percent, 5.4 percent and 1.0 percent respectively.

"The Top-20 forwarders in the world remained an exclusive club in 2017, not allowing new members to join them, and their expansion was in line with the overall market growth although the Top-5 - DHL Global Forwarding, Kuehe + Nagel, DB Schenker, Expeditors Int'l and Panalpina as a group outgrew their colleagues with rises of 16 percent versus 14 percent.

"GSA's fared best in the Asia Pacific region with volume growth of 15 percent followed by Europe at 12 percent and MESA 11 percent.

"Of the 50 largest origin cities, four recorded increases of well over 20 percent: Hanoi led at 25.5 percent followed by Brussels, Colombo and Ho Chi Minh City. Hong Kong remained the No.1 origin point, expanding at 16 percent.

"Of the Top 10 origin points, Amsterdam and Los Angeles showed slightly less growth than the worldwide average. Among the largest destinations, Doha, leading with 42 percent, Shanghai, Osaka, Hanoi, Mexico City, Chennai and Campinas (São Paulo) all grew their incoming volumes by more than 20 percent.

"The shares of total business for the individual airline groups remained reasonably stable with the exception of airlines from Africa. While business from their region lagged behind, their overall growth was much higher than the growth realized by other groups. Carriers based in Asia Pacific grew a bit more than average in 2017, while airlines based in Europe, the Americas and MESA lagged behind, albeit only slightly, thus giving up a tiny part of their overall share of the pie.

"With positive trends continuing throughout the past year, the big question is of course how long all this will continue. As Mark Twain reportedly once said, it is difficult to make predictions, particularly about the future."

Just-released IATA figures show that 2017 demand, measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs), grew by 9.0 percent overall – more than double the 3.6 percent rise for the previous 12 months. Meanwhile capacity rose 3.0 percent in the same period, the slowest increase since 2012, suggesting one explanation for the "remarkable" WorldACD data – FW.


BONN: December 12, 2017. DHL Chief Commercial Officer Bill Meahl says the logistics industry needs to be planning now for a future that includes driverless trucks - and failure to do so will be a costly mistake:

"It's time for the logistics industry to start looking seriously into an autonomous future with driverless trucks leading the way. The question is: are we ready?

"The vision of an electric, autonomous future was catapulted back into the spotlight recently when Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled his latest innovation and first foray into the commercial vehicle market.

"Though not fully autonomous, the Tesla Semi is an electric, semi-autonomous truck that Musk says will be able to travel 500 miles fully loaded on a single charge. Tesla isn't the only company developing electric trucks, but the moment has certainly re-charged industry hype. Everyone's talking about it – especially those of us in logistics industry. So, just how close are we to an autonomous freight transport future?

"But the conversation isn't new. Earlier this year, the International Transport Forum (ITF) published a report that looks at how a transition to driverless road freight transport could happen. The study makes recommendations to help governments manage potential disruption and ensure a just transition for affected drivers. The main takeaway: Although automated road freight will save costs, reduce emissions, and make roads safer, the impact on driver jobs requires a managed transition. In short: we need to be thinking about an autonomous future now.

"We may still be a long way away from artificial intelligence (AI) behind the wheels of the world's semis, but companies managing large vehicle fleets ignore the technological advances at their own peril. Logistics industry players certainly need to prepare for a future more reliant upon autonomous vehicles. Failure to plan for this eventual inevitability will be a costly mistake.

"That's because the future has already begun. Did you read about the 120-mile driverless "beer run" that Anheuser-Busch pulled off in 2016? The venture down Colorado's Interstate 25 between Fort Collins and Colorado Springs broke the record for the longest continuous journey by a driverless semi-truck.

"Despite the historic feat, Lior Ron, co-founder of Otto, the company developing the self-driving truck technology that powered the ride, believes that for the foreseeable future AI will merely act 'co-pilots'.

"We are about to start testing several autonomous delivery vehicles in 2018, including our own DHL StreetScooter – thanks to our cooperation with AI computing company NVIDIA and ZF, one of the world's largest automotive suppliers.

"And while most are still talking about Tesla's splashy announcement, we're taking action. Our DHL Supply division has just placed an order for ten Tesla Electric Class 8 Semi Trucks, making it one of the first third-party logistics (3PL) companies to do so. We'll begin testing them in the U.S. once available in 2019.

"Both companies and drivers will benefit from the technology. For starters, we think the ITF is spot on: autonomous trucks will be much more energy efficient, which will reduce costs and carbon footprints. That's extremely important to us and our mission to achieve zero emissions by 2050.

