“Forward ever, backward never: onwards with Breaking Through”


No 9-2021
Formulated by UNI Apro Post and Logistics Sector
1. PostNord posts record earnings.February 05, 2021.
2. Posti to update the operational-level management model for the Parcel & E -Commerce business group’s sorting operations. February 04, 2021.
3. Amazon is using AI-equipped cameras in delivery vans and some drivers are concerned about privacy. February 03, 2021.
4. Omniva plans to boost parcel machine network with another expansion. February 02, 2021.
5. Things need to be clear! February 02, 2021.
1. PostNord posts record earnings
February 05, 2021
PostNord reports that both its interim and annual financial results are the best since the company was founded in 2009. Highlights of the results included an 11.1% increase in net sales in the Q4 2020, and a 3.7% increase across the year.
The company stated its earnings improvement was driven by several factors. Strong demand for parcels contributed, but at the same time the company says it maintained high productivity and made good progress with its internal improvement programs.
Annemarie Gardshol, president and Group CEO, commented, “At PostNord, we have focused strongly on reducing the risk of infection for both employees and customers, who these days are extra dependent on safe and secure deliveries. Our ability to quickly make adjustments to respond to new patterns of behavior in society, combined with a continued focus on our improvement programs, has paid off. This makes us equipped to continue our journey to become the favorite supplier in the Nordic region, with our customers, our partners and our highly professional employees.”
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During the year, PostNord also achieved its goal of reducing the carbon footprint of its operations. “I’m very proud that we achieved our target to reduce Group’s total emissions by 40% relative to the 2009 level. Work has begun to achieve the ambition to be fossil-free by 2030,” Gardshol added.
Source : https://www.parcelandpostaltechnologyinternational.com/news/operations
2. Posti to update the operational-level management model for the Parcel & E -Commerce business group’s sorting operations
February 04, 2021
Changes are being planned for the organizational structures of Posti’s Parcel & E - Commerce business group’s sorting operations. The most important goal is to update the operational-level management model of the Parcel & E - Commerce business group’s sorting operations.
The record growth in e-commerce and the quickly changing needs of customers require us to be agile and ready to change. We want to continue to make sure that our competent and professional staffs offer our customers the best customer experience.
We are also seeking to make our operations more agile and productive. In addition, we will increase the competence of our employees.
The planned changes will affect organizational structures, procedures and tasks
This change is also estimated to have personnel effects, which will not target delivery, transport or sorting employees. We will continue to work as normal and serving customers will remain our priority.
The cooperation negotiations target group of the change is the 84 indirect employees of Posti Palvelut Oy’s Parcel & E-Commerce business involved in sorting operations. The estimated staff reduction need is a maximum of 24 permanent employees. We will support our staff during this change, and we recognize that there is an opportunity to offer employees the option of working as a sorting employee, usually in the municipality in which the employee works, as an alternative to being laid off.
Source : https://www.posti.com/en/media/uutiset/2021
3. Amazon is using AI-equipped cameras in delivery vans and some drivers are concerned about privacy
February 03, 2021
• Amazon has begun rolling out AI-enabled cameras from Netradyne in vehicles at a handful of contracted delivery partners across the U.S., CNBC has learned.
• The cameras record drivers “100% of the time” while they’re on their route and flag a series of safety infractions, including failure to stop at a stop sign, speeding and distracted driving.
• Amazon says the cameras will help it improve safety in its delivery network, but drivers and experts have raised concerns about the potential for heightened employee surveillance and a lack of privacy.
Amazon drivers at some U.S. facilities will soon have an extra set of eyes watching them when they hit the road to make their daily deliveries.
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The company recently began testing AI-equipped cameras in vehicles to monitor contracted delivery drivers while they’re on the job, with the aim of improving safety.
Amazon has deployed the cameras in Amazon-branded cargo vans used by a handful of companies that are part of its delivery service partner program, which are largely responsible for last-mile deliveries. The cameras could be rolled out to additional DSPs over time, and Amazon has already distributed an instructional video to DSPs, informing them of how the cameras work.
Deborah Bass, an Amazon spokesperson, confirmed to CNBC that the company has begun using the AI-equipped cameras across its delivery fleet. Some details of Amazon’s plans were previously reported by The Information.
“We are investing in safety across our operations and recently started rolling out industry leading camera-based safety technology across our delivery fleet,” Bass said in a statement. “This technology will provide drivers real-time alerts to help them stay safe when they are on the road.”
