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DFDS acquires rail operator primeRail

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DFDS acquires rail operator primeRail. Image: DFDS
DFDS acquires rail operator primeRail. Image: DFDS
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DFDS & primeRail signed an agreement to become one company as DFDS acquires the German rail operator company. The acquisition strengthens DFDS’ rail offerings and is a testament to DFDS’ ambition to find sustainable ways to continue providing reliable and valuable services. The acquisition also marks the launch of a new Rail business area in DFDS.

primeRail operates continental and maritime transport logistics concepts in a combination of rail and road and was founded in 2019. In 2020, DFDS launched a new “Intermodal Transport Competence Center” in Cologne, in partnership with primeRail, to provide intermodal solutions for DFDS customers.

The acquisition is an important step to realizing our large ambitions within intermodality by combining ferry and rail transportation. Peder Gellert Pedersen, Executive Vice President and Head of Ferry Division at DFDS, says:

“For DFDS, this is an important strategic step. We have been looking for the right partners with the same value set and commercial orientation as DFDS. primerRail fulfills this, and it is, therefore, a perfect match. We connect our ports by rail to inland terminals. Thereby offering a smooth and environment-friendly transport network to the benefit of our customers and society.”

New DFDS Business Unit Rail

primeRail will operate as a new business area Rail in DFDS covering primeRail and the existing DFDS intermodal business. The Rail business area is organised within the Mediterranean business unit and headed by Patrick Zilles, currently CEO of primeRail. As Vice President and Head of Rail, Patrick Zilles reports to Head of Mediterranean, Lars Hoffmann, who says:

“Since we acquired our Turkish route network in mid-2018, we have learned how much value train solutions can add to our business model and network. We extend our network, and with the increasing focus on green solutions, it’s a natural step to develop our train set-up further. We have since 2018 doubled our number of weekly trains; it is, therefore, natural to take the next step. We see an increasing demand for rail transport combined with our ferry routes and logistics services. Partnering with primeRail allows us to offer additional intermodal solutions. Customers can drop off units at our terminals in Turkey and pick them up in Europe very close to the end destinations.”

Founder and CEO of primeRail Patrick Zilles stated: “I am proud that after successful cooperation with DFDS, primeRail will now become an important part of one of the leading ferry networks in Europe. primeRail will be integrated into DFDS, maximising mobility with cost-effective and innovative intermodal transport solutions.”

The complete integration of primeRail into DFDS is expected to be completed within the year.

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Logistics & Supply Chain

Maersk to withdraw the TradeLens offerings and discontinue the platform

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Maersk to withdraw the TradeLens offerings and discontinue the platform. Image: Maersk
Maersk to withdraw the TradeLens offerings and discontinue the platform. Image: Maersk
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A.P. Moller – Maersk and IBM announced the decision to withdraw the TradeLens offerings and discontinue the platform.

“TradeLens was founded on the bold vision to make a leap in global supply chain digitization as an open and neutral industry platform. Unfortunately, while we successfully developed a viable platform, the need for full global industry collaboration has not been achieved. As a result, TradeLens has not reached the level of commercial viability necessary to continue work and meet the financial expectations as an independent business.” said Rotem Hershko, Head of Business Platforms at A.P. Moller – Maersk.

The TradeLens team is taking action to withdraw the offerings and discontinue the platform, and the intent is that the platform will go offline by end of quarter one, 2023. During this process all parties involved will ensure that customers are attended to without disruptions to their businesses.

Maersk will continue its efforts to digitise the supply chain and increase industry innovation through other solutions to reduce trade friction and promote more global trade.

“We are deeply grateful for the relentless efforts of our committed industry members and many tech talents, who together have worked diligently to advance the digitalisation of the industry through the TradeLens platform. We will leverage the work of TradeLens as a steppingstone to further push our digitisation agenda and look forward to harnessing the energy and ability of our technology talent in new ways,” said Rotem Hershko.

The TradeLens platform was announced in 2018 and jointly developed by IBM and GTD Solution, a division of Maersk, as a blockchain-enabled shipping solution designed to promote more efficient and secure global trade.

