Parcel2Ship – Week In Review – 31/07/15

YOUR WEEK IN REVIEW FROM PARCEL2SHIP

Every Friday, we will be bringing you news about different stories that have occurred through the week, most of which will be relevant to the parcel industry and the services we offer on Parcel2Ship. We will also be sure to mention any news from us directly, whether it’s about our website, our staff, or our achievements. We will be calling this ‘Parcel2Ship’s Week In Review’. Please let us know what you think, and if you want something mentioned in next week’s blog, get in touch and let us know!

COURIER AND DELIVERY NEWS

Royal Mail Fine

This week the postal regulator Ofcom found that Royal Mail has been breaking competition law and in turn preventing rivals from expanding. If these findings are confirmed in a decision to be made next year then RM will be fined 10% of their global turnover, which will be £940m for the privatised business. One of the aspects of Royal Mails pricing structure that Ofcom has a problem with is the increased access prices to customers that compete with them in rural areas, effectively making it harder for them to operate. This has meant that less competitors are entering the market in fear of being priced out, and the existing companies already fighting for their share are being pushed out, such as Whistl which suspended business earlier this year.

After their shares fell by just under 4% when the statement from Ofcom was released, Royal Mail stated they would respond ‘robustly’ to the report, and that it takes compliance obligations very seriously. They have also defended the price hikes for rural areas, pointing out that it is more expensive for them to cover these areas, so the charges need to be higher. A decision regarding these findings is to be made next year, and not only could it result in a fine, but customers of the company could benefit from a reduction in the price of services and postage.

dpd growth

Off the back of winning several awards, DPD certainly isn’t showing any signs of complacency. This week they announced that they will be creating even more driver jobs in the UK, in places such as Peterborough, Maidstone and Exeter. Just over 180 jobs will be up for grabs, as part of the groups ongoing expansion that has so far created more than 4000 jobs in the last 5 years, 1000 of those in this year alone.

Chief executive Dwain McDonald said: ‘This is a fantastic opportunity to be part of the nation’s favourite parcel delivery company and effectively run your own business. We are looking for people who are passionate about delivering a great customer service and being their own boss. We are expanding our network and our capacity nationwide to meet the continuing demand from our retail and other business customers. That means more opportunities for drivers in our Snetterton depot, which is growing rapidly. We have invested in our technology, our people and our infrastructure consistently for a number of years now, so our drivers have the very best tools for the job and the level of support you’d expect from a successful and award winning company.’

In other DPD news this week, the construction of their new parcel hub at Hinkley is now complete. The facility cost £100m and will be open in September 2015, creating another 1000 full time jobs in the area.

amazon drone update

Although their drones are still in development and they are waiting for the go ahead from the regulators in charge, Amazon are floating the idea of ‘drone zones’, which will allow them the space to operate their unmanned aircraft in designated areas of the skies. They are proposing areas of low altitude below 500ft be designated to them, with that space sectioned for local traffic and high speed deliveries.

This idea comes from Gur Kimchi, vice president of Amazon Prime Air, who told a NASA-hosted conference on unmanned vehicles that it was important not to ‘lock into today’s capabilities’. He and Amazon also want to reassure the aviation authorities that will be making the decision as to whether they can go ahead and use drone delivery, that the ‘sense and avoid’ technology on the drones will ensure none go haywire and stray off of their path and into the path of anything else.

TOPICAL NEWS

google+ and youtube split

This week it was announced that Google was sidelining Google+ so that users no longer needed it to post comments on Youtube and other products it owns. Youtube creators are said to have reacted with ‘glee’ at the news, after criticising Google in its attempts to integrate Google+, to give the social media platform a boost. People felt forced to use the network if they wanted to make the most of YouTube and the other services owned by Google, but now the integration will slowly be rolled back and all will be as it once was.