"For drivers, who work long hours and need to be on the ball all the time, self-driving technologies will become a welcome companion in their cabs. As it is, there is already quite a labor shortage in markets such as the U.S. and the U.K.

"According to the commercial truck fleet news site truckinginfo.com, in 2016 the industry was short around 50,000 drivers in the U.S. alone. They estimated need for another 100,000 in 2017 on account of an aging workforce.

"That's why I see drivers benefiting the most. Autonomous technology will make their jobs easier and safer, which may keep many on the job longer. The autopilot will take over things like acceleration, braking, lane-centering, and adaptive cruise control and react instantly in certain traffic situations. Truckers will of course have to monitor all of this and remain alert – something I don't see changing any time in the foreseeable future.

"Consider airplane pilots. Though many people imagine pilots leaning back and reading the paper for most of the flight, that couldn't be further from the truth. Most airlines may use automation for much of their flights, but planes couldn't fly without the skill and expertise of the crew.

"For example, pilots must feed the computer with routing information and then constantly monitor and manage the system throughout the entire flight. The technology merely assists the human crew it does not replace them.

"Well before we witness driverless trucks cannonballing across America's Midwestern plains, I predict we're going to see truck convoys 'platooning' through the Interstate highway system at an unprecedented level of safety and efficiency.

"Platooning involves a convoy of multiple trucks that use sensors, radar and vehicle-to-vehicle communications to basically operate as a single unit. By following closely behind a lead truck, the 'truck train' takes advantage of drafting, which reduces fuel consumption. The technology has the potential to enable a single driver to comfortably command an entire platoon of trucks.

"We're currently putting platooning to the test in real-world DHL logistics scenarios in the UK. Led by TRL, an independent transport consulting firm, this British government-funded research project will see a lead driver controlling acceleration and braking for all vehicles, while drivers present in all following vehicles retain steering control and are ready to take full control if required.

"These trials will give us important insights to help better assess the long-term effects of platooning technology on road safety, the environment, traffic congestion, and the economy.

"Given both the technological and regulatory challenges, at this stage we think a fully autonomous future is likely further away than some think. But that shouldn't stop us – and governments around the world – from heeding the ITF advice and looking far into the future. That way we'll not only be prepared to manage the transition and avoid potential disruption, we'll also reap the many rewards of an autonomous future with driverless trucks.

"Artificial intelligence may never supplant human intelligence in the cabs of our industry, but it will help improve driver performance – and if leveraged properly, it has the potential to make their jobs easier and safer."

Bill Meahl is responsible for coordinating the cross DHL commercial activities of the company's Express, Global Forwarding/Freight, Supply Chain and Global Mail divisions.

KUWAIT CITY: January 23, 2018. According to Tarek Sultan, the CEO of Agility Logistics, when the World Trade Organization released a report on small and medium-sized businesses in 2016, its biggest revelation was how little is known about them:

"SMEs, which employ most workers and account for 95 percent of all firms, are the lifeblood of the world's economy. Yet they remain understudied, underappreciated and underserved, little understood even by the larger companies that count them as customers and suppliers. What's more, they have been consistently ignored by negotiators writing international trade rules.

"The WTO says SMEs – companies with fewer than 250 employees – have been 'largely absent from the broad trade debate.' One result, it says, is that cross-border trade is more difficult and costly for smaller businesses than for larger companies.

"Beyond that, the WTO study reads like a confession or self-indictment. 'Relatively little is known about SME participation in trade, ... their decisions to start exporting, or the benefits they may derive from internationalization,' the report says. 'In the WTO context, SMEs have not figured very prominently over the years. A relatively small number of agreements have provisions that refer explicitly to SMEs.'


"In some ways, SMEs defy efforts to study them. A 'born global' start-up – say, a German firm selling digital wares – has little in common with an African micro-enterprise that lacks Internet connectivity and can't make bank transfers or count on reliable delivery of goods.

"Available evidence suggests a strong correlation between the technological savvy of small companies and the likelihood they will take part in cross-border trade. eBay data from 22 countries shows that 97 percent to 100 percent of 'technology-enabled' small firms export but indicates that only two percent to 28 percent of 'traditional' SMEs are exporters.

"Indeed, technology is the great leveler for SMEs. When it comes to trade, their biggest obstacles are access to distribution networks, information about border regulations and standards, trade finance, trusted payment mechanisms, and reliable, cost-effective shipping.

