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Logistics Experts Take to the Skies for Air-Cargo Solutions

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Logistics Experts Take to the Skies for Air-Cargo Solutions

A major U.S. air carrier sought to fill the void caused by leading same-day delivery services implementing their own fleets in the sky. A Midwest zoo needed to fly in from the West Coast its newest tenants. And a growing air cargo company required logistical expertise to take itself to the next level.  

Whether it’s managing airborne cargo networks, moving animals across the country or breaking air carriers into the delivery business, seasoned logistics professionals proved they were on it. Witness the following air cargo solutions.

Delta Cargo and Roadie

With UPS, FedEx and Amazon having acquired their own planes in recent years to cut down on costs associated with booking flights on major air carriers, Delta Cargo recently turned the tables by getting into the ground transportation business. Based in Atlanta, Delta partnered with Roadie, a local same-day delivery service, to recently launch DASH Door-to-Door and mark an industry-first for a U.S. passenger airline.

The 24/7 pick-up and delivery service, from your business or home, is available from Atlanta to around 60 U.S. cities with more being added all the time. Pairing TSA-approved drivers with air cargo, Delta Cargo and Roadie boast that DASH is the fastest cross-country door-to-door service in the country—and that it’s competitively priced. 

Matt Weisenburg, Delta’s director of Cargo Strategy and Alliances, referred to DASH Door-to-Door as “a game-changer” for Delta, as Roadie has more than 150,000 verified drivers and the largest local same-day delivery footprint nationwide, reaching 89 percent of all U.S. households. DASH includes handling of time-critical shipments in industries including medical, manufacturing, automotive, industrial parts and more. 

 “Customers want what they want when they want it,” said Marc Gorlin, Roadie’s founder and CEO. “This partnership means we can deliver—whether it’s across town or across the country.”

Brookfield Zoo and FedEx

A female sea lion, about age 2, was found in May 2018 at Westward Beach in Malibu, California, where she was unable to care for herself after being weaned from her mother. When staff from the Marine Mammal Care Center in San Pedro rescued her, the sea lion was severely underweight, extremely malnourished and suffering from multiple puncture wounds and fishhooks in her body and one of her eyes, which led to a ruptured cornea. Vision in her good eye was limited.

Six months later and about 90 miles away in Dana Point, California, a second female sea lion, also about 2, was found dehydrated, malnourished and obviously unable to fend for herself. Rescuers from Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach discovered she had lacerations on one of her flippers and chest from a possible boat propeller or predator bite. X-rays later revealed she had 30 to 40 stones in her stomach and, once those passed, she started eating again and was released back to the wild in January 2019. But a month later she was found again at Dana Point Harbor looking emaciated, and a new exam revealed she had a cataract in her right eye.

Experts agreed neither sea lion could survive in the wild, so the respective mammal care centers began looking for permanent homes for them. The National Marine Fisheries Service reached out to Chicago Zoological Society, which agreed that Brookfield Zoo could take in the sea lions. They were introduced to each other at the Laguna Beach mammal center, and animal care specialists from the Chicago zoo flew to California to meet both sea lions, get familiar with their distinct personalities and make arrangements to take them back to Illinois. 

FedEx generously supplied the plane with the precious cargo aboard that arrived at Chicago O’Hare International Airport on Sept. 18, 2019. The zoo named one sea lion Carolyn after Carolyn Frisch, the FedEx employee who made the travel arrangements. The second sea lion was named Sabiena (pronounced Sa-bean-ah) after Sabiena Foster, FedEx’s Chicago regional communications manager and the company’s No. 1 community volunteer.

Frisch and Dan Englund, who together manage the FedEx Live Animal Desk, have a combined 60 years+ experience in moving animals around the world. “I’ve gone to the Brookfield Zoo as a child, have visited with my own children and now I have a namesake there!” said an excited Frisch. “In my 30 years of shipping animals, I’ve never been so honored. There could be no greater acknowledgement of the long-standing relationship I’ve had with the Brookfield Zoo.”

Menzies Aviation and Hermes Logistics Technologies

Operating cargo handling facilities in nearly 40 airports across six continents and handling more than 1.6 million tons of cargo in 2018, Menzies Aviation needed a Cargo Management System (CMS) for its global network. The London Heathrow-based company recently selected the flagship CMS from Hermes Logistics Technologies, the UK’s leading consumer delivery specialist. 

Hermes 5 (H5), the latest version of the CMS, was scheduled to be rolled out at Menzies cargo facilities during the current first quarter. The standardization and open connectivity of the H5 platform allows for complete compatibility and data-sharing across all Menzies’ logistics facilities and services, which cater to customers small, medium and large.