Google have said, ‘We want to formally retire the notion that a Google+ membership is required for anything at Google… other than using Google+ itself’. This news has been met with ‘a collective sigh of relief’, and after Google has been seen to let go of an idea that was never popular in the first place, many think that by showing they are listening to their customers, this could be a turning point for the company.

lord sewel

Last weekend a story broke regarding Lord Sewel and his use of drugs and relations with professional women all funded by the taxpayer, complete with video filled with revelations. He was filmed confirming that he uses his £200 lunch allowance to buy cocaine, and in another part of the tape released by The Sun, he is seen wearing lady’s underwear. Immediately after the news broke he quit as deputy speaker and took a leave of absence, but after public and professional pressure he later resigned as the chairman of the Lords privileges and conduct committee, which ironically monitors the behaviour of members. People still want him to resign from the House of Lords all together, but no matter what any member has done in the past, no one has ever been asked to resign.

Questions have now been raised over the House of Lords and whether a reform is required, and one question surrounds imprisoned members. For instance, Lord Archer hasn’t attended debates since 2001 when he was jailed, but he is still a Lord, along with many other absent peers. Whilst they do not receive the £300 a day that all members get per day they attend, they do have a life-long ticket to the privilege of setting laws. With over 800 members, many believe the house is too expensive and unaccountable, and could easily be replaced by a smaller elected upper chamber. However, Prime Minister David Cameron has said this will not be possible, and he is actually set to appoint at least 35 new Conservative members over the next few years, to help him win battles on Europe and welfare. Another reason that the House of Lords exists and will probably continue to do so, is that it consists of a group of independent-minded members with expertise in other areas outside of politics such as business and education, which balances the House of Commons which consists solely of MP’s with political agendas.

If Lord Sewel does resign from the House of Lords, it will be entirely his own decision, because even if there was precedent of a member being asked to resign in the past, the Code of Conduct addresses issues within the house, rather than private indiscretions. However, it has been argued that the money he has received for matters concerning his post, has been spent illegally, and as Baroness Stowell, Leader of the House, points out, ‘He showed contempt for the privileges and responsibilities associated with being a member of the House.’ She also believs that previously jailed and convicted members such as Lord Archer, should not have a place in the House of Lords, and that they should reconsider their position. Ultimately though, she and several other members hope that this display of debauchery from Lord Sewel doesn’t ruin it for the rest of the House of Lords and tar everyone with the same brush.

ed sheeran the actor

Ed Sheeran has already conquered the music world with just two albums and a loop pedal, but he isn’t ready to sit back and count his money just yet. Like many others he was a die hard fan of biker drama Sons of Anarchy, and got in touch with the shows creator Kurt Sutter on Twitter to show some love. Sutter then asked if Ed would lend his vocals for a song to be played in the final series of the show, and a friendship was born. A friendship that has created a plum acting job for Sheeren, because it has been announced that he will be joining Sutter on his new project, ‘The Bastard Executioner’. Filmed in the UK and staring Sutters wife and previous co-star on Son’s, Katey Sagal, the show ‘tells the story of a 14th century warrior whose life is changed when a divine messenger asks him to lay down his sword and lead the life of a journeyman executioner’. Ed is set to play Sir Cormac, an ’ambitious and deadly’ character, and we will get to see him in action when the show premiers this Autumn.

trouble in calais

The trouble continues at the border of Calais this week, and we are seeing some quite shocking images of immigrants trying to get to England. Around 4,000 people have stormed fences and have desperately tried to clamber on trains bound for Kent in the past three days, with about 150 people managing to get to Britain. However, 9 have lost their lives on the ill advised route, and this week many are asking for more involvement from David Cameron as the French authorities have seemingly lost control.

These problems are of course having a small affect on transit times for parcels travelling to Europe by road, however when we say small we mean small. The longest delay we have noticed is just 1 working day, so don’t let what is happening affect your orders. Those that are being seriously affected though are the holiday makers hoping to get across the Channel, so we hope that if you are travelling in the next few weeks that you aren’t waiting too long to get across.

