FedEx commits to France in massive hub expansion at Charles de Gaulle Airport
Logistics giant FedEx is expanding its distribution hub at Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG) Airport in a 30-year agreement costing at least €200 million.
Once completed, this new facility will be one of the world’s most advanced express logistics hubs, featuring technology that will boost package sorting capacity by more than 40 percent. President of the French Republic, François Hollande, was in attendance at the project annoucement.
FedEx Express is the world’s largest express transportation company and a subsidiary of FedEx Corp.
“This investment is part of the company’s network expansion strategy, creating more capacity and enabling more business connections in Europe and around the world,” said David Binks, president, FedEx Express Europe and CEO, TNT. “This new expansion, coupled with the recent TNT acquisition, supports the evolving needs of our customers and the global marketplace while increasing our ability to support trends like cross-border e-commerce.”
Construction is set to begin in the summer of 2017 and the facility is scheduled to be operational by 2019. Upon completion, the CDG hub will include an automated sorting system for large, over-sized packages, which is a worldwide first for FedEx Express and an increasing market trend as e-commerce continues to grow.
The new building will be HQE and BREEAM certified, which means that it will be built with non-polluting materials and equipped with LED lighting. In conjunction with this major investment, FedEx anticipates the expansion will create new positions, adding to the current workforce at CDG.
“At FedEx, we have the ability to pick up, transport and deliver an item from 95 percent of the people on the planet, and most every business in the world, within one to two business days,” said David Bronczek, president & CEO, FedEx Express. “This strategic expansion in Paris is n example of how we will continue to invest to move goods faster and more reliably across borders, which means our customers can decrease costs, improve their supply chain and identify new opportunities for growth and profitability.”
FedEx Express has been active in France since 1985, with CDG becoming its main European hub in 1999 and the largest FedEx hub outside of the US. In addition, the company’s hub in Cologne, Germany and the TNT hub in Liege, Belgium will be maintained as significant operations for the group moving forward.
TNT will soon open a ground hub just North of Paris in the Ile de France region along with three TNT ground depots. The investment in the TNT network will also improve connectivity between France, Europe, and the rest of the world.
FedEx has made significant investments in France over the past years, including opening 19 stations since 2011 and acquiring the French domestic carrier Tatex in 2012. FedEx now has a presence in 48 French cities.
UK office space slashed as hybrid working looks set to stay
With hybrid predicted to be the working model of the future, and businesses both large and small announcing that WFH will continue for employees into the future, the traditional office space is being re-thought.
Businesses are both questioning how much space they need for a hybrid working future, especially if it means they can potentially save money, and what form that space should take.
UK firms slashing office space
Back as early as February, HSBC – whose real estate footprint currently stretches to around 112 football pitches worldwide – said it would be cutting its post-COVID office space by half globally and by 40% in London over the next few years, as it looks to implementation of a hybrid working model in light of the pandemic.
Lloyds Bank followed suit. Following an internal survey where 77% of employees said they wanted to continue to work for 3+ days a week post-pandemic, the bank announced it was also moving to a hybrid model, and so looking to cut its office space by 20% over the next two years.
In fact, the latest research from consulting firm PwC reveals that a third of organisations surveyed (258 of the UK’s largest companies) believe they will reduce their office footprint by more than 30%.
The findings of PwC’s Occupier Survey indicate there is likely to be a sizeable fall in occupied office space with half of executives surveyed saying that despite taking into account mass vaccinations, employees will continue to work virtually 2-3 days a week.
And companies continue to announce the hybrid working model for their employees. Accountancy firm EY has just announced that its 17,000 employees are moving to a hybrid way of working, WFH for at least two days a week. This follows PwC which in March said workers could stay at home for half the time and KPMG which this month said it would expect employees to only work two days in the office every week.
More collaborative work spaces
However, what’s also clear from PwC’s research is that the role of the office is not going to disappear completely, but instead adapt to a new way of working, with half of all organisations with more than 100 employees saying they have a real estate and workplace strategy that considers the long-term impact of COVID-19.
“We may see an increased demand for flexible space as many businesses operating models may well need that option if holding dead space is to be avoided,” says Angus Johnson, UK Real Estate Leader at PwC UK.
According to the survey, more than three quarters of respondents said they are likely to reconfigure existing office with 43% of financial services firms stating that they are extremely likely to do so as a result of the pandemic.
“It’s also clear that the nature and purpose of office space is going to change. As occupiers seek new, different space to meet their accommodation needs, environmental aspects will be increasingly important. If the real estate sector is to truly succeed as a more dynamic, greener industry it’s imperative that creative thinking comes to the fore.”
And companies are already thinking creatively how they can utilise office space in a hybrid future. So while HSBC is cutting a significant amount of office space, it is not downsizing its prestigious Canary Wharf headquarters, and instead reimagining the space. In April, CEO Noel Quinn announced the firm was embracing an open plan floor, with no designated desks or private offices, and instead using hot-desks in line with the future hybrid working style. “My leadership team and I have moved to a fully open-plan floor of the building in east London with no designated desks,” he said on LinkedIn.
Lloyds also reported it was adapting its office space, so that rather than individual offices, it will have a more collaborative workspace. And just last month, KPMG announced it too was ditching desks and individual offices, and replacing them with meeting rooms and conference halls for a more collaborative workspace.