Hermes in the noughties


Expansion of the ParcelShop system put on ice

Having set up 6,000 Hermes ParcelShops across Germany, developments are seen to complete and further expansion put on ice. The company sets up a web-based virtual information and service platform for technical issues. In anticipation of the continued increase in the number of shipments, the Munich area is split and the 65th depot is opened.


primeMail founded (March 1)

primeMail - a joint venture between the Hermes Logistics Group and Swiss Post International – provides both national and international deliveries of letters and catalogues on the liberalised market. Hermes thus establishes a promising position on the letter market. By January, the one millionth parcel is processed through a PaketShop Hermes ParcelShop. April sees the national launch of mobilen Datenerfassung (MEDEA), a hand-held scanner, used to electronically capture and archive data while on tour. Depots in Bremen and Lübeck also receive certificates for meeting stringent environmental standards.


New concept for shipping and transport

The company introduces a hub system of key distribution centres, a new concept in transhipment and transport. The hub system consolidates several distance sellers into their nearest hub where parcels are sorted and distributed to the individual depots. The four hubs are located at Hamburg, Haldensleben, Hanau and Burgkunstadt. The system boasts a range of benefits: reducing the number of transhipments, concentrating line haul routes, saving time as well as permitting the smoother integration of parcels from new clients.


Hermes Network Distribution set up

By setting up its Hermes Network Distribution the Hermes Logistics Group extends its portfolio to include the full truck load (FTL) segment. The 9,000th Hermes ParcelShop opens in March. The shops serve as acceptance points and/or alternative delivery addresses for parcels and ideally supplement the more traditional doorstep delivery and collection. Month for month roughly one million parcels are processed through the ParcelShops. And the idea continues to develop: on November 1, Hermes develops the system to enable private parcels to be dropped off and delivered.


Hermes Einrichtungs Service GmbH founded

By founding the Hermes Einrichtungs Service GmbH in Löhne, Hermes intensifies its collaboration with Sänger Speditionsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG, a collaboration that has spanned decades.

May sees the opening of the 10,000th Hermes ParcelShop, supporting a network that provides nationwide coverage of alternative delivery addresses for the country’s distance sellers. From June 1, Hermes provides distance sellers with yet another new service: the premium service – i.e. restricting delivery to one of four time bands on any given workday – allows distance sellers the opportunity of marketing a more consumer-friendly service. Customers can now choose to have their parcels delivered in any one of the three-hour time bands.

A new pricing model is introduced on November 1, at Hermes PaketShops Hermes ParcelShops which now total over 10,000. Instead of four price categories as was the case in the past, now there are only three. On top of this, prices have also been cut. Not only do private customers stand to gain from the new pricing model, smaller commercial operators will also benefit. The latter are now entitled to offset VAT. This makes shipping with Hermes more cost-effective – and the previous competitive disadvantage of not being exempt from VAT (unlike Deutsche Post), at least in this case has its positive side.

At the end of the year, the Hermes concept gains approval from the Stiftung Warentest, perhaps the most predominant consumer research and advice foundation in Germany. In respect of quality of performance and price, Hermes came out on top, confirmed as Number One among Germany’s home deliverers. Hermes was held to be 'reliable by collections and deliveries' and with its ‘clear pricing system’ was the 'most favourable provider' among parcel delivery services.


Hermes is again certified in line with ISO 14001 environmental standards

In October, Hermes is once again certified in line with ISO 14001. In doing so, the TIP testing procedure was deployed for the third time. The certificate is awarded following an analysis of internal environmental checks. In the sense of ‘testing the tester’, an external auditor judges whether the company has implemented an environmental management system in line with the requirements of ISO 14001. On the other hand, the auditor also checks whether the company has set up an internal organisation to check the degree of implementation based on internal guidelines and the demands of ISO 14001.

TechnikService 24 GmbH & Co. KG is founded on March 1. The new company represents a merger of two companies that have been successfully established for decades: Haustechnik Service GmbH & Co. KG and Hermes Technischer Kundendienst. TechnikService 24 instantly becomes Germany’s leading independent service provider for after-sales services such as repairs, call centre solutions and spare part logistics.

From June, two-time F1 world champion Mika Häkkinen endorses the company by wearing the Hermes logo on his racing overalls. He also appears in the company’s print and media advertising. In addition, the amiable Finn increasingly appears and the company’s brand ambassador.

In time for Christmas business, Hermes supplies its own shipping cartons at its around 11,000 Hermes ParcelShops. The good value blue parcels are available in three sizes and ideal for small, medium-sized and large presents.


It’s all about parcels

The new ProfiPaketService launched in February, Hermes provides lower-volume shippers with the chance to make the most use of the comprehensive range of services it has on offer. Small commercial operators, self-employed and power sellers can now offer services such as collections from the client, up to four visits to deliver the parcel or returns handling at the now 12,000 Hermes ParcelShops.

In summer, Hermes begins construction of a new hub distribution centre – the west hub in Hückelhoven. Once completed, 130 employees will find work there. Planned investment for property, building and technology amounts to €35 million.

In July, Hermes introduces a new parcel category for the ProfiPaketService. From September 4, Hermes now ships parcels of up to 25kg to countries in Europe. These are accepted at the 12,000 Hermes ParcelShops. The price includes three visits to deliver the parcels, web-based tracking and tracing as well as liability for contents of up to €500.