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Logistics & Supply Chain

Geek+ to launch a goods-to-person picking and returns system for Asda

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Geek+ to launch a goods-to-person picking and returns system for Asda. Image: Geek+
Geek+ to launch a goods-to-person picking and returns system for Asda. Image: Geek+
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Geek+, the global leader in autonomous mobile robots, announced the successful collaboration with Asda Logistics Services and AMH Material Handling to launch a new goods-to-person picking and returns system for Asda’s clothing brand, George. With the system, Asda will be able to handle peak season fulfillment and regular returns simultaneously at the same location.

This customized Geek+ P800 returns solution features a four-sided rack design, which significantly increases overall pick and put-away rates. With a 4-sided pick face, operators who stay in the workstation can carry picking for fulfillment and put-away for return orders from any open slot once the rack is presented in front of them. Not only is it more user-friendly for the operator, but it also speeds up the return cycle and allows returned items to be put back on sale in the shortest amount of time. In addition to processing 7200 units with 700 SKUs every day, the solution allows Asda to have fewer racks but more storage location.

Lit Fung, VP and Managing Director, International Business at Geek+, said: “I am proud that another Asda site is opening in the UK for fulfillment and returns. Right in time for peak season, our system is uniquely positioned to handle returns. We accompany our customers as they grow their businesses, and the replication of success from our first project is proof of the value of our solutions.”

Chris Hall, Vice President, Asda Logistics Services said: “I’m delighted to see this project going live supporting the growth of our George.com business. This has been a real collaborative effort across our internal teams, AMH, and Geek+. This is our second AMR installation in the network and I can see the value automation brings to supporting the colleague experience.”

This project is an extension of previous successful cooperation. The replication reflects the customers’ endorsement of Geek+ products and services and satisfaction with the efficiency and accuracy improvements brought them.

Adrian Carter, Sales Director at AMH Material Handling, said: “I am profoundly proud of the solution we have managed to create together with Asda and Geek+. This solution is of excellent quality and provides the benefits we promised.”

The cost of handling returns is a big issue for e-commerce businesses. Reports show that the “reverse logistics” of returns cost UK retailers £60 billion a year.* Businesses’ profit margins are being eroded by these significant costs. There is continuing growth in the business of Asda’s clothing brand, George. As a result, Asda’s warehouse return operations are expected to experience significantly increased pressure. The cutting-edge Geek+ solution helps Asda reduce the time required for stocking back returned items, reducing the impact on return processing.

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MSC develops its air cargo solutions with the delivery of its first aircraft

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MSC develops its air cargo solutions with the delivery of its first aircraft. Image: MSC
MSC develops its air cargo solutions with the delivery of its first aircraft. Image: MSC
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MSC has taken the next step in developing its Air Cargo solution with the delivery of the first MSC-branded aircraft, built by Boeing and operated by Atlas Air. The B777-200 Freighter will fly on routes between China, the US, Mexico and Europe.

Jannie Davel, Senior Vice President Air Cargo at MSC, said: “Our customers need the option of air solutions, which is why we’re integrating this transportation mode to complement our extensive maritime and land cargo operations. The delivery of this first aircraft marks the start of our long-term investment in air cargo.”

Jannie Davel brings extensive air cargo experience, having worked in the sector for many years, most recently heading Delta’s commercial cargo operations, before joining MSC in 2022.

He said: “Since I started at MSC, I have spoken to numerous partners and customers right across the market and it is very clear that air cargo can enable a range of companies to meet their logistics needs. Flying adds options, speed, flexibility and reliability to supply chain management, and there are particular benefits for moving perishables, such as fruit and vegetables, pharmaceutical and other healthcare products and high-value goods.

We are delighted to see the first of our MSC-branded aircraft take to the skies and we believe that MSC Air Cargo is developing from a solid foundation thanks to the reliable, ongoing support from our operating partner Atlas Air.”

Atlas Air, Inc., a subsidiary of Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc., is supporting MSC on an aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance basis. This aircraft is the first of four B777-200Fs in the pipeline, which are being placed on a long-term basis with MSC, providing dedicated capacity to support the ongoing development of the business.

The B777-200F twin-engine aircraft has been commended for its advanced fuel efficiency measures. It also has low maintenance and operating costs, and, with a range of 4,880 nautical miles, it can fly further than any other aircraft in its class. It also meets quota count standards for maximum accessibility to noise sensitive airports around the globe.

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