Delivery Wars 2016: Driverless deliveries, drone drop-off and the return of pedalling posties

Deliveries will be the new retail battleground in 2016, with delivery choice as important as price for many consumers.  Powering these delivery wars will be driverless vans, delivery drones… and the return of old-skool pedal-power.

The transport management revolution

Advances in technology have brought the logistics and transport industry many advantages, enabling us to do things faster, cheaper and more efficiently.  However, these advances have also changed the way that transport is managed, placing increased emphasis on the importance of instant access to information.

The positives and pitfalls of doing business in Poland

If you are transporting goods to Poland via land, sea or air, it is important that you understand the market you are trading in.

Calls of ‘ultra-low emissions zone’ fuelling the problem

On paper, the proposed ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) in Leicester sounds like a positive, green idea.  The first scheme of its kind outside of London, it is designed to reduce pollution and improve air quality by banning certain kinds of vehicles in a pre-defined area.

However, as operations director of a network that distributes palletised freight on behalf of businesses throughout Europe, when I look at the practicalities involved, I see things differently.

Delivering an end to end customer experience

Customer expectation has changed radically over the past decade – and it is the quality of customer experience as much as the products, services and delivery options offered that increasingly influences online buying behaviour.  Retailers are caught in a catch 22: how to provide choices that are convenient for the consumer with guaranteed, timed delivery slots and added value services such as installation or customisation without incurring unacceptable additional costs that make the new premium offer uncompetitive?

Preparing for the skills gap

It’s no secret that Britain is facing a serious logistics skills gap.  With an estimated 60,000 new HGV drivers needed by 2020, this is not only an issue that affects logistics firms, or companies with logistics arms, but could impact the entire British economy.  Left unchecked, we’re talking empty shelves in supermarkets, shrinking profits for businesses and an overall slowing of economic growth.

The importance of Incoterms® for international trade

Incoterms are one of most important features of international trade, but sadly, one of the most misunderstood: they feature regularly in the lives of a wide range of people involved in exporting or importing (sales, customer service, purchasing, accounts, freight and shipping personnel), but many do not appreciate the full significance of the terms which they are dealing with.

How will connected vehicles affect us?

Connected vehicle technology is a wireless-based technology which enables vehicles to communicate with each other as well as traffic infrastructure such as traffic lights.  They can communicate through devices which are installed on-board the vehicle which receives warning signals ahead of time about road closures, accidents, weather conditions and other potential hazards.

The Catch 22 facing transport directors

I wonder how buoyant the recruitment market is for transport directors these days.  This is a sector overburdened with legislation, demanding clients, compliance issues and now to top it all, fines faced by international operators and their drivers when they unwittingly import illegal immigrants.  Why would any sane person set up a haulage firm?

This is not a drill: New HMRC controls for alcohol wholesalers and retailers

Alcohol duty fraud, particularly in beer and wine, is a significant problem for the Exchequer and legitimate business.  HMRC’s measures to counter the fraud thus far have had limited success (and this includes the supposed ‘ideal’ anti-fraud measure – the electronic excise movement and control system for EU duty-suspended movements – EMCS).