May 17, 2020

Board shake-up at Stobart following profit warning

Eddie Stobart
Stobart Group
Investco Perpetual
Avril Palm
Freddie Pierce
2 min
Stobart will shut it's chilled food distribution business
Stobart Group, the company behind the familiar green freight trucks seen regularly on UK motorways, is allegedly set to start selling off its businesse...

Stobart Group, the company behind the familiar green freight trucks seen regularly on UK motorways, is allegedly set to start selling off its businesses, following a boardroom coup which saw the retirement of Non-Executive Chairman Rodney Baker-Bates.

Following an interim statement which warned of a lower than expected operating performance from September 1st, majority shareholders Investco Perpetual, with a 37 percent share in the company, are reported to have ‘led’ a boardroom coup, following a deep in shares of one quarter, according to the Financial Times.

A statement from the group detailed the departure of Baker-Bates, who has served as chairman since September 2007, along with David Beever, a Non-Executive Director who has also decided to step down from the board with immediate effect.

New Director

To take the place of the two non-executives, the board ‘decided to appoint Avril Palmer-Baunack as Executive Chairman with immediate effect’.

Avril became a Group executive director and Deputy Chief Executive on 18 September 2012 following the Group's acquisition of Autologic, and ‘has extensive experience in delivery of strategy and shareholder value within the public company environment’, according to the online statement.

Andrew Tinkler the Chief Executive Officer commented:

"To meet the challenges and opportunities within our strategy the board now believes it is appropriate that Stobart is headed by an Executive Chairman. In the relatively short time that she has been with the Group, Avril has demonstrated to the board that she is the right person to carry out this demanding role. We look forward to supporting her leadership and I personally look forward to continuing to work with Avril to deliver the inherent value of our business."

Sale of companies?

The Stobard Group, which owns a number of companies including London Southend Airport, highlighted the underperforming divisions in their profit warning and claimed that ‘negotiations are continuing on the disposal of several properties within the portfolio’.

‘The board continues to focus on realising value from all investments in the short and medium term, whilst managing the business in the delivery of trading results in the current uncertain economic environment.’

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Jun 17, 2021

Cainiao Network Launches Customer-Centric Logistics

Cainiao
Alibaba
Logistics
Tmall618
3 min
Cainiao will focus on the customer experience in Singapore and Malaysia during its Tmall 618 Mid-Year Shopping Festival

As the logistics division of the Alibaba Group, Cainiao Smart Logistics Network has decided to provide its Southeast Asian customers with unsurpassed service during its annual shopping festival. Based on customer feedback surveys, the company will expand its real-time customer service support and speed up delivery times. ‘By expanding and deepening our services, we aim to provide a stronger logistics infrastructure that can bolster the booming eCommerce sector, support merchants’ expansion into new markets and diversify retail options for consumers’, said Chris Fan, Head of Cross-Border, Singapore, Cainiao Network.

 

Who Is Cainiao? 

According to TIME Magazine, Cainiao ‘is far from a typical logistics firm’. The company controls an open platform that allows it to collaborate with 3,000 logistics partners and 3 million couriers. This means that merchants can choose the least expensive and most efficient shipping options, based on Cainiao’s real-time logistics analytics. The company’s goal is to ship packages anywhere in the world in under 72 hours—and for less than US$3.00. 

 

For countless small business owners around the world, from coffee-growers to textile-weavers, this could change everything. Usually, it costs about US$100 to ship a DHL envelope from Shanghai to London in five days. Cainiao aims to change that. Said its CEO Wan Lin: ‘The biggest barrier to globalisation is logistics’. 

 

What’s Part of the Upgrade? 

Throughout the Tmall festival, Cainiao’s logistics upgrade will be divided into four critical segments: 

 

  • Real-time customer service support. Cainiao has launched a direct WhatsApp channel for customers to receive logistics updates and ask questions. 
  • Expansion of air freight parcel size and weight limits. Packages can now be up to 30 kilograms or 1-metre x 1.6 meters to help ship large items such as furniture. 
  • Daily air and sea freight connections. Shipping frequency will almost double to seven times weekly to maintain resilience and efficiency. 
  • Compensation for lost or damaged packages. Customers will be reimbursed up to RMB 2,000 (US$311). 

 

Where is the Company Headed? 

From June 1st to June 20th, the finale of Tmall, Cainiao will ensure that its customers feel confident in the company’s ability to deliver their packages. Despite global shipping delays due to COVID, the show will go on. Said Fan: ‘This series of customer-centric logistics upgrades reaffirms our goal of pursuing value-added services to enhance customers’ shopping experience while mitigating challenges posed by external factors’. 

 

Furthermore, Cainiao has recently expanded its Southeast Asian operations, achieving revenue growth of 68% year-over-year. In Malaysia, the logistics operation has partnered with BEST Inc. and Yunda; in Singapore, the company has partnered with Roadbull, Park & Parcel, and the Singapore Post. And if its recent measures help retain and grow its customer base, the company will be well-poised to lead the industry in resilient and customer-centric global logistics. ‘COVID-19 made everyone realise how important the logistics infrastructure backbone is’, said Wan. ‘And it gave us a peek at what Cainiao should look like in three years’. 

 

 

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