Why would you pick Apollo?

Apollo header

Established in 1995, we have demonstrated 21 years of expertise in the logistics field. We provide a bespoke and robust logistics plan to suit your every need, from same day dedicated vehicles through to international shipments Worldwide. We can also help you to archive any files with our secure Cardiff storage facility.

Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year we can guarantee a time-definite and dedicated service to ensure that your items are delivered “on time every time”. From small vans to artics we have a vast range of vehicles available to our clients.

Apollo also considers more cost effective way of sending less urgent items with our combined fleet and chosen partners. From overnight door to door deliveries to international Worldwide shipments via air, sea and road, we pass on our volume discounts to our clients to provide the fastest transit times.
We’ll always go above and beyond what your current courier service does for you. The size of our team means that nothing will get lost in translation meaning the safe and secure delivery of your items. There’s nothing worse than uncertainty when you trust a distribution company with your goods, which is why we make sure to provide you with real-time updates and always secure proof of delivery for you.

Most companies operate utilising a call centre system; at Apollo there are dedicated highly experienced staff who will advise you on the best and most cost effective way of sending consignments depending on the stipulations you have to comply to.

Where vehicles are used to provide a service, route consolidation and strategic load planning are utilised to minimise vehicle miles and “empty running”. It is company policy to maintain vehicles in an efficient condition.

The van and its driver are vital to the UK economy with more than 4 million on the road. That’s the view of the FTA Logistics Report 2016, which shows the dramatic shift in the way the public shops; by the end of 2015, retailers predicted they would be delivering more than 860 million parcels to UK homes – thanks to the e-commerce explosion.

Written by: Emma Dyer

Apollo Distribution Solutions Ltd

www.apollodistributioncardiff.co.uk

What Makes Apollo Unique?

Untitled design (19).png

There are plenty of companies competing to organise your logistics schedule, but what makes Apollo Cardiff unique? We’ve worked with some of our clients for our full 21 years in business and have since acquired a great many. Customers can rely on our courier and storage services; we keep items safe and secure, ensuring that they reach their destination on time. Find a few words from those who have used our logistics services below to see what we can do for your business.

“When I started using Apollo I was also using another courier company but, due to the speed of service and knowledgeable staff giving me expert advice in order to meet my deadlines, I would not use any other courier company. I have also recommended Apollo to other companies.” – A Printing Company

“I am always working to tight deadlines and have to get exhibitions set up throughout the UK and Europe and have always relied on Apollo to ensure delivery on time. Last time they saved me a great deal of money by providing a dedicated vehicle to Europe rather than shipping my items abroad in bespoke crates.” – An Exhibition Company

“I have been using Apollo for a number of years and know that I can get my items delivered whether I am sending them for delivery same day, next day or to another country. Their knowledge is immense, they complete all the paperwork, track my shipments and provide me with management reports at the end of each month.” – A Law Firm

“Our company works on a 24 hour basis and therefore requires a courier company who is always available, even at 2.00am. I like the fact that we can ring the same number in the day that we do in the early hours and we always get through. They have never let us down.” – A Manufacturing Company

“When I’m under pressure I feel assured that with just one phone call Apollo will meet my deadline no matter what I’m sending.” – A Large Insurance Company

“We have utilised Apollo when storing large quantities of archive files. Apollo operates a professional service and is expertly tailored to our specific needs.” – From a Union

“We have been using Apollo for about 10 years for distribution and storage. We keep a number of box files in storage; the system works well and we are able to access our files easily, often delivered the same day. When we phone they know exactly what I am talking about and deal with it quickly.” – A Large Law Firm

“Apollo is friendly and quick to respond to all our requests for delivery and pick up of files and storage boxes. They give an excellent service at a fair price and we plan to continue to use Apollo as our service provider for the foreseeable future.” – A Consulting Civil and Structural Engineering Company

If you’ve made use of Apollo’s services in the past, let us know! Click here to leave us a few words and let us know how we’ve done.