“After benchmarking the industry, we selected H5 as our cargo management system because it was clear Hermes offers the most advanced solutions in the market,” said Robert Fordree, EVP Cargo, Menzies Aviation. “Hermes is in our DNA, we have a shared history and working with them means that we are uniquely positioned to take full advantage of the depth of functionality H5 has to offer.”

Fordree adds that “H5 will be integral to our toolset for achieving our growth trajectory.” Yuval Baruch, CEO of Bracknell, UK-based Hermes, agrees with that sentiment, although he notes Menzies Aviation will be building up “from an already strong foundation.”

Hermes 5 has been adopted by airports, airlines and ground handlers across the globe, including Hanoi Airport, RSA National, LuxairCARGO and CHS Trade in Slovakia since its 2018 launch. “Hermes 5,” Baruch says, “represents the future of cargo management solutions, its open architecture allows for full integration into cargo ecosystems, from warehouses to airports.”

Currently, the CEO and his team are gearing up for the Feb. 14 Hermes Tech Hub in Leeds, where the theme will be, “For the Love of Innovation: How Tech is Driving Personalization in the Retail and Logistics Sector.”

ENTREPRENEURS

ENTREPRENEURS ALLEGE AMAZON’S “UNSCRUPULOUS BUSINESS PRACTICES” FORCED CLOSED BUSINESSES

A group of companies in Los Angeles and surrounding areas that were part of Amazon’s Delivery Service Partner Program are suing the e-commerce giant, it was announced Aug. 5. 

Plaintiffs the Hubper Group Companies and their affiliates allege Breach of the Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing, Breach of Implied Contract, Estoppel, Fraudulent Concealment, Unfair Business Practices and Intentional Interference with Business Relationship in the complaint filed in the Superior Court of Los Angeles by the Newport Beach, California-based law firm WHGC, P.L.C. 

They seek an unspecified amount in compensatory damages, disgorgement, plus exemplary and punitive damages from Amazon Logistics, which is accused of “wrongfully and without cause” terminating the plaintiffs’ Delivery Service Partner relationship this past April. That was after the Hubper Group Companies claims to have invested about $4.5 million into continuing its exclusive operations for Amazon, which included employing about 600 people to deliver good from nine stations covering 300 routes. 

Further, once Hubper Group Companies was put out of business, Amazon contacted the plaintiffs’ former drivers, offering employment as independent contractors utilizing the same delivery routes, according to the lawsuit.

“This is a clear-cut story of a corporate giant knowingly and deceitfully putting a group of local entrepreneurs out of business,” says a member of the plaintiffs’ legal team. “Amazon Logistics convinced these hard-working entrepreneurs to invest in a business that they knew would soon render worthless, a practice that is immoral, unethical, oppressive, unscrupulous and substantially injurious to consumers overall.”

e-commerce

Shipping Solutions Keep Pace with E-Commerce’s Global Reach

I recently came across a study in which 80 percent of executives from leading U.S. e-commerce companies said they considered expansion to international markets “critical” to future growth.  The survey also revealed that Canada, Western Europe and Asia account for most international sales from U.S. websites, followed by China and Japan.  

These findings are indicative of the “no-turning-back” mentality taking place among retailers, as the reality of the growing global e-commerce marketplace takes hold. U.S. retailers now look beyond their borders and see a world in which 80 percent of B2C e-commerce sales are taking place outside of North America, and in which consumers are increasingly open to shopping across borders.

International e-commerce sales have become so pervasive in fact, almost 60 percent of shoppers say they made an international purchase in the past six months. That number jumps to almost 63 percent for European consumers, and 58 percent for Asia-Pacific shoppers.

This is especially true within the lucrative U.S./Canada trade relationship, with as much as one-third of Canadian e-commerce purchases going to U.S. sites, and more than 60 percent of Canadians having made an international purchase in the last six months. 

Today consumers across the globe, including in emerging and developing countries, have unprecedented access to brands and product selections online. Consider, for example, that 75 percent of online shoppers in India and 61 percent of shoppers in Nigeria have made international purchases. It’s no wonder then the value of retail e-commerce is surging and projected to be valued at almost $5 trillion by 2021, just two years from now.

For smart retailers, the customers are there. The challenge is to connect with consumers in a way that aligns with their local customs and expectations to localize transactions and fine-tune the customer experience. And, since ensuring seamless deliveries is an important part of any customer experience, it’s essential to understand that international logistics resources are possible today that were unthinkable just a few years ago.

Meeting customer expectations – in every country

In thinking about satisfying expectations, a retailer will come to understand that the world’s consumers essentially want the same things when shopping online:  

  • Consistent inventory across all channels
  • Detailed product information 
  • Site navigation in their native languages
  • Prices listed in local currencies
  • Online payment/currency-conversion capability
  • Access to rebates and other savings incentives
  • Fast delivery – what they want, delivered when they want it.

