In Focus: Logistics in 2019
With the logistics industry as competitive as ever, Supply Chain Digital looks at what three of the leading companies are doing to maintain a competitive advantage.
Having unveiled a new mega parcel centre in Bochum, Germany, DHL has shown it means business by launching one of the most efficient parcel facilities in Europe. With a sorting capacity of up to 50,000 shipments an hour, the new facility will create 600 jobs in the region. The news showcases DHL’s intent and follows the launch of its Obertshausen parcel centre near Frankfurt in 2016, which became the biggest DHL facility in Germany. Operating with “Strategy 2025” in mind, DHL is focused on harnessing sustained potential for profitable long-term growth. “Deutsche Post DHL Group has never been in better shape. We are convinced that future growth will come from a consistent focus on our profitable core logistics businesses – and digitalisation will become the greatest lever,” commented Frank Appel, CEO of Deutsche Post DHL Group. “We need not reinvent ourselves. We will digitalise ourselves.”
The company has been trialling drone technology and completed a commercial residential delivery in Christiansburg, Virginia, in collaboration with Wing Aviation in October 2019. FedEx operates a diverse range of solutions which include; FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight, FedEx Services, FedEx Logistics and FedEx Office. At the end of June 2019, FedEx Express chose not to extend its domestic contract with Amazon and now focuses on serving the broader e-commerce market. While in April 2019, FedEx Office unveiled its 2,000th retail location as it accelerates its ever-expanding footprint. “Our 2,000 stores represent an unmatched nationwide network for both shipping and printing,” said Brian Philips, CEO and president of FedEx Office. “We’re continually investing in new ways to make e-commerce easy for customers and retailers alike. We also continue to enhance our network’s printing capabilities, which include advanced color management technology that ensures the accuracy and consistency of materials printed at any location nationwide.”
UPS has experienced a busy few months. The company introduced a new flat rate shipping option earlier in November in a bid to offer its customers a simpler solution. The new shipping option, UPS Simple Rate, will help small and medium-sized businesses and will enable SMBs to ship by UPS 2nd Day, UPS 3 Day Select and UPS Ground services to any US location for a flat rate. “UPS responds to our customers’ need for more convenience, choice and control,” said Kevin Warren, chief marketing officer at UPS. “Simple Rate helps small businesses take the guesswork out of shipping by providing simple, fast and transparent flat rates nationwide with guaranteed on-time delivery and no special packaging required.” UPS is also experimenting with drone technology, with its UPS Flight Forward subsidiary receiving its first full Part 135 Standard certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FFA) to operate a drone airline.
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Kuehne+Nagel cuts carbon footprint by 70% for Honda China
Around 16,000 tonnes of CO2 has been cut from supply chain of Honda's China-based manufacturing division through a road-to-rail transformation in partnership with logistics leader Kuehne+Nagel.
The programme was developed through KN Sincero, the joint venture between Swiss headquartered Kuehne+Nagel and Chinese automotive logistics firm Sincero, established in 2018.
KN Sincero worked with Honda China to develop an integrated solution to convert much of its domestic long-haul trucking to train lines, using regional hubs to improve supply chain performance and further reduce carbon emissions. The programme delivered consolidations as well as value-added services, including sorting, scanning, repackaging, GPS track and trace, and recyclable container management.
"Kuehne+Nagel has always been a supply chain partner that we can rely on, to help us improve our supply chain performance whilst also achieving our environmental goals,” said Mr. Jiang Hui and Mr. Takuji Kitamura, Joint General Manager of Wuhan Dong Hon, the logistics affiliate of Dongfong Honda Automotive.
After six months of shifting to the road-to-rail model, new supply chain reliability and efficiencies are expected too trip 16,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually. The carbon savings represent an enormous 70% reduction in total.
"Automotive is one of the most important sectors in contract logistics, particularly in China, the world’s largest automotive market,” added Gianfranco Sgro, member of the Management Board of Kuehne + Nagel International AG, responsible for Contract Logistics. “I am glad that Kuehne+Nagel and Honda share a common vision of service, innovation and sustainability.”
Kuehne+Nagel’s Net Zero Carbon programme
Kuehne+Nagel announced its Net Zero Carbon programme in 2019 with a dual purpose to reduce CO2 output in its own logistics operations, as well as partnering with organisations to minimise their own impact on the planet. Kuehne+Nagel reached carbon neutrality globally in 2020 throughout its own, direct emissions, and is now focused on developing its capabilities to serve partners.
Dr. Detlef Trefzger, Chief Executive Officer of Kuehne+Nagel International AG, said the programme is “a package of measures to fight CO2 emissions and provide sustainable and innovative supply chain solutions – hand in hand with our suppliers and customers”.
As part of the initiative, Kuehne+Nagel established its own nature projects in Myanmar and New Zealand, and invested in ‘nature-based’ carbon dioxide compensation projects to strip harmful emissions from the environment. It is committed to being CO2 neutral for shipments in its network of transport suppliers by 2030.