PARCEL2SHIP NEWS

Whilst many of you know how long it took for us to launch our new website, we are always looking for new ways to improve it, and sometimes that means a bit of a facelift. Or in this case, a face transplant! We have been playing around with some new looks this week, and there is one particular look that has us all very excited here in the Parcel2Ship office. We can’t give much away at this stage because final decisions still need to be made, but we think you will all love the new look. Don’t worry about the bones of the website changing though, because they won’t. This is the part that took us so long to get right, so we wouldn’t want to change that so soon after our launch.

We’ve noticed some increase in customers opting to use DHL as their chosen courier this week. We cannot say enough good things about this company, and whilst the prices may be higher in comparison to the other couriers we offer on our website, in our opinion their experience, transit times and reliability makes it totally worth the expense. Don’t forget though that if you are on a tight budget, ParcelForce and DPD are still great companies to use, and their prices are lower in most cases.

We have sent out some review request emails this week, and will also be sending out a newsletter later today and at the end of every month from now on. We like to keep our customers informed of whats new with us and also the parcel industry, so if this is something that you would like to be sent, just make sure you opt to receive emails from us when you book your next order!

The team at Parcel2Ship

 

International Friendship Day

Today is International Friendship Day across the world, and although Friendship Day was originally created by the greeting card industry in 1958, the word International was added to it by the UN in 2011, in order for the day to be used on a grander scale for spreading peace and friendship throughout conflict countries.

The idea that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities is something that has inspired many people to get involved, and popular gifts given on this day include flowers, cards and friendship bracelets. The UN also encourages governments, international organizations and civil society groups to get involved and hold events, activities and initiatives that contribute to the efforts of the international community towards promoting a dialogue among civilizations, solidarity, mutual understanding and reconciliation.

Is this a cause close to you for political reasons, or do you spend it with your friends and show them how much they mean to you? Either way, let us know in the comments below and you may get a special mention in tomorrows Week In Review blog!

Spotlight On: USA

It is the last Spotlight: On blog of the month, and what better country to chose than the one that celebrated independence earlier this July – USA!

The USA is a country consisting of fifty federal states and a federal district of Washington DC, otherwise known as the country’s capital. The United States has a total land mass of about 3.7 million square kilometers and a total population of about 315 million. The capital city and seat of the government is Washington but the largest city in the US is New York City. The US is a multicultural society and is regarded as the most powerful country in the world. The US economy is the largest in the world and its military is also the most advanced. Other major cities in the US include Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and Boston.

If you have a parcel to send to the USA, or you want to know more about the services available from Parcel2Ship, you can either contact a member of the team or visit our website here

World Hepatitis Day

July 28th is World Hepatitis Day. Worldwide approximately 400 million people live with hepatitis B or C, and every year around 1.4 million people die from viral hepatitis. However, these deaths could be prevented with better awareness and understanding, and once the disease is eliminated, 4000 lives will be saved each day.

Today you are asked to stand up and be counted to raise awareness for viral hepatitis, to provide a voice for the 4000 people we will lose today. To get involved and show your support to one of the best causes there is, tweet using the hashtag #4000Voices and spread the word. You can find our more about this day, the cause behind it, and the events that are taking place, by visiting the official website here

 

 

National Marine Week

Rockpooling © Alison Forward - RockpoolingNational Marine Week is already in full swing this year, and is running until the 9th August. Why this week actually spans two weeks and isn’t instead called a fortnight, we do no know. But what we do know is that the UK is home to some fascinating marine wildlife, including sharks, seals and dolphins, and National Marine Week is the perfect time to learn more about them!

This year, dolphins are in the spotlight, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go exploring for other creatures in the water near you. So get onto the official webpage for the event, talk to your local Wildlife Trust, and keep your eyes open for local events where you live, to get involved!

 

Parcel2Ship – Week In Review – 24/07/15

YOUR WEEK IN REVIEW FROM PARCEL2SHIP

Every Friday, we will be bringing you news about different stories that have occurred through the week, most of which will be relevant to the parcel industry and the services we offer on Parcel2Ship. We will also be sure to mention any news from us directly, whether it’s about our website, our staff, or our achievements. We will be calling this ‘Parcel2Ship’s Week In Review’. Please let us know what you think, and if you want something mentioned in next week’s blog, get in touch and let us know!