DSPs are contracted delivery providers, usually distinguishable by Amazon-branded cargo vans, responsible for picking up packages from Amazon delivery stations and dropping them off at doorsteps. The program, launched in 2018, has allowed the company to quickly scale up its last-mile delivery capabilities and compete with shipping partners such as UPS and FedEx.
Amazon’s DSP program has faced criticism for lax safety protocols in the past. Investigations by NBC News, ProPublica and BuzzFeed News identified safety issues and described poor working conditions at some DSPs, based on interviews with drivers and former Amazon employees.
The cameras could help improve safety, but privacy advocates and several DSP drivers said they’re concerned about potential privacy tradeoffs. The drivers, who asked to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation from Amazon, described the cameras as “unnerving,” “Big Brother” and “a punishment system.”
Some drivers said they’re concerned the AI-equipped cameras will add further pressure to a job that already involves an intense workload of delivering hundreds of packages a day.
Footage collected by the cameras can be used for employment decisions, according to a privacy policy issued by Amazon in accordance with the cameras. The drivers told CNBC they’re subject to disciplinary actions, up to firing, depending on the severity of the safety infraction logged by the camera.
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“I don’t think [Amazon] even knows yet all the ways they will use the video that is collected by these devices,” said Evan Greer, deputy director of the digital rights group Fight for the Future. “It just means that every Amazon vehicle will now also be an Amazon surveillance camera. And right now there are essentially no laws in place to govern what Amazon can do with all that footage once they collect it.”
How the cameras work
In the instructional video, which was seen by CNBC, Amazon says the cameras record “100% of the time” when drivers are on their route.
Amazon is using an AI-powered camera made by Netradyne, a San Diego-based start-up that was founded in 2015 by two former senior Qualcomm employees. The camera, called Driveri, has four lenses that capture the road, the driver, and both sides of the vehicle. Netradyne did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The cameras are equipped with artificial intelligence software capable of detecting 16 different safety issues, including if drivers fail to stop at a stop sign, distracted driving, speeding, hard braking and whether the driver is wearing a seatbelt. One DSP driver in Kentucky said the cameras can also detect when a driver is yawning.
Certain safety violations will cause the camera to issue an audio alert, such as, “Maintain safe distance,” “No stop detected,” and “Please slow down,” according to the video, which is narrated in part by Karolina Haraldsdottir, a senior manager for last-mile safety at Amazon.
“Safety is our top priority at Amazon and it’s our hope that this new system will give drivers and DSPs peace of mind while out delivering smiles to our customers,” Haraldsdottir says in the video.
When the camera detects that an employee is engaging in unsafe driving behavior, it triggers the camera to upload footage to a “secure portal” that’s accessible by Amazon and the DSP. An Amazon spokesperson didn’t respond to questions asking how the footage is secured.
Drivers have some control over the camera, which doesn’t record audio. A button on the camera allows drivers to upload footage manually, and drivers can turn off the cab-facing cameras when the ignition in their van is switched off, allowing for some privacy during their lunch break or while making a phone call.
While Amazon maintains that the camera doesn’t provide Amazon or DSPs with a “live feed,” certain safety triggers flagged by the camera in real time may cause Amazon to reach out to the driver while they’re on the road.
For example, if a driver is caught yawning, the camera will instruct them to pull over for at least 15 minutes, the Kentucky driver told CNBC. If the driver doesn’t comply, they may get a call from their DSP asking them to pull over, they added.
Amazon can also use the footage for more than just enforcing safety measures. In the video, Haraldsdottir also explains that the footage can be used in incident investigations.
This could include things like collisions with other vehicles or pedestrians, as well as package theft.
“Video footage can be one of the best tools for getting facts about a situation quickly,” Haraldsdottir says in the video, before it cuts to a scenario where Driveri footage was “used to exonerate a driver from blame in safety incidents.”
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The privacy policy states that footage can be handed over to law enforcement or used as evidence in legal proceedings when necessary.
“It sends a message of ‘we don’t trust you’”
Amazon isn’t the only logistics company relying on this technology. Last year, UPS tested forward-facing cameras equipped with sensors that issue safety alerts in vans in several cities as part of a “initial proof of concept” trial, said UPS spokesperson Dan McMackin. The test drew some pushback from the Teamsters labor union.
The AI capabilities are equally concerning, experts say, given that it allows Amazon to rely on software to review the footage at scale, which has the potential to produce errors in judgment.
Additionally, previous research on AI systems have shown the technology presents racial and gender bias, such as Gender Shades, a landmark 2018 study that revealed facial recognition technology is highly inaccurate for Black people.
“When you layer a surveillance technology on top of a system that’s already discriminatory, it sort of automates, amplifies, exacerbates that discrimination, without rules in place to protect workers,” Greer said.
