Editor's Comment

FedEx swoops on TNT, Zara calls up Clipper, MetaPack warns on loyalty

What’s the best thing to wake up to after a cracking Easter weekend? Some breaking news, of course – it’s enough to make you egg-static. But that’s more than enough lame Easter egg themed puns for now.

The breaking news to which I am referring, of course, was the announcement that FedEx is buying TNT Express in a deal valued at €4.4bn.

The usual caveats apply, naturally; there is the ever-present competition regulation hurdle yet to be cleared. But FedEx is clearly of the opinion that won’t be a problem, even though the deal will be taking one of Europe’s big four delivery operators out of the market.

That was a prospect that EU Commissioners weren’t at all relaxed about a little over two years ago when DHL attempted to acquire TNT. That deal valued TNT at €5.2bn at the time, but DHL walked away when the EC made it clear their blessing was unlikely to be forthcoming.

Will history repeat itself, or is the TNT brand destined to become little more than a blast from the past?

Elsewhere in eDelivery this week, high street fashion retailer Zara has brought Clipper Logistics in to handle online order fulfilment at its new 340,000 square feet distribution centre in Northampton.

Meanwhile research from MetaPack has highlighted how retailers’ returns policies can be a positive tool for customer retention and brand loyalty. That’s a topic that keeps doing the rounds and while it might seem all too obvious, seeing research backing up the links between returns and loyalty can help guide long-term decisions.

Related to the subject of returns, ipostparcels is now letting customers nominate its own depots as collection points. Predicting the future is a lot harder than it looks, but its fairly likely that increasing flexibility in the options for delivery, collection and returns will become part of the fabric of the last mile.

One thing we can predict with a degree of certainty though, is the first ever eDelivery Conference, which takes place on 13 October at the Hammersmith Novotel in London. We’ll be sharing details with you as the day approaches, but for now consider this a save-the-date / watch-this-space notification.

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