A retailer must dedicate time to market research as a way to understand consumer preferences and dislikes.  You need to make sure there’s demand for your product, determine who your competitors are, and then find your competitive advantage. A good logistics strategy will be an integral part of that competitive advantage because seamless, on-time deliveries – and hassle-free returns – are among the most important deliverables for consumers all over the world.  

PriceWaterhouse Cooper’s 2019 Global Consumer Insights Survey asked consumers in 27 countries about their shipment expectations. Among the more interesting findings, is the impact mega-retailers including Amazon, Alibaba and Net-a-Porter have had in defining global consumer expectations. Global consumer expectations include free shipping (72 percent), free return shipping (65 percent), package tracking (54 percent) and same-day delivery (50 percent).

To accommodate these globally-shared expectations, international retailers are building logistics strategies that create the “look and feel” of a domestic delivery – despite being an ocean or a continent away.  Italian customers don’t really care if customs delays affected a shipment leaving the United States, or that bad weather over the Atlantic forced a shipment to be re-routed. They just want their packages delivered on time, as promised. Every time.

Behind the scenes, logistics providers are working to expand their international footprints, to ensure capabilities are in place to help businesses meet their delivery promises.  For example, my company recently announced a $1B investment in the future, including a new national hub set to open in Toronto in 2021.  You’ll find similar developments happening around the world.

Technology and innovation are also allowing logistics companies to provide levels of service that were unthinkable as recently as a few years ago. Some of those solutions include: 

-Customized solutions. Shipping companies can support a retailer by providing a wide range of options to build the best solution for a particular customer’s needs. Shippers have traditionally been bound by rigid carrier schedules; today, a solution can meet a specific need. For example, a shipment traveling from southern California to Ontario would benefit from direct linehaul service to the border, followed by induction into a Canadian distribution center. The direct linehaul could conceivably shave two to three days from a “traditional” Canada-bound schedule.

-Different modes of transportation. Hybrid solutions might integrate ground service with a rail or air component, depending on a particular situation. In fact, 2018 was a particularly strong year for intermodal volume on U.S. railroad, according to the Journal of Commerce.

-Expedited service. For shipments to Europe, Asia, Latin America, or even across North America, a retailer can take advantage of unprecedented expedited air solutions. We used to think of “expedited” as a solution reserved for extreme emergencies, but today, retailers increasingly rely on expedited air solutions because of its guaranteed, anywhere/anytime capabilities.

-Cross-border expertise. Efficiencies in customs management now make it possible for shipments to move swiftly across international borders. Experienced providers will ensure maximum efficiency in the clearance process, including assignment of the proper tariff classification code. Getting the tariff classification correct is important because an incorrect classification will delay a shipment, and shippers might pay a higher rate of duty. A report by the Auditor General of Canada found 20 percent of shipments arrive at the border with an improper code assigned! And since tariff classification is used to determine eligibility for free trade agreement benefits, an incorrect classification could cause the shipper to miss out on those savings as well.

E-commerce truly is the engine of future retail growth. And thanks to innovations in transportation efficiency, your access to the world’s customers has never been easier.

Old Dominion Celebrates Growing Capacity

Old Dominion announced its success during the first half of 2019 following the opening of six service centers across the nation. Reduced shipping times, increased daily volumes and enhanced delivery flexibility are key benefits the service centers offer for customers.

Locations for the new center upgrades include:  Mobile, Ala., Pompano Beach, Fla., Houston, Texas, Otay Mesa (San Diego), Calif., Texarkana, Ark., and Anaheim, Calif.

“Our 2018 results confirm that strategically opening new and renovating existing service centers to accommodate customer demand is helping to grow our business,” said Terry Hutchins, Vice President of Real Estate. “We will continue that strategy of searching for new sites to increase capacity and grow our network to continue to deliver premium service that exceeds customers’ expectations.”

The implementation of new service centers are carefully considered in terms of location, network capacity opportunities, and access to the highest quality workers. Each center is equipped with the highest quality technology in anticipation of increased customer demand.

“We search for locations in growing markets where we have access to quality workers to expand our network capacity. Expanding our network allows us to immediately accommodate customer needs, and is critical to maintaining our award-winning low claims ratio and guaranteed on-time delivery,” said Hutchins.

The company announced scheduled open houses for each of the new locations to celebrate their success:

Mobile – March 13

Pompano Beach – March 20

Houston – April 11

Otay Mesa – April 24

Texarkana – April 25

Anaheim – April 25

 

Source: Old Dominion Freight Line