COURIER AND DELIVERY NEWS

Royal mail sharp letter dip

For many, the news that Royal Mail isn’t collecting and delivering as many letters as before, won’t come as a shock. But on Tuesday the group revealed the dip in numbers was substantial and sudden, dropping 5% in just 3 months. They predict the number of letters will now continually fall each year by about 6%, with people using other forms of communication such as email and social media.

However, the blow has been cushioned somewhat by the news that parcel deliveries actually went up by 3% in the last 3 months, helping to increase revenue growth in the division by 2%. Furthermore, their European delivery network GLS have seen volumes grow by 9%, meaning that the Royal Mail Group revenue was flat for the first quarter of its financial year.

Moya Greene, chief executive of Royal Mail, says “We have benefited from the parcel initiatives that took effect in the second half of last year and a good performance from GLS. Our trading environment remains challenging and we are stepping up the pace of change to drive efficiency, growth and innovation, while maintaining a tight focus on costs.”

To maintain the growth in the parcel sector, Royal Mail has opened its network later and at weekends in a bid to maintain share in a competitive market, and with Black Friday and Christmas just around the corner, they hope to utilise these changes. Their next quarter numbers will be released in November, when we am sure we will hear a little more about their festive preparations

doddle’s new project

This week Doddle has announced that they will soon be starting a trial project spread over 5 weeks, that will involve using “neighbourhood agents” to deliver parcels. Speaking to the BBC, Chief executive Tim Robinson explained that the “agents” would be people who work from home and are available four nights a week between 18:00 and 22:00 to hand over parcels, with a manager overseeing the area they are in and assisting with queries and issues. He wants to formalise the service that companies such as Royal Mail already offer when they cannot deliver to a customer because they are out. Rather than deliver to a neighbour or someone that the customer potentially doesn’t know or have contact with, Doddle hope their service will appeal to customers who want a bit more control and security, should they be out at the time of delivery.

With their parcel lockers already a great success, and a recent partnership with DPD promising great things in the not too distant future, Robinson was keen to stress that this new service would not be replacing anything, but simply supplementing the services already available, and ultimately offering their customers more choice. However, he did also talk of the previous predictions regarding the parcel lockers, saying the numbers have been halved from 300 locations to 150. One of the reasons is the locations of the planned lockers in relevance to the train platforms, saying that customers don’t want to walk as far away as some of the proposed sites were going to be. So to solve this problem they are going back to the drawing board, and dropping the assumption they can build every location just a couple of yards from the rail station entrances.

black friday warning

Yodel has done some research about Black Friday and the consumer interest that surrounds it, and has published reports that it could produce 4 times the amount of business as it did last year. Out of the group of 6371 people they surveyed, only 8% said they placed an online order on Black Friday 2014, but about 30% of the group said they would participate this year. Because of these findings, Yodel have urged companies to be prepared: “With planning for the Christmas peak already underway across the retail and supply chain industries, the findings highlight the need for retailers, fulfilment houses and parcel carriers to work together so they can respond to uplift in demand over the cyber weekend.”

Further research suggested that customers wouldn’t mind waiting longer to receive their goods, because the deals were worth the wait. So Yodel have proposed that couriers spread the deliveries over 3 days to smooth the dramatic peak in parcel deliveries, but recommended that customers should also be given the option to pay for a faster service too. Yodel itself are preparing by “optimising its network to cope with such uplifts in demand” with their super service centers across the country in their busiest locations, and they also recognise that the key to getting it right this Black Friday is better communication and to manage expectations. With many couriers using Black Friday as a practice run for the Christmas rush, we hope things will run smoother than they did in 2014.

