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
Amazon and Collect+ cut ties
This week it was announced that online retailer Amazon would no longer be delivering to Collect+ stores from the 24th August 2015. However, customers can still use the locations to return orders, and all parcels booked to be delivered to Collect+ stores prior to the 24th would still be delivered. About the change, Amazon said, ‘Occasionally, we need to make changes to our range of Pickup Locations to ensure we can continue to provide customers with the greatest possible service, low prices and convenience when shopping online. We continue to add to our network of more than 13,000 Amazon Pickup Locations across the UK, which currently includes Amazon Locker, Pass My Parcel, Doddle and Local Collect. Amazon Pickup Locations include rail, tube and petrol stations, newsagents and convenience stores, universities, libraries, business parks, an airport and Post Office branches.’
Customers unsure about drones
We have bought you many stories about companies using drones to delivery parcels, but we have not looked at what the public thinks about it. This week a study by shopping website Give As You Live, asked UK customers whether they plan on using the technology when it becomes available, and many answered no. 36% of the people surveyed that they would have concerns about the safety of their items, and 5% of the group back this fear up by saying they would consider stealing a package from a drone when it lands and some even said they would consider breaking a drone. Give As You Live’s managing director Greg Hallett, said, ‘It’s clear that people are still very wary of drones delivering their online goods. The main drawback is the security of their purchases and at the moment the majority are planning not to use them despite knowing the benefits of faster and wider-spread delivery.
The study did highlight though that these two benefits were clear to customers, which will interest companies who are developing drone technology, such as Amazon. More than 40% of those asked said the biggest benefit of the new technology would be faster deliveries, and 42% said the drones could help with delivery to isolated locations. These are two of the key reasons that companies are developing this technology, so it will be reassuring to hear this is recognised by the public. Ultimately though, and the main finding from the study is that confidence in the technology is still low, especially after two separate incidents of near-misses with commercial jets coming in to land reported by pilots last year in the UK
dpd scottish hub
This week is was announced that DPD has signed a deal for a new distribution hub for the north east of Scotland. The facility, which will be located on the outskirts of Aberdeen at the Badentoy North business park, is expected to be completed and in operation by March 2017. Location is key at this hub, with it having nearby access to the main trunk road network, as well as it being adjacent to the A90 and a short distance from the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route. Neil Young, the director of construction company Dandara who are in charge of the development, commented ‘The facility will bring the latest in logistics sorting and distribution technology to Aberdeen for the first time. DPD is now the only major delivery provider to create a regional hub with these capabilities in the north east rather than a smaller scale delivery depot’
dhl vision picking
DHL is preparing to test vision picking over in the US soon with the help of Google Glass connected eyeware, in the hopes that it reduces picking time and significantly improve productivity in their warehouses. The system will replace handheld scanners and paper orders, and the eyeware will be fitted with warehouse management software. A 3 week pilot of this system took place in the Netherlands earlier this year, and it saw a 25% reduction in packing time by directing workers to the fastest route to find the products. The technology also reads bar codes as soon as the product comes into focus, significantly enhancing efficiency. Commenting on the plans, vice president for solutions design with Exel Adrian Kumar said, ‘A lot of the large operations need help supporting e-fulfillment, especially with lots of products that might only be available online. It really drives up warehouse complexity.’
In other DHL news, it was rumoured this week after articles were published by a number of Australian based news media outlets, that DHL is planning to begin transporting parcels via buses operated by Postbus. Postbus is a subsidery of Deutsche Post DHL, and operates long distance bus journies across Germany with a fleet of 90 buses and a range of over 120 cities. However, the rumours were put to bed by a DHL spokesperson, saying, ‘This is not correct. We could imagine it is possible and we are thinking about it. But there is really nothing concrete.’ We bought you news a few weeks ago about couriers looking at using public transport such as the New York Subway and London Underground networks to deliver parcels faster, so perhaps buses are another form of transport to look into, especially if courier giant DHL are thinking about it.
lord seb coe elected president of the iaaf
This week, former Olympic 1500m champion Lord Coe was elected president of the body that governs world athletics, the IAAF, beating rival Serget Bubka by 115 votes to 92. He followed up his win with a tweet saying that after the birth of his children, this was the most ‘momentous moments’ of his life. He takes this new position from Lamine Djack who had it for 16 years prior, and having been an IAAF vice-president since 2007, he is well equipt to carry out the duties of his new role.