The Uberfication of Logistics

uberb1.png

The Uber model is becoming essential for businesses to implement into their supply chains. Customers crave the ability to order items for fast delivery and arrange shipments with ease; it is abundantly clear that the Uber model facilitates this desire.

Uber itself has recently launched UberRUSH as an accessible courier service in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. Customers can use the app to find vehicles in their area, specify their bespoke needs, organise an efficient service, whilst tracking their consignments. Drivers can then sign up and work under Uber, maintaining their own working schedules. What’s the catch? Plenty of other companies have capitalised on the same model since and have proved very successful. However, many concerns have been raised regarding how this new structure will impact on the shipping industry, particularly considering its extremely rapid growth in the market.

The very nature of an app-based service makes for a degree of both efficiency and visibility previously unheard of. With ease of ordering, customers can locate the best vehicle in their area and provide any necessary bespoke instructions to receive a tailored service. Additionally, the apps provide full visibility; the vehicles can be tracked throughout the journey, which means that customers always know the live status of every journey. Queries have been raised, however, with regards to the safety of the transported items. Security is a huge concern. What’s to stop a driver registering, finding a load of value, and thieving the goods? It is clearly highly important that security measures are established to ward off criminal activity.

Many argue that the security anxieties of uberfication is a huge turn-off. The customer is likely to be working with different drivers each and every time – how can they be expected to trust this above a trusted broker that they have been working with for some time? This is understandably a huge leap for a lot of people. Moreover, from a business perspective, their broker would have previously worked out all the logistics for them. With uberfication, the responsibility lies in the hands of the sender. This may require extra staff, or put a strain on the workload of existing employees.

Companies are under much pressure to keep up with the uberfication of logistics. Without adaptation, freight brokers, for example, could end up losing much business. There is considerable demand for these businesses to create their own apps in order to comply with the uberfication trend. These uber-style delivery drivers are also able to shape their activity around individual requirements, brokers need to keep up with this expected personalised service.

Furthermore, with reference to a dynamic service, uber-style apps are able to immediately generate tailored prices for each job. These prices are likely to vary each time and are dependent upon a great many factors; brokers will need to ensure they also keep up with this side of the trend. The immediacy of payment transfer is also a huge plus point. Transactions are done straight away as soon as the job is completed.

There are many clear environmental benefits of the uberfication of logistics, predominantly when making use of return loads. Too frequently, vehicles of all sizes are travelling unloaded. Uber-style apps will allow people to book these vehicles for back-loads to ensure that the vehicle isn’t wasting mileage not achieving anything. Goods can also be consolidated with uberfication. One vehicle may take several customers’ consignments rather than several vehicles all travelling independently. This is also effective in decongesting urban areas. Less vehicles clogging up cities will certainly benefit air quality. Depots and ports need to be ready for this consolidation, plenty argue that they are not prepared for this loading arrangement.

With the uberfication of logistics taking hold, brokers need to be liberal in adapting their businesses before losing clients to app-based services. Plenty of companies are racing ahead to establish themselves as uber-style leaders in their regions and the rest of the logistics industry needs to keep up!

Join the discussion further with us @ApolloCardiff.

Final Mile Logistics: Droid Technology

Capture.PNG

Aside from rigorously discussed delivery technologies such as drones and driverless vehicles, many claim an oversight with regards to droid technology. These delivery robots have recently gathered much interest and perhaps offer an alternative means of final mile delivery during a period of further research and development of more far-fetched logistics.

Last mile delivery has long been an area of discussion for urban transport and logistics planners. With a particular emphasis on London, highly congested areas make for a logistics nightmare. Consignments can travel long distances but spend 80% of their transport time sat on overcrowded roads. This, of course, raises additional environmental issues. UK cities are under pressure to expand and grow. With more and more deliveries piling in, air quality is poor and roads condensed with logistics vehicles only add to the problem.

