Network Rail is business of the year
Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd (United Kingdom) has been crowned the winner of The Rail Freight Group’s (RFG) coveted Business of the Year Award 2013.
The award recognises the company’s ongoing and effective process of internal transformation and its renewed focus on developing and working to better meet the needs of the rail freight sector.
The judges congratulated Network Rail and said it had helped boost the sector through a renewed focus on working with businesses and freight operating companies to assist in the growth of the rail freight market.
Judges said: “Congratulations to Network Rail, a business which in the judges' view has really transformed itself in recent times to display a real and strategically important focus on freight. Choosing a winner was incredibly difficult but as a category winner in its own right and a partner in the Project of the Year Winner, there was only one winner of this year's Business of the Year Award.”
The winner of the overall Business of the Year award is selected from all the entries and based on successful all-round performance.
Held in the evening of September 10, 2013 at Shendish Manor Hotel, Herts, NR also scooped the Customer Care award and was part of a team that won the Project of the Year award, as part of an effective partnership with Atkins and Balfour Beatty.
Tony Berkeley, RFG Chairman, said: “These awards recognise and celebrate all those who have strived to deliver even greater successes in an increasingly demanding rail freight market. I would like to say a huge congratulations to everyone in Network Rail’s team involved with promoting rail freight.
“The RFG awards continue to go from strength-to-strength and we encourage all our members to consider entering the awards. They are well known for being different to other award events, apart from being the only awards dinner dedicated to rail freight, they are informal, which isalways really appreciated by all of our guests.
“I would also like to dearly thank Simon Coppen of Burges Salmon LLP and John Smith MD of GB Railfreight for kindly supporting the 2013 awards.”
Other winners and runners-up on the night included;
Winner – Network Rail
Runner-up – Victa Railfreight
Winner – VTG Rail UK
Runner up – Cooper SH
Winner – Hutchison Ports (UK) – Port of Felixstowe
Runner up - DB Schenker Rail (UK)
Project of the year
Winner – Atkins, Network Rail and Balfour Beatty
Runner-up – Hutchison Ports (UK) – Port of Felixstowe
Support Service Provider of the year
Joint winner – Cooper SH
Joint winner - Carillion
Outstanding Individual Contribution
Winner – Sabrina Brannan (DRS)
Commended – Walter Cartwright (DB Schenker)
Commended – Paul Lugg (VTG)
Commended – Ray Cripps (L.Lynch)
On the night, some £1,595 was also raised for the Railway Benefit Fund, the chosen charity of the RFG Awards.
The panel of judges was comprised of Richard Hope, railway journalist; Jeremy Candfield, Railway Industry Associaton; Stephen Joseph, Campaign for Better Transport; Simon Coppen of Burges Salmon and John Smith of GBRf.
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.