Coe has a history of winning, as one of Britains finest sportsmen. He won 2 gold medals in the 1500m at the 1980 and 1984 Olympics, and he set numerous world records in both the 1500m and 800m competitions in his sporting career. Since retiring from the sport competitively he became a Conservative MP, worked for Fifa, and was crucial in London winning the bid to stage the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, of which he was named chairman. Royal awards have also been given to him for his work in sport, with an MBE appointed to him in 1982, followed by an OBE in 1990 and finally a life peerage in 2000.
Coe said in an interview after the appointment that the role would be ‘a big challenge but a great honour’, adding ‘my sport is what fires and drives me’. He also went on to say, ‘I am fortunate to be one of those people who has woken up – since the age of 11 – and athletics has shaped my day. I want to do everything I can to make sure it is in the best possible shape.’
Thousands of teens got up early yesterday to head down to their schools and get their GCSE results, and it was a bumper year for those heading onto higher education and work based apprenticeships. However, although more students have achieved A* to C grades, the number of A* grades has dropped for the 4th year running, this time by 6%. Maths was the most popular subject taken by this age group, with computer studies seeing the biggest jump due to the increased need for coding knowledge in many jobs. So congratulations if you got the results you were hoping for yesterday, and well done for all the effort you put in to achieve them.
goodbye, cilla black
Liverpool legend Cilla Black was laid to rest by her family yesterday in her home city, with her closest celebrity friends taking part in the service to honour her. Sir Cliff Richard paid musical tribute to his friend by performing Faithful One in the church where she married her late husband, Bobby Willis in 1969, and her other friends Paul OGrady and Christopher Biggins, who were part of Cilla’s ‘Gay Mafia’ with Dale Winton, gave readings and paid their own emotional tributes. And although not included in the service inside, thousands of members of the public mourned outside, lining the two mile route that Cilla’s cortege traveled along. They watched on as Miss Black’s coffin entered the church, which was decorated with large bouquets of white lilies and roses. Debussy’s Clair de Lune played as she was bought into the church, before the congregation sang All Things Bright And Beautiful.
Since her death earlier this month, Cilla has had a posthumous comeback to the UK music charts with her greatest hits compilation, which was first released in 1983 and then most recently re-released in 2013, landing its highest ever chart position as fans paid tribute. Her former number one single Anyone Who Had A Heart, first released in 1964, also returned to the charts in 41st place, and will be played during the service. The song recently had a revival after Sheridan Smith played the icon in ‘Cilla’ on ITV, and her own version of the love song also entered the charts.
Mourners wishing to pay tribute to Cilla have been asked to make a donation to a children’s hospital in her name. A donations page has been set up online allowing people to pledge money to Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. It aims to raise more than £50million every year to help care for the thousands of children treated there.
final ashes test
Our boys will be hoping to make it 4-1 in this years Ashes against Australia by the end of the week, with the 5th and final test beginning yesterday. The English side is once again without Jimmy Anderson, after he pulled out after the 3rd test due to a side strain and failed to recover in time for the 4th test, which saw England regain the Ashes after a record breaking 1st innings. Although the little wooden ern is England’s, they will still be looking for another test win and strong finish to the competition, especially as their side is unchanged from the 4th test. Best of luck boys!
TREASURE found in US
Earlier this week, 350 18th century Spanish gold coins were found by a treasure hunter in the US, and the haul is thought to be worth just under £3 million. They were located on the Atlantic sea bed off the coast of Florida, having been there for 300 years after 11 Spanish galleons sank during a hurricane when they were travelling back to Spain from Cuba. The discover is the second major find by hunters, after about 50 of the same coins were found in June this year. The finder won’t be able to keep all the profit from this latest find though, as under US state law, Florida gets to keep 20% of the value. But that still leaves the diver William Bartlett who discovered the coins, with a large chunk of money for himself, although he refused to say just how much this would be, adding ‘I’m just a guy on a boat living the dream.’
It’s been a busy week this week for all of us at Parcel2Ship. In the office we have been helping customers and answering any questions they have had, and we have also been going through our booking forms with a fine tooth comb to see if there are any little tweaks we can apply to make the booking process for customers even easier than it is now. A few suggestions have also been coming from from customers as part of a bit of research by us, with the main one being that there is too much scrolling needed. This is a really good bit of feedback to hear, and the solution is quite simple, so we will be looking at condensing the space our forms take up and cut down the amount of scrolling you have to do in future. Thank you to all that helped us out with our round of research this week, and remember that if you have something to add then we are all ears, so get in touch!
The team at Parcel2Ship