"A soon-to-be-published survey of 800 small and medium-sized companies by the digital freight platform ShipA Freight highlights the vital role of technology in the success of these businesses and hints at the rise of the global SME. Some 86 percent of those surveyed said technology is 'leveling the playing field' to allow them to operate globally. They identified high shipping costs, lack of visibility into those costs, and the complexity of international shipping as the main obstacles to selling across borders.

"Today, public sector and private sector actors are at last trying to solve those problems for SMEs. Governments are scrambling to create online resources with everything from how-to guides to matchmaking services to single-window export-import portals. E-commerce platforms are helping SMEs reach customers at low cost, share product information, establish trust and engage in web-based sales across borders. Digital platforms such as ShipA Freight are giving small businesses a secure, easy way to manage shipments online, walking them through compliance issues, providing payment mechanisms, and offering port-to-port or door-to-door delivery.

"Taken together, these developments give SMEs a 'virtual' scale they could never attain before or achieve on their own. And as both the platforms and the enterprises using them get more sophisticated, SMEs will improve their productivity, lower their costs and gain the ability to plug into global value chains dominated by larger businesses.

"The data on SMEs and trade is incomplete but fairly conclusive. Whether in developed or developing countries, smaller enterprises that do business across borders generally grow, profit, increase productivity, diversify – and survive – at higher rates than those that don't."

The Honorable Al Gore
Generation Investment Management
20 Air Street
London W1B 5AN


Dear Mr. Gore,

A few years ago I asked a manager of Sustainability at Maersk Line whether the company had a Plan B if, or when, the Greenland ice sheet slides off and raises sea levels at ports on both sides of the Atlantic by a reported seven meters.

I asked him how Maersk would load or unload containers if its terminals were now underwater.

He replied that his company - with its head office in the same country that is responsible for Greenland - had no Plan B.

Or at least not one he wanted to share with a journalist.

Notwithstanding the Paris Agreement and continued warnings by scientists worldwide, members of the U.S. Congress and the current White House incumbent appear indifferent to the effects of climate change.

However there is a very simple and effective way to get their undivided attention.

With the possible exception of some indigenous peoples, humans are now completely reliant on logistics as a result of globalization.

Whether it is hair dye, smart phones or food, what all humans want or need gets carried by air, rail or water for final-mile delivery by truck, van or bike.

According to one estimate, 14,000 vehicles* a day pass through Dover (port and Eurotunnel) to deliver up to half of Britain's food supply. If delayed by strikes, fuel shortages or new post-EU Customs procedures, the country's food would last three days before shortages began.

Currently there is no sign of a plan to ensure trucks from Europe will continue to pass through Dover after March 2019 at the rate they do today.

Whether it is Mexico's border with the U.S. or Britain's border with the EU, without the global logistics industry mankind would feel its absence long before any Greenland cataclysm.

As U.S. Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson said in November: "Failing at logistics can bring down the mighty."

So if you want to wake up U.S. politicians to a more immediate threat, all you have to do is obtain the obvious support of the world's largest logistics companies.

Without them Alibaba and Amazon wouldn't be in the global e-commerce business.

They include: A.P. Moller-Maersk (Denmark), CMA CGM (France), COSCO (China), Deutsche Post DHL (Germany), DP World (UAE), Emirates Group (UAE), FedEx (U.S.), Hapag Lloyd (Germany), HNA Group (China), Hutchison Ports (China), MSC (Italy/Switzerland) - and the United Parcel Service (U.S.).

Notwithstanding their individual Sustainability efforts of which you are no doubt familiar, if all these companies stopped operating, members of Congress would soon stop breathing.

Of course given your experience as a politician, you may have some empathy with that idea.




Simon Keeble
Editorial Director,
HU Digital Media Ltd.


LONDON: January 04, 2017. Over the December holiday period reports surfaced of U.S. DIY retailer Home Depot considering the acquisition of XPO Logistics in a bid to compete with Amazon.com. According to David Jinks, head of Consumer Research for UK delivery company ParcelHero, the takeover is "highly unlikely" as it would harm XPO's many UK retail and manufacturing clients:

"Speculation was rife just before Christmas that Home Depot – the American equivalent of B&Q - was considering buying XPO Logistics – in part just to ensure that Amazon doesn't snap it up first!'

"Some retail analysts believe Home Depot's mooted XPO take-over would actually help it become an Amazon in its own right; controlling not just the sales but the means of delivery of a huge range of items.

