Lufthansa Cargo announced healthy operating profit for 2012
Lufthansa Cargo has announced a healthy operating profit of €104 million for 2012, following the implementation of the carriers’ ‘Lufthansa Cargo 2020’ future programme.
Chairman and CEO Karl Ulrich Garnadt highlighted the significant progress made with the future programme, which comprises of six projects designed to secure and expand the carrier’s role as a leader in the air freight industry.
“The results show that we can defend our outstanding position in the international air freight industry even in difficult conditions,“ said Garnadt during the presentation of the annual results in Frankfurt.
As with the majority of global air freight industry, the Company had to contend with an extremely difficult market environment last year as demand declined in all the major markets.
Lufthansa Cargo reacted by pursuing flexible and demand-driven capacity management. “That was the only way for us to keep the capacity utilisation and profitability of our flights at a high level and be one of few cargo airlines, worldwide, to return a profit again in 2012,” continued Garnadt.
During the year, Lufthansa Cargo returned an operating result of €104 million (2011: €249 million). Owing to disciplined capacity steering, revenues fell below the year-earlier level of €2.9 billion to €2.7 billion.
The construction of a new logistics center at the Frankfurt hub and huge capital expenditure agreed last year on a leading-edge IT landscape “signal the Company’s path into the future”, according to Garnadt.
A further milestone will be achieved with the delivery of the first two of five Boeing 777 freighters on order in autumn 2013: “The 777 is the most efficient freighter of its class – and both within and without the most visible sign of our renewal. The low fuel consumption and high efficiency of the type will strengthen us in competition and will, moreover, through lower emissions ease the impact on the environment.”
Positive Outlook for 2013
In the wake of the global decline in demand in 2012, Lufthansa Cargo is anticipating a more positive trend in the air freight markets in 2013. A perceptible recovery in demand is expected at the latest in the second half-year. In this market environment, Lufthansa Cargo will continue to steer capacity in accordance with demand so as to stabilise utilisation and average yields. The Company is likely to increase capacity marginally in the single-digit percentage range in comparison with the previous year. It is expecting operating profits to be in the region of three-digit millions again in 2013 and higher than in the previous year.
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.