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
dpd germany growth
DPD is continuing its growth, with plans to build a new sorting center in Southern Germany being announced this week. The cost of the development is EUR 30m, and it will be one of its most important hubs in Germany. The facility will take up 44,000 square metres of land, and once complete it will be capable of handling about 37,000 packages per day, and up to 300 employees will be based at the site
As the 77th facility in the DPD Germany network, the new Nagold plant will support existing depots nearby in Ludwigsburg, Villingen-Schwenningen and Wendlingen. Its catchment area will include the important economic area south of Stuttgart. The building will be energy-efficient, using environmentally-friendly technology including skylights and low-energy lighting, as well as modern energy-efficient sorting systems. Construction is due to start this autumn.
It seems Amazon is forever in the news recently when it comes to delivery of their items, and this week is no acception. We have previously discussed how the Federal Aviation Administration have been voicing their reservations about commercial drone use, which in turn has stalled Amazon’s plans for drone delivery since they announced it in 2013. The FAA have proposed such rules as requiring drones to be within the operator’s eyesight at all times, which limits the distance that they can fly. This could be a big problem for Amazon, as the company is hoping to offer customers this service across cities and eventually countries.
Well this week, the FAA have announced that these regulations for commercial drones will be finalised and put in place within one year, and almost immediately afterwards Amazon said they would be ready to launch their drones as soon as the rules are enforced. This is exciting news for customers because Amazon’s proposed drone service means they can receive their parcel within 30 minutes, and many competitors and people in the delivery industry will also be very interested to see how well the service does. We for one are excited to see how this new technology could help our customers in the future.
And whilst it may be clear to some why Amazon are looking at drone technology, this next development may leave many scratching their heads. Unconfirmed reports surfaced this week that Amazon were looking at ‘crowdsourcing’ future deliveries. The Wall Street Journal reported that a new app called ‘On My Way‘ was being developed, which “would, in some cases, pay ordinary people, rather than carriers… to drop off packages en route to other destinations”. The WSJ believes there to be truth behind this story because Amazon is becoming increasingly flexible with it’s parcel delivery options, and it may wish to emulate the work done by Roadie and Nimber (US and Scandinavia respectfully) who operate a similar system.
We here at Parcel2Ship can’t understand why a company as large and developed as Amazon would be looking into this option, especially with such a huge focus being put on the drone delivery plans. Whether this newest delivery idea will come to fruition remains to be seen, we just can’t see it happening ourselves.
CHINESE FIRMS TEAM UP
A group of Chinese express delivery companies have teamed up to establish a new venture that will operate a national logistics network, according to reports. Companies such as Shenzen-based SF Express, STO Express, ZTO Express and Yuando Express have all reportedly joined forces and have been listed as the principal investors in a new venture called Fengchao Kuaidigui. Funding of more than US$80m has been secured, and the founder and CEO of the company also happens to be the chairman of SF Express, Wei Wang. News agencies in China have reported that the new venture aims to offer express deliveries in more than 30 major Chinese cities by the end of this year.
APARTMENT COMPLEX PARCEL LOCKERS
There is a growing number of companies emerging into the delivery market who are trying to solve the issues that millions of customers face every day, and one such problem is the delivery of goods at communal addresses such as apartment buildings and businesses. One such company is the startup Package Concierge, who are seeking to outfit apartment buildings with banks of high-tech lockers that can serve as a mail drop for packages. Package Concierge have realised that apartment managers are spending too much time worrying about the collection of parcels in the front of their buildings, and that residents can have trouble getting their packages if a building doesn’t offer concierge service after typical working hours. Georgianna Oliver, founder and chief executive of Package Concierge, says, “It’s turned into a full-time job at a property. And apartment buildings don’t have excess cash to hire more and more people.”
Package Concierge sells wall-mounted steel lockers of varying sizes, designed to hold several sizes of boxes. Access is controlled by a computer that lets a delivery driver look up a customers name and open a locker of the right size.Once the package is dropped off, the system can generate a text, e-mail, or phone call to alert the resident the package has arrived. The resident can then unlock the locker at any time, instead of waiting around at home for a delivery or heading to a shipping facility after several missed attempts. The company also helps to reverse this process and allow customers to leave outbound packages in lockers to be retrieved by shipping services.
Of course Package Concierge are not the first company to create such a system. Amazon has tested delivery lockers in some markets, while UPS has similar systems at some retail stores. And UK customers may be familiar with Doddle , who recently teamed up with DPD to streamline deliveries in a similar way.