DSP employees who may have been uncomfortable with the technology weren’t given an opportunity to opt out, one Amazon driver in California, who asked to remain anonymous, told CNBC. The driver was required to electronically accept the terms and conditions to have the camera installed, “otherwise I would not be able to work for Amazon,” they said. CNBC obtained a copy of the terms and conditions that were sent to the driver.
Greer said the AI-equipped cameras send a message to workers that they can’t be trusted.
“It sends this message of we don’t trust you, we are watching you,” Greer said. “That just strikes me as wrong.”
Source : https://www.cnbc.com/2021/02/03
4. Omniva plans to boost parcel machine network with another expansion
February 02, 2021
To keep up with rapid e-commerce growth and to satisfy clients’ need for a functioning 24/7 service close to home, Omniva supervisory board confirmed the investment into expanding the parcel machine network in Estonia and the Baltic States.
“Omniva owns 43% of the parcel machines in Estonia with 57% of the parcel volume,” said Member of the Management Board of Omniva Kristi Unt. “On the one hand, this indicates high network efficiency, but on the other hand, it is clear that the expectations of current and new clients do not fit with the existing network.
Logistics and the current network have achieved the expected efficiency, and the focus is now on supporting the e-merchants and end customers by moving even more closer to them.”
The planned expansion is at the same level as the previous expansion in 2018,when Omniva installed the record-breaking 100 new parcel machines across Estonia, doubling its parcel machine network. With this expansion, Omniva was the first to reach outside larger cities, taking parcel machines to smaller towns and settlements.
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According to the Estonian E-Commerce Association, Omniva’s parcel volume comprised 57% of the entire parcel market in Estonia in 2020. “Omniva’s major market share and growth is thanks to the well developed parcel machine network and its presence and cooperation across the Baltic states as well as the mediation of the parcels of several international e-giant’s in large volumes,” said the E-Commerce Association in its report.
Omniva’s new ample parcel machine network expansion project is starting to map possible new parcel machine locations in collaboration with local governments and communities.
According to Unt, network optimisation, expansion and movement towards rural areas has already begun.
In addition to the parcel machines, this year, Omniva will start testing an innovative community post machine solution, where 12 villages have received a smaller and simpler machine. “The post machines support the new business models primarily in rural areas; for example, they help launch various circulation services in communities and allow local merchants to implement automatic trade,” Unt said.
The Omniva parcel machine network also operates in Latvia and Lithuania and is the largest parcel machine network in the Baltic states. This is important for both international business clients who handle the Baltic States as a single market and all Estonian people and companies whose activities traverse the Estonian border. Since parcel volumes have grown even more rapidly in Latvia and Lithuania, the network expansion concerns all of the Baltic States.
Source : https://www.omniva.ee/
5. Things need to be clear!
February 02, 2021
During the first negotiation sessions of the "social pact" agreement, FO Com reiterated its demands concerning, among other things, employment and wages [ Read our preliminary statement ]. This draft agreement, which aims to be social support at the strategic plan (2021-2030), aims to define the employability of postal workers, their working and training conditions as well as career prospects. La Poste thus wants to prepare for the changes that are coming: new professions, new activities, artificial intelligence, digitalization… But does it really want to put the resources into it?
In this draft agreement, no clear commitment is mentioned, in particular in terms of employment, no budget is presented for training and the new mobility rules are part of unknown “territory”. On several occasions, La Poste speaks of " significant investments ". Now, what is a major investment?
In this pivotal period when the future of La Poste and therefore that of postal workers is at stake, the social pact project must be ambitious and must guarantee a future for all staff: career prospects, real training, promotions, recognition financial. Without supporting or accompanying the strategic plan, which is the employer's sole prerogative, FO Com requires genuine social support and financial commitments to all postal workers.
FO Com will oppose all strategic orientations opening the door to “uberisation” in our businesses.
Source : http://www.focom-laposte.fr/

No 10-2021
Formulated by UNI Apro Post and Logistics Sector
1. Australia Post unveils industry first door-to-door A-double. February 05, 2021.
2. Royal Mail begins construction of second parcel hub. February 05, 2021.
3. SingPost Q3 operating profit falls 38% to $2. Februar 04,2021.
4. USPS Fairness Act Reintroduced in the House and Senate. February 03, 2021.
5. Dubai launches Covid-19 vaccine logistics alliance.
February 01, 2021.
1. Australia Post unveils industry first door-to-door A-double
February 05, 2021
National parcel carrier, Australia Post, has introduced a new A-double into its linehaul operations.
