May 17, 2020

US rail execs expect slow growth in the fourth quarter

Union Pacific
Dow Jones
rail freight
Trucking
Freddie Pierce
1 min
Union Pacific expects slow growth, as retailers choose trucks
Follow @WDMEllaCopeland US rail cargo executives are expecting somewhat ‘subdued growth in volume in the run up to the holiday season, due to an...

US rail cargo executives are expecting somewhat ‘subdued’ growth in volume in the run up to the holiday season, due to an increasing reliance on trucks for retail distribution.

According to two rail executives speaking at a global transportation conference in New York, rail cargo in the pre-holiday season will be disappointing.     

"We still do expect a peak season, which means year-over-year growth," Union Pacific Corporation CFO Rob Knight told the conference, according to Dow Jones Newswires. "It's just muted versus what we previously said."

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Union Pacific, the largest rail network in the United States, experienced a stock price decline by 2.56 percent to $119.11 during afternoon trading in New York on Wednesday this week. The company has seen it’s stock price gain 12 percent so far this year.

Despite this warning, both railroad executives maintained that their companies will display growth in the next year, but are receiving fewer shipments from retailers due to an increasing reliance on trucks.

Jonathan Gold, Vice President of Supply Chain and Customs policy at the National Retail Federation explained to the International Business Times: “Intermodal moves are growing but a majority still moves via truck.”

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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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