Hermes takes commission of the west hub, posts records sales and grows internationally

For the third year is succession, Hermes improves its year-end financial figures. And for the first time in the company’s history, the €1 billion threshold is topped. Revenue grows by 11.5% to €1,016 billion. The company also holds a 37 percent share of the B2C market. In the C2C market, the company has been able to establish itself as an attractive provider in just a short period of time. Quickly, the company is delivering 23.6 million parcels. Overall, the 2006 financial year closes with the company shipping 235 million parcels.

At the beginning of July Hermes launches operations in Austria. With its 1,200 ParcelShops, 700 couriers and the range of tried-and-test Hermes services, the company is targeting a market share of 20 percent in the B2C and C2C segments by the end of 2008. However, this ambitious plan is not only exceeded, it is virtually doubled. This is due in part to Hermes’s success in acquiring a key client in Primondo – the mail-order arm of Arcandor AG – just four months after market launch.

Also in summer 2007, the Hermes board takes another landmark decision with the location of the new central hub in the middle of Germany. The choice lands in favour of Friedewald in north Hessian, conveniently situated on the B4 autobahn. It total, €45 million is invested in infrastructure and technology for the 18,000 square metre building, where operations are expected to start at the beginning of 2009. Once completed the new distribution centre (216 metres long and 112 metres wide) will employ 150 new staff and process 20,000 parcels per hour. Following a one-year construction phase, the new hub in Hückelhoven started operations in October. A particular feature of the hub is that it is directly connected via a conveyor bridge to the distribution centre of TV retailer QVC.

Having completed the entry into the Italian market in October through a 30 percent holding in the Italian parcel delivery company Swiss Post Porta a Porta, Hermes has a foot in the door of the fourth-largest B2C parcel market in the EU. Renowned for the quality of its services, Porta a Porta enjoys a 7% share of the Italian market and has an outstanding B2C network.

Together with its partner, TNT Post, Hermes was looking to break into the letter market for private clients and small enterprises from January 1. For this, the 13,500 Hermes ParcelShops were to be deployed as acceptance points for letters. However, just before the turn of the year, the political decision to establish a minimum wage for letter couriers induced both companies to put their plans on ice. The whole project and further investment were stopped with immediate effect.


Hermes remains on course for growth

For the fourth year in succession, Hermes improves its annual financial figures. Overall, the company generated revenues of €1,041 billion for the 2007 financial year in Germany, up nine 9% year on year. A new record was set in respect of volume, with over a quarter of a million parcels shipped. Following the successful market launches in Austria and Italy, and partnership agreements with sister companies in France and England, Hermes holds a 22% share of the European parcel market, estimated to be worth €1.5 billion.

The network of Hermes ParcelShops in Germany proves to be a key driver of growth and a major contributor to improving the green balance sheet. One study shows that through the continual expansion of the now 13,500 acceptance points in the Hermes ParcelShop network, car miles and the related emissions of damaging carbon-dioxide have been reduced. Carbon-dioxide emissions per parcel dropped significantly between August 2006 and August 2007. In total, the company cuts carbon-dioxide emissions by 5,700 tonnes. This is equivalent to the emissions resulting from the electricity consumption of 2,300 three-person households.

Web-based services provided by Hermes companies continues to rise: for the full truck load segment – i.e. line haulage – the Internet portal has been developed. The service is geared towards retail and production companies as well as forwarders, with sporadic, or even regular, freight volumes to be shipped in national full or partial loads by swap body. Hermes is able to accept orders around the clock throughout Germany, even up to six hours before scheduled departure.

Hermes Einrichtungs Service comes up with two innovations. From March, provides a web-based solution for transporting furniture and bulky items nationwide. Consignments up to seven cubic metres are collected at the shipper’s premises and delivered to the customer’s home by two-man teams. The service particularly targets online shops, ebay sellers, and furniture retailers with low shipping volumes.

In November, operations in the PrivatGroßstückService kick off. Distribution solutions customised to meet client needs, attractive prices, digital tracking and tracing and up to three visits to deliver the goods are just some of its main features. Large and bulky goods can be transported professionally and comfortably even on behalf of private clients such as for users of online auction platforms like ebay. Clients pay a fixed price for the transport of typical pieces of furniture, electrical and household appliance – regardless of the distance involved.


Hermes Transport Logistics GmbH founded

Hermes Transport Logistics GmbH has been an independent player in the logistics market since May 1. The company has its origins in the Transport Logistics division of Hermes Logistik Gruppe and Otto International Logistics (OIL). The former Transport Logistics division made a name for itself in the market as a partner with competency in national and European full truck load. After successfully establishing the transport network for the parcels business with a focus on hub and depot traffic the business model has been expanded to include customers in trade and industry.

The former company OIL embodies competency in the area of procurement transport in the air and seafreight business. This know-how gained from experience over many years in co-ordinating procurement logistics for the whole Otto Group is the foundation for Hermes Transport Logistics’ worldwide activities today.

Set up jointly, Hermes Transport Logistics today offers national and international customers a comprehensive portfolio of one-stop logistics services. Over 3,000 employees are responsible for managing the customer’s products reliably, on time and in a way which conserves resources. More than 18,000 tonnes of air freight and over 100,000 TEU of sea freight are transported annually, and up to 7,000 swap bodies and trailers are used daily.