Pulled by a 540 horsepower rated Volvo FH, the A-double combination is running direct from its Sunshine depot in Victoria to its Sydney Parcels Bulk Lodgement facility in Chullora.
The new combination, which has an approved payload of 68.5 tonnes under the NHVR’s Intelligence Access Program, features an ABS-EBS trailer set built by BPW.
According to Terry Bickerton, Australia Post Head of Fleet & Equipment, the PBS-approved A-double is unique as it runs direct up the Hume Highway door to door.
“This provides greater volumes of parcels directly to the facilities,” he said.
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“It’s being used for loose load parcels as part of the increased demand for freight driven by online purchasing,” said Bickerton.
It went into operation officially on 21 January after 12 months of careful evaluation.
“It has provided us with valuable information around loading, unloading, vehicle types and changeover areas,” said Bickerton.
More A-double sets are already in production for Australia Post.
The company has been running a high performace freight vehicle from its Dandenong facility in Melbourne to the wharf for some time.
“Having PBS approval on the latest combination is a great adjunct to that,” said Bickerton.
“The next one we’re looking at running from Melbourne to Brisbane.”
Source : https://www.primemovermag.com.au/
2. Royal Mail begins construction of second parcel hub
February 05, 2021
Construction of Royal Mail’s second parcel hub is now underway in the UK Midlands as the company continues its transformation to a parcels-led business.
Once built, the planned 840,000ft2 hub will be Royal Mail’s largest. Scheduled to be fully operational in 2023, the facility will have the capacity to process over one million mail items per day.
Situated near the Daventry International Rail Freight Interchange (DIRFT), the hub will have excellent transportation links to major cities nearby as well as the warehousing and fulfilment centers of several online retailers. This, says Royal Mail, will enable it to enhance support of the UK’s e-commerce and retail industry.
As well as featuring a state-of-the-art automated parcel sorting system, supplied by Beumer Group, the hub will also encompass a vehicle operating center, fleet workshop facility, brand-new staff facilities as well as a rail terminal, enabling an increase in the amount of mail transported efficiently and sustainably. Construction of the hub is being undertaken by industrial property developer Prologis UK.
Stephan Heessels, divisional director at Beumer Group Logistic Systems, noted, “Royal Mail’s new Midlands hub will be another excellent example of how a parcel distributor
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can ensure ergonomics-based design of its high-speed sortation systems. The system seamlessly combines system design, operator safety and careful parcel handling.
“The hub will enable Royal Mail to process parcels more efficiently across their network, in turn helping e-commerce companies quickly get their parcels to online customers. The new automation not only means processing more parcels faster, but the modern design of the system also supports workflows to be performed in a safer, more secure way, than ever before. We are proud to have been selected once again to support Royal Mail with positioning themselves at the leading edge of operating efficiency and ergonomics.”
Royal Mail highlights that the design of the hub will maximize the amount of natural light entering the building, saving energy and improving employee well-being. The building will also feature energy-efficient heating, ventilation and LED lighting installations on motion and daylight sensors, ensuring high sustainability standards.
Simon Thompson, Royal Mail CEO, commented, “Our business is accelerating and this state-of-the-art parcel hub in the Midlands will allow us to seize the market opportunity and continue to deliver great service for our customers at 31 million doorsteps up and down the country. I am sure our team are looking forward to the first day of operation as much as I am.”
Source: https://www.parcelandpostaltechnologyinternational.com/news
3. SingPost Q3 operating profit falls 38% to $2
February 04, 2021
SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Singapore Post on Thursday (Feb 4) announced an operating profit of $26 million for the third quarter ended Dec 31. This represented a 38 per cent decline year on year but a 41 per cent increase from the second quarter of financial year 2021.
Its third-quarter revenue was $351 million, down 1 per cent year on year but up 1 per cent quarter on quarter.
Revenue from domestic post and parcel e-commerce, however, was up on both a year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter basis to $20 million. The group handled 10.3 million e-commerce packages, up from 9.3 million items in the second quarter of financial year 2021 and 7.6 million items in the third quarter of financial year 2020.
In Australia, last-mile delivery also increased 9 per cent quarter on quarter from 6.7 to 7.3 million consignments. In the year-ago quarter, SingPost had handled last-mile delivery for 4.2 million consignments.
Volume for international post fell 25 per cent year on year from 8.2 to 6.1 million kilograms. But quarter on quarter, international post volumes have recovered slightly - rising 3 per cent.
Domestic snail mail, meanwhile, continues to decline. Volume was down 21 per cent year on year and 4 per cent quarter on quarter to 119 million items.
SingPost expects the volume of letters and printed papers in Singapore to continue to decline because of electronic substitution.
It also said disruptions to international air freight out of Changi Airport have resulted in higher conveyance costs. This will erode margins for its international post and parcel business.
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On a brighter note, its property arm is expected to do better. Its SingPost Centre retail mall and office spaces remain at close to full occupancy, and both traffic and tenant sales are recovering.
SingPost's shares closed up 0.5 cent, or 0.7 per cent, at 70.5 cents on Wednesday.
Source : https://www.straitstimes.com/business/companies-markets
4. USPS Fairness Act Reintroduced in the House and Senate
February 03, 2021
This week, both the House of Representatives and the Senate, re-introduced the bi-partisan USPS Fairness Act (S. 145 and H.R. 695). This legislation would repeal, in full, the onerous prefunding of retiree health care benefits which Congress required when it passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) in 2006. This law, forced the Postal Service to prefund its retiree health care benefits 75 years in advance, paying for retirement health care for individuals who had not been born yet, let alone enter the workforce. The pre-funding mandate is accountable for 92 percent of the Postal Service’s net losses since 2007 and is a constant threat to the financial sustainability of the Postal Service.
APWU applauds members of Congress for their efforts to repeal this unfair mandate and place the Postal Service on solid financial footing with the USPS Fairness Act. Specifically, the bill's original cosponsors, Representatives Peter DeFazio (OR-04), Tom Reed (NY-23), Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), and Colin Allred (TX-32) in the House and Senators Steve Daines (R-MT) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) in the Senate.
APWU fully supports the USPS Fairness Act. The pre-funding mandate has created a manufactured crisis that drains the Postal Service’s funds, and limits its ability to make vital innovations and expand services.
“The bi-partisan USPS Fairness Act is one of the first steps toward returning the Postal Service to solid financial footing, and I urge Congress to quickly pass this critical legislation," said President Mark Dimondstein.
The USPS Fairness Act would return the Postal Service to the procedures in place prior to the PAEA, utilizing a pay-as-you-go method for retiree benefits, the standard practice across federal agencies and private businesses. “Ending the pre-funding mandate gained immense support from both sides of the aisle in the last Congress,” said Legislative & Political Director Judy Beard. “Now is the time to
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right the errors of the failed pre-funding policy, and allow USPS to remove this manufactured debt from its books.”
Source : https://www.apwu.org/news
5. Dubai launches Covid-19 vaccine logistics alliance
February 01, 2021
Dubai has launched a logistics alliance that aims to speed up distribution of Covid-19 vaccines around the world through the emirate.
The Dubai Vaccines Logistics Alliance said it would combine Emirates SkyCargo’s air network with DP World’s worldwide network of ports and logistics operations, along with the infrastructure of Dubai Airports and International Humanitarian City (IHC) to distribute vaccines worldwide.
The alliance is also working with a broader set of stakeholders including pharmaceutical manufacturers, forwarders, government agencies and other entities for transportation of vaccines.
Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, chairman of Dubai Airports and chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airline and Group said: “Each alliance partner brings to the table a specific and complementary set of strengths and capabilities in vaccine distribution, allowing us to build a 360-degree solution that harnesses the combined logistical and infrastructural advantages of Dubai as a hub.
“Together, we are able to store a large volume of vaccine doses at a time and bring in and distribute vaccines to any point around the world within 48 hours.”
In a press release, the group outlined what each partner would bring to the alliance.
IHC, the world’s largest hub for humanitarian logistics based in Dubai, will offer expertise in humanitarian logistics for aid materials such as food and medicine in markets with limited infrastructure.
IHC and Emirates SkyCargo have already partnered on many humanitarian cargo flights and earlier in 2020, also signed an MoU for closer collaboration for humanitarian assistance flights.
DP World’s logistics operations will facilitate the collection of vaccines from manufacturing sites in places like Europe, the US and India and deliver them to airports, seaports and dryports for onward transportation.
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DP World and UNICEF have also announced a partnership to support the global distribution of Covid-19 vaccines and related immunisation supplies in low- and lower-middle-income countries.
Emirates SkyCargo has over 15,000 sq m of cool chain space for pharmaceuticals across its terminals in Dubai and started transporting Covid-19 vaccines on its flights during December.
Dubai Airports, operator of Dubai International (DXB) and Dubai World Central (DWC), will be contributing to the efforts of the newly formed Dubai Vaccine Logistics Alliance by providing additional space at dedicated facilities at Dubai International (DXB). The repurposed cargo facilities will act as storage for vaccines.
Source : https://www.aircargonews.net/airlines