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.
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.
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.
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.
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