European Parcels Market Insight Report 2015

The European Parcels Market Insight Report for 2015 was released this week, and it included some things we already figured to be true, and other things that were great to hear. For instance, during the recession the parcels market has seen continued growth in most countries, mainly because of more people searching for bargains online and preferring to shop from home. This isn’t news to us, and if you read our other Week in Review blogs you will be familiar with the success that many couriers are experiencing recently, especially Amazon with their own courier network and their development of drone technology for delivering parcels in the future. New delivery methods, better customer facing technology and collection/delivery windows have also helped this growth, meaning in turn that innovation in the parcel industry is also on the rise.

The report focused on 8 main countries; Germany, UK, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium and Poland, but also featured the likes of Denmark, Norway and Malta among others. Russia and Turkey are excluded from the report though. It looks at figures published by the couriers themselves, feedback from customers, extensive desk research on the parcels market, and answers given in interviews of senior-level contacts in the industry. This report is useful for us because it is always great to hear the parcel industry is growing and getting better each day, but it is also very exciting from a customer point of view. Growth and innovation can only mean great things for those relying on parcel deliveries, and with the forecasts for the next few years looking promising, we think there are plenty more ideas on their way to make customers even happier.

TOPICAL NEWS

james bond ‘spectre trailer

After several years of waiting for the next fix of Daniel Craig as 007, the official trailer of the new film Spectre was released this week, and it has fleshed out the story line that has been kept secret so far. Craig is joined this time by newcomers Christoph Waltz and Monica Bellucci, with the trailer confirming Waltz as this years villain and Bullucci as James Bond romantic interest. Returning characters include Ralph Fiennes as M, Ben Whishaw as Q, and Naomie Harris as Moneypenny, with a new Aston Martin making its appearance, to keep up with tradition.

The trailer begins with the suggestion that Bond has gone rogue again, this time in New Mexico. After suggesting to Q that he needs to disappear, we cut to a snowy location and the drama intensifies. A steamy clinch between Craig and Bellucci, an ominous meeting with Waltz, and a mysterious spider like symbol later, the trailer succeeds in wetting the appetite of all fans and perhaps even some newcomers. Spectre is released here in the UK on October 26th this year, so we don’t have long to wait to see how the drama plays out.

apple profits in the billions

The technology company Apple have announced they sold 47.5 million iPhones within 1 quarter, marking an amazing 35% increase. Also up on the previous 3 months of the year were the Mac computer sales which rose 9% to 4.8 million units, meaning the overall profits of the company rose to £6.87 billion with revenue almost reaching around £32 billion.

However, despite the strong numbers in a quarter that historically shows lower sales in anticipation of new models, the share price of Apple stock plummeted. Annalists believe this is because the revenue forecasts were actually higher than what has been announced, and some are worried that the firms profits are heavily dependent on just one product – the iPhone. Cook is trying to sell the future of the Apple Watch to the investors, saying it has had a ‘great start’ and reminding everyone this is the first piece of wearable technology the company have sold, and that the sales of both the iPhone and iPod after they were first launched were lower. Also selling well are the iPods and Beats headphones, pulling in revenue of $2.6 billion, and new models of the iPhone and iPad are rumoured for next year, with each release of the newest iPhone smashing the previously set sales of the last.

taylor swift vs nicki minaj

Things heated up in the pop world this week after MTV released their nominations for the Video Music Awards 2015. Whilst both Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj both came away with a handful of nominations each, Minaj was left angry that her video for Anaconda was not nominated for overall Best Video, even though it was nominated for Best Female Video. She spoke on Twitter about how she believes this is because of her skin colour and body type, and many of her fans have offered support over what she believes is a snub. Swift however doesn’t seem to agree, and has tweeted her disappointment over Minaj pitting the two against each other. Other celebrities have got involved in the fight too, with Piers Morgan branding Minaj a ‘stroppy little piece of work‘ and Katy Perry criticising Taylor for ‘capitalising on the takedown of another woman

The VMA’s are on the 30th August and are being hosted by Miley Cyrus. Cyrus previously won the award for Best Video in 2014 for her smash hit Wrecking Ball, so she knows a thing or two about the competition. Other artists duking it out for moonmen are Ed Sheeran, Beyonce, Bruno Mars and Maroon 5, with the most nominations going to Swift, who could potentially walk away with 11 awards.

