Aramex expands logistics presence in Ethiopia
Aramex has announced the expansion of its operations across Ethiopia through a Master Franchise Agreement with Logix Express PLC, expanding its footprint in Africa.
As part of its business expansion strategy, Aramex Ethiopia will be inaugurating five outlets in Addis Ababa by August 2017, which will increase the number of outlets in the city to ten.
Outside the capital, the company currently operates two outlets in Dire Dawa and Hawassa and has plans to open five new outlets in Bahir Dar, Gondar, Jimma, Dessie, and Mekelle. Aramex Ethiopia also plans to further expand its operations by adding 15 new outlets by the end of 2017.
With this expansion, Aramex is now present in 23 African countries.
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“As one of the world’s fastest growing economies, Ethiopia is an exciting market for Aramex, and we believe there is vast potential to expand our specialized logistics services throughout the country,” said Hussein Hachem, Chief Executive Officer of Aramex.
“With the continued growing demand for logistics and transportations services in Ethiopia, we have already started planning for additional investments in technology infrastructure upgrades, and developing our local human talent to meet the needs of our customers throughout the region and globally.”
Dawit Woubshiet, Director of Logix Express PLC, said: “Ethiopia is a key market for us and we have witnessed an increase in the logistical needs throughout the region. The new facilities will complement our existing suite of services in Ethiopia, enabling us to expand our service offerings to effectively meet the domestic market needs.”
Aramex’s operations in Ethiopia include door-to-door delivery and pickup, customs clearing, freight forwarding, and e-services, including ‘Shop & Ship’ and ‘Drop & Ship’.
FedEx is Reshaping Last Mile with Autonomous Vehicles
FedEx is embarking on an expanded test of autonomous, driver-less delivery vehicles to develop its last-mile logistics.
The US logistics firm piloted autonomous vehicles from Nuro in April this year, and the pair will now explore that further in a multi-year partnership. Cosimo Leipold, Nuro’s head of partnerships, said the collaboration "will enable innovative, industry-first product offerings that will better everyday life and help make communities safer and greener".
FedEx will explore a variety of on-road use cases for the autonomous fleet, including multi-stop and appointment-based deliveries, going beyond more traditional applications of the technology in single-route movement of goods from A-B. Exponential growth in ecommerce is spurring its broader experimentation in new autonomy solutions, Fed-Ex says, both in-warehouse and on-road.
“FedEx was built on innovation, and it continues to be an integral part of our culture and business strategy,” said Rebecca Yeung, Vice President, Advanced Technology and Innovation, FedEx Corporation. “We are excited to collaborate with an industry leader like Nuro as we continue to explore the use of autonomous technologies within our operations.”
The changing role of couriers
Unlike structured delivery networks, operating under long-term partnerships and contracts, agility is where couriers deliver true value - and their ability to deftly solve last-mile fulfilment has most acutely been felt during the pandemic. For the billions of people around the world forced to stay at home to protect themselves and their communities from the spreading COVID-19 virus, couriers have been a constant. They may have been the only knock at the door some people experienced for weeks or months at a time.
But the last-mile has been uprooted by a boom in ecommerce, a shift that has been most apparent in the UK, US, China and Japan, according to the Global Parcel Delivery Market Insight Report 2021 by Apex Insight. These are markets with dominant economies and populations used to running their lives with a tap of a screen or double-click of a mouse.
“Getting last mile delivery right has long been a challenge for retailers,” says Kees Jacobs, Vice President, Consumer Goods and Retail at Capgemini. “In 2019, 97% of retail organisations felt their last-mile delivery models were not sustainable for full-scale implementation across all locations. Despite increasing demand from customers, companies were struggling to make the last mile profitable and efficient.”
Jacobs says that the pandemic alleviated some of these stresses in the short term. With no other option, consumers were understanding and tolerant, if not entirely happy, with longer delivery times and less transparent tracking. “But, as extremely high delivery demand continues to be normal, customers will expect brands to contract their delivery times,” he adds.
Last mile's role in ESG
Demand and volume weren’t the only things that have changed during the pandemic - businesses looked closer to home and as a result became more sustainable. Bricks and mortar stores were transformed from mini-showrooms to quasi-fulfilment centres. Online retailers and other businesses sought local solutions to ship more faster. In densely populated London, UK alone, Accenture found that delivery van emissions dropped by 17%, while Chicago, USA and Sydney, Australia saw similar emissions savings.