Package Concierge charges $20,000 to $40,000 for a typical installation (only available in the US at present), but doesn’t actually make money on putting lockers in buildings, and they say that sometimes they even loses on the installation. Instead, the startup is banking on the monthly revenue stream from licensing its software and tech support services to keep the locker systems running, a fee that starts at $100 per month.
SSSSSUSPICIOUS PACKAGE IN AUSTRALIA
Forgive us for the title to this last parcel story, but we couldn’t resist! Australian officials at Melbourne’s international mail facility opened a parcel this week and to their surprise found 13 live snakes. The parcel was labelled ‘mixed powder’, but the parcel instead contained the green snakes which were likely imported for pets or breeding. After the lie was uncovered by the x-ray scans and the box was opened, officials destroyed the snakes and tests are underway to determine their species and any possible diseases they may have been carrying.
crystal maze reboot
Fans of the The Crystal Maze rejoice – it’s coming back! The British game show, shown on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom between 1990 and 1995, has earnt a cult following over the years, and after a crowdfunding effort was met this week with £500,000 raised, it looks like we will once again be visiting the aztec, future, medieval and industrial zones, before entering the crystal dome!
Original presenter Richard O’Brien will be involved in the project, but the presenting job this time round will go to someone else. Also involved will be the backers themselves, with those who paid £45 being able to take on the Crystal Maze as contestants, while those that paid £300 can enter as an eight-person team.Those that pledged the sum of £10,000 will be given the opportunity to book out the maze for an entire day, which we think would be an amazing day out!
Mans best friend
If you have been online at all this week, you will surely have become aware about the Yulin Dog Meat Festival occurring this time of year in China. Whilst we are horrified that this is being allowed to happen, we instead want to focus on just why dogs deserve kindness and respect, and why they are truly mans best friend. Enter, Buzz and Glenn
Buzz the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and Glenn the Jack Russell were rescued from a sea tunnel in Hartlepool a few weeks ago, and rescuers soon realised that the pair had become inseparable because Buzz was blind Glenns own personal guide dog! 9 year old Buzz leads Glenn around, and will even nuzzle him towards the right bowl if the Jack Russell starts eating from the wrong one.
Stray Aid, the center that rescued the pair, wants the two animals to be rehomed together so they can ‘live out their lives peacefully with as little change as possible’. A spokes person for the center says that Glenn gets his confidence from Buzz, and if they are separated even for a few minutes they both bark and become distressed, so they would need to have a loving home together. To find out more about Buzz and Glenn see Stray Aid’s website.
thorntons and Ferrero Rocher
Chocolate lovers may be aware that this week the Yorkshire based company Thorntons was bought out for £111 million by Ferrero, who produce Ferrero Rocher, Kinder Eggs and Nutella. Thorntons was left as the largest British-owned specialist confectionery company in 2010, after Cadbury was bought Kraft in the US, and Rowntree Mackintosh was taken over by Swiss company Nestle in 1988. Ferrero already owned 29.9 per cent of Thorntons after a previous buy out.
Ferrero have said it would keep the brand and factory but have made no guarantee over the shops’ future.The family-owned firm is best known in Britain for Ferrero Rocher, the round hazelnut chocolates wrapped in gold foil shown being served to guests at an ambassador’s party in 1990s TV adverts. The move has sent Thorntons shares soaring by 42% after news of the takeover broke
After our social media customer support absence last week, we are now back up and running, helping our customers on all platforms. So if you have any questions or require our help, you can get hold of us through Facebook and Twitter as well as the standard way of calling, emailing and livechating with us.
We’ve been getting some great feedback about our recent Summer Review blog, and hearing from readers about the things they have been looking forward to. And as we predicted in the review, many of you shut yourself away a couple of weekends ago to binge watch the new series of Orange Is The New Black when it was released on Netflix. One or two of us here in the office may have done the same…
This weeks Spotlight On: blog was all about Portugal, and after we posted it we saw a spike in orders there which we were very happy about. It’s great that our blogs are reaching new customers everyday. If you are a new or potential customer and you have found out about Parcel2Ship through our blogs, please let us know in our comments below and we may give you a shout out in next weeks Week In Review blog!
And finally, we just wanted to quickly mention this article published by This Is Mail over the weekend, which discusses ways customers can avoid using the Post Office to deliver their parcels, as well as how much money they could save by using a broker. Because Parcel2Ship is only a few years old, we are rarely featured in these articles alongside our competition, but we will always throw our hat into the ring to offer all customers competitive rates and exceptional customer service. So remember, if you need to send a parcel anywhere in the world, head to www.parcel2ship.co.uk to find out how we can help!
The Parcel2Ship Team