UK-based Starship believe that their company have the solution. The Starship delivery robot is designed to autonomously drive along pavements to make deliveries from businesses to consumers. Evidently, this removes the middle man from the situation. Unmanned, these machines can take goods directly to customers. It also lessens costs; with an estimated 30-40% of delivery expenses coming from the final mile section of delivery, the adoption of new logistics technologies is vital for businesses to consider.

There are plenty of advantages associated with delivery robots in urban landscapes. As aforementioned, financially they can be enormously worthwhile. Small businesses may especially benefit, rather than paying for vehicles to sit in traffic daily, they can make use of a droid, which is clearly a lot cheaper to run. With UAVs more expensive to buy and potentially less safe due to spinning blades, many businesses would rather invest in something people may be more likely to trust – additional concerns were raised after the recent Heathrow drone collision. Importantly, drone technology relies on much regulation and it seems we’re far from a conclusive outcome. Droids travel on pavements and not roads, clearly simplifying the attainment of regulatory approval.

The Starship brand of delivery robot has already covered more than 3057km in the UK, Germany, Belgium, Estonia, and the US and shows no sign of stopping. Practiced on varying terrains, from snow to rain, droids have shown their ability to function successfully against potentially problematic conditions. Using a 3G GPS signal, 9 inbuilt cameras, and numerous sensors, they are programmed to reach their destination successfully without bumping into obstacles along the way.

However, this is something to consider. If the machines are only benefiting urban environments, then the pedestrian population must be taken into account. Clearly, the number of pedestrians in a city like London is dense. In spite of sensors, citizens will still have to keep an eye out for the droids, which operate far below eye-level. In particularly busy areas, it could feasibly take hours for delivery robots to complete their deliveries after negotiating their way around thousands of feet. However, manufacturers have assured that the droids cannot cause damage along their route. They weigh less than 35 pounds and travel slowly, preventing any collision causing real harm.

Aside from concerns regarding pavement travel, the Starship inventors have certainly taken usability into account. The machines are easy to use; customers can take their goods from the central compartment and also easily return any unwanted goods. Safety is also of utmost important – the compartment is locked to keep items safe, with easy access granted at its final destination. The cameras aboard also transmit live video to operators in order to discourage thieves.

The battery life of the delivery robots could be criticised. Currently, the droids can run for just over two hours before needing a recharge. This may be of concern in highly populated areas where delivery will take some time. However, only completing urban missions, the hope is that each delivery can be completed and returned within the two hour time frame. This certainly seems achievable and clearly further future development would lead to expanded battery life if necessary.

With real potential to flourish quicker than UAV and driverless technology, how do you perceive the future of delivery droids? Join the discussion by tweeting @ApolloCardiff!

Thanks to:

www.bloomberg.com

www.timeslive.co.za

Photo by Tim Butler / CC BY

How can you Defend your Digital Supply Chain from Cyber Attacks?

Untitled design.pngSafeguarding warehouses from physical harm remains a constant concern for operators. From burglaries to fire hazards, warehousing requires 24/7 surveillance. However, many are overlooking the threat posed by infiltrators of the digital supply chain; it is integral that cyber security is plotted highly on priority lists. With supply chains becoming increasingly reliant on digital, it is necessary for operations and data to be defended from violation.

Of course, malfunctions in software/hardware can exist, jeopardising systems of all functions and magnitudes. Cyber crime is different. Deliberate attacks occur frequently and can shatter supply chains from the very core. Companies outsourcing IT, storage and/or software are at a higher risk and so vigilance is of utmost importance. Ideally, an organisation develops a combat strategy, placing experts at each stage of the supply chain in order to prevent possibly devastating breaches.

There are a number of ways in which supply chains can be targeted; aside from direct attacks to a company, third party providers are often responsible for allowing infringement. It is vital for companies to take care when selecting their website and software providers, ensuring that they are reliably sourced and sustain a sturdy cyber defence system. Third party website/software providers can be infected without the employing company even knowing. The malware is then shipped to the business who will suffer as a result. It can be impossible to check every piece of software or website update/download made available, especially for smaller companies with limited resources. Therefore, