People speculate Amazon is looking enter the freight industry and to be more specific become a Freight Forwarder. Amazon has conquered the online shopping industry, and now they are seeking to generate innovation and expansion. You may have heard that Amazon is now trailing drones as part of their last-mile delivery system. You might have missed a few announcements which provide evidence that Amazon could be making moves to enter into the freight industry. Amazon may be developing mobile technology so it can schedule and track truck shipments. This technology can be implemented into an Uber-like app for trucks.
What Has Made People Think this?
Amazon has a purchased around 4,000 semi-trucks and 40 cargo planes. They will spend nearly $1.5 billion on their new Air Freight Hub in Kentucky. Amazon has also recently expanded into Ocean freight they have not purchased any ships but it they have acted as a freight forwarder by helping Chinese merchants, last year they helped around 150 containers. Amazon claims that the purpose of these trucks and freight planes is to better their distribution services. Their aim is to not be reliant on companies such as DHL and UPS. However, a few people believe Amazon is just playing their cards close to their chest which is a wise move in the world of business.
With all these trucks Amazon could look to bring a freight forwarder in-house and give it an Amazon technology makeover. The freight forwarder would handle the operational side while selling excess space on Amazon trucks and planes to 3rd parties. As a result, this would trim the costs of their logistics side of the company.
The logistics industry have seen other big tech firms such as Uber looking to enter the freight sector by matching freight to available trucks. It’s not only big tech firms but firms like UPS have entered the freight forwarding industry by purchasing freight forwarding companies.
What is the Macron Law?
The law obliges all international transport companies who transit or have their drivers working in France to pay their drivers the French minimum wage of €9.76 an hour. France introduced this law on the 1st of July 2016. However, it was unclear whether the French would be able to enforce this. The EU started an infringement process in June 2016 against France. The outcome is still unclear as to whether they will be able to overrule this law.
What will the impact be?
European express market will be the most affected. With loads to/from Italy, France, Spain or Portugal, our vans have to travel through France. For example, if a driver spends 9 hours in France this could add an extra €35 to the cost of the shipment as European van drivers do not receive €9.76 an hour. As of 1st January this year, the French police have the right to stop any international driver and request documentation that proves that they are paid the French minimum wage. Hauliers have had to register their drivers online with the French Ministry of Labour and appoint a French fiscal representative.
This could also has an effect on full load rates as many Eastern European hauliers do not pay their drivers 9.76 euros per hour. If they transit France in the future, they will be obliged to pay them this hourly rate for the time spent in France.
Some European Transport Ministers met in Paris in late January to discuss the “unlevel” playing field they believe exists in Europe. They say that Eastern European hauliers have an enormous competitive advantage over most Western European countries who have minimum wage restraints in place.
We will keep you all updated on any changes.
No we are not on about film trailers. we are talking about the trailers which are on the back of trucks. There are all sort of variants of trailers to transport every kind of freight you can imagine. The 4 most common trailers are:
Flat Bed Trailers
As the name suggests they are flat. They don’t have any sides or roof.
Used to protect freight from the elements. They are loaded from the rear but can be loaded by the side.
Low Boy Trailer
Designed to carry and transport taller goods.
Drop Deck Trailer
This is a type of flatbed. this is used to haul taller equipment that cannot be driven on.
What is a Freight Forwarder? What do they do?
A Freight Forwarder is a person or company which organises the shipments of goods for other people or businesses. Freight Forwarders are not the ones that move the goods they are the intermediate between shippers and carriers, they deal with the frustrating administrative aspect of shipping. They also build close relationships with carriers which allows them to negotiate better deals.
Benefits for businesses
Freight Forwarder are able to negotiate better deals with carriers due to the high volume of shipments they handle.
Freight Forwarders are more experienced and better equipped to deal with problems. For example, the truck carrying your shipment has broken down how would you be able to handle this smoothly? For freight forwarders this is just a walk in the park to handle.
Simplicity (stress free)
Simplicity in the logistics industry doesn’t come around a lot. Whilst you still have control of you shipments freight forwarders take on all the administrative tasks. All you have to do is tell them where to pick the goods up and their destination.