May 17, 2020

Germany urges the ICAO to create emissions solution

European Union
Emissions Trading Scheme
Freddie Pierce
2 min
airbus freight1.jpg
A German politician yesterday urged the ICAO to provide a solution to the problem of aircraft emissions following concerns that Airbus could “suf...

A German politician yesterday urged the ICAO to provide a solution to the problem of aircraft emissions following concerns that Airbus could “suffer deeply” from retaliatory protests to the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS).

Peter Hintze, a deputy minister for economics and technology, is in charge of Germany’s aviation policy. He was reported to have raised concerns at the ILA Berlin airshow after meeting with fellow Airbus member-nations (France, Spain and the UK)


The US, India and China are amongst countries that have refused to co-operate with the ETS, which would see all airlines that take off or land within the EU included in the ETS, which levies taxes on emissions from journeys, even if they occur outside EU airspace. Several nations have complained that this infringes on their sovereignty, in some cases barring their airlines from participating in it.

According to reports, China has forced some airlines to put Airbus aircraft orders on hold, posing a danger to the company’s production rates, sales and jobs.  Hintze said that a global solution to this problem should be pursued through the ICAO.

“This is one of the first times a transport minister has openly declared he has reservations about the timing [of the ETS],” Geert Sciot, general manager, communications, at the Association of European Airlines (AEA), told Air Transport World.

AEA has urged a global solution to the emissions issue rather than a regional European one that could distort competition, he added. The latter “would have a negative impact and our carriers risk retaliation from non-European countries”.


Share article

Jun 15, 2021

FedEx is Reshaping Last Mile with Autonomous Vehicles

3 min
FedEx is expanding a trial of autonomous vehicles in its last-mile logistics process with partner Nuro, including multi-stop and appointment deliveries

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. 

Share article