 EMOJI MOVIE

And the last story of the week goes to the emoji :) This week Sony won the rights to turn emoji icons into a feature length movie for us all to see in the cinema. How exactly the studio will be creating a movie based on the winky face is unclear at the moment, but it seems there was a bidding war for the rights. They believe that after the success of The Lego Movie, anything can be turned into a hit. We remain skeptical.

PARCEL2SHIP NEWS

Things have been getting busier for us here in the office, and we love it. It’s great to see the business grow, and it is all because of our lovely customers and their loyalty to Parcel2Ship, so thank you. Remember, a lot of our success depends on word of mouth and online reviews to get our name out there, so visit our Trust Pilot page and remember to tell a friend (or 10) about the service you have received. And if you have any suggestions about how we can improve the service we offer you, we are always happy to hear your feedback

One of the reasons we think it’s been busier this week is because the school holidays have kicked off in some areas of the country, so people have more time to organise their orders. We also find that this time of year sees a lot of foreign students return home, and sometimes they can’t quite fit all their belongings in their suitcases, so they order a couple of parcel deliveries with us to get everything home. So if you are struggling for space, give us a call or get a quote from our homepage!

The team at Parcel2Ship

National Women in Engineering Day

Women wearing hard hats

Today is National Women in Engineering Day, a day dedicated to raising the profile and celebrating the achievements of women in engineering. It is also used to encourage more women to join the field, focusing attention on the great opportunities available and the shortage of women with engineering skills.

The idea behind National Women in Engineering Day is to encourage people organise their own events in support of the day, making sure to use the NWED logo, corresponding website, and supporting resources. Publicity is key, so people organising events must try and get the word out there about what they are doing, using local media and social media such as Twitter and Facebook.

Let us know if you will be getting involved in any events today, and if you want to find out more about getting involved, just visit the official NWED website here for a wealth of information and resources.

Spotlight On: Belgium

Wednesdays seem to roll around very quickly here in the Parcel2Ship office, but that can only be a good thing because it means it’s time for another Spotlight On: blog, and this week we are featuring… Belgium!

Belgium is located in Western Europe, and its capital city Brussels is the location of the EU headquarters. The country has a land mass of over 30,000 square kilometers, and it neighbours the Netherlands, Germany and France. The state has linguistic diversity and part of its population is French, while the other is Dutch, with a small group of German speaking residents in the country also. Aside from Brussels, other major cities include Antwerp, Gent and Liege. The state is one of the richest countries in Europe, and its economy is export led with foodstuffs and machinery accounting to a large share of its annual exports.

So if you want to send a parcel to Belgium, just head to Parcel2Ship and get a quote by clicking here or on the flag!

National Parks Week

Coleridge Way

Next week (27th July to 2nd August) is National Parks Week, a week that celebrates everything that is unique and wonderful about Britain’s parks and breathing spaces. This year the theme is ‘Landscapes of Plenty’, to acknowledge that the parks in this country not only offer a place to play and relax, but are also home to productive landscapes, providing produce, food and drink for everyone around to enjoy.

The official website for this celebration has put together lists to help people get the best out of their parks, including the best festivals, farmers markets and picnic spots. The website also reminds people that no matter what your age, you can benefit from a range of activities available in the parks, such as cycling, walking and stargazing.

Let us know in the comments below if you will be joining in next week and enjoying your local park, and what you are planning to do!

 

 

Two Left Feet Week

Two Left Feet Week is to make sure people are aware of how fun and beneficial to their health, dancing can be, which also helping raise money for charities such as Spear London. Spear London assists homeless people across the country, and they address issues of client wellbeing, including health, fitness and self confidence. Because dance helps with these issues, they think it’s the perfect way to raise funds.

You can get involved all this week by having a little dance on your own, organising a dance event in your community or in a school to mark the end of the school year, or by joining a dance group of two to learn a new style. The bottom line is to get moving and enjoy yourself!