"Home Depot is presumably mostly after the final mile/home delivery side of XPO, which is probably only around six percent of what the logistics giant does. Equally XPO probably only gains around five percent of its overall income from Home Depot - so there is precious little synergy.

"Most importantly, XPO is a logistic provider for many of the UK's major brands. It runs UK supply chain operations for companies from Ford to B&Q to Iceland.

"Three years ago U.S.-based XPO took over the huge European logistics company Norbert Dentressangle, which [had already] absorbed two British transport giants, Christian Salvesen and TDG. The company is so integrated into many British retailers' and manufacturers' operations that it has become what's known as a '4PL' – running fourth-party logistics and supply chain services for many of its business customers: from handling their returns and refurbishing products to operating their customer-help lines.

"This enormous supply-chain knowledge is likely to be undervalued by Home Depot - which would consider the takeover very much in the light of domestic U.S. furniture and DIY deliveries. This is a flawed idea and it's to be hoped it was nothing more than the result of pre-Christmas excitement."

XPO Logistics employs 91,000 people at 1,444 locations in 32 countries to help 50,000 customers manage their supply chains.

At the end of its third quarter last year, Home Depot operated 2,283 retail stores in 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam plus 10 Canadian provinces and Mexico. The company employs more than 400,000 people.

GENEVA: December 01, 2017. IATA says airfreight demand rose 5.9 percent in October compared to the same month in 2016 as capacity increased 3.7 percent – the 15th consecutive month where demand has exceeded supply. Amsterdam-based research company WorldACD says October was indeed special:

"The latest worldwide air cargo figures - as reported by 75 airlines to WorldACD - confirm what followers of the air cargo industry had noticed already: the month of October 2017 was special.

"Monthly volumes were higher than ever, whilst revenues (when measured in euro) peaked as well. Although revenues measured in US$ did not reach the heights scaled in the October months of the years 2010 - 2014, it should be noted that oil prices in that period were almost twice as high as they are today.

"With the recovery under way for more than a year now, the 10 percent increases seen earlier this year are now behind us. However, for the fourteenth month in succession, the industry showed a year-over-year (YoY) growth well above 5.0 percent, easily outpacing the growth in world trade. And the records set in October are almost certain to be broken when November-figures will be in.

"Worldwide volumes in October 2017 increased by 6.9 percent YoY. This figure, impressive in itself after the strong October 2016 performance, was dwarfed by a YoY revenue growth (in US$) of 20.5 percent.

"This very strong showing was driven in particular by the following factors:

1. an impressive yield growth from Europe and the Middle East & South Asia, in particular from India;
2. high volume growth from Europe, from and to North America, and to Central & South America; and
3. higher fuel cost factored into the revenues.

"Looking at the Top-20 origin countries, we noticed a more than average YoY volume growth in parts of the U.S: (Atlantic South +19.1 percent and Midwest +14.4 percent), Vietnam (+16.6 percent), Australia (+15.9 percent), Japan (+12.3 percent), the UK (+10.4 percent), Spain (+8.6 percent) and Germany (+7.6 percent).

"Lagging behind were such diverse origins as Taiwan (-8.8 percent) , the Netherlands (+1.5 percent), China East (+2.9 percent) and India (+3.7 percent).

"In the various categories of specific cargo products, the transport of pharmaceuticals had the largest YoY revenue growth (+31 percent), thanks to a healthy volume increase of 19 percent, coupled with an increase of more than 10 percent in yields that are already more than 50 percent higher than average air cargo yields.

"Developments in the two largest product categories were quite different. The transport of high tech. and vulnerable goods thrived (both volume and yields increased by more than 11 percent); but fruits and vegetables were less in demand, at least when comparing with October 2016.

"The edibles' volumes decreased by 2.5 percent YoY, while their average yields hardly gained ground. Compared with the previous month, however, this sector did very well, with a revenue increase of 16.3 percent over September 2017.

"The trend in DTK (Direct Ton Kilometers) growth for this year seems quite stable. Whenever the growth in DTK's is larger than the growth in kilograms, the average actual distance between origin and destination of shipments has increased.

"In October 2017, the difference was smaller than in previous months (+6.9 percent in kilograms vs. +7.4 percent in DTK's), as the traditional long haul markets from East Asia grew less than average this month.

"For the year as a whole, we expect DTK's to outgrow volume by 1.0 percentage point. This means that longer haul markets in 2017 continued to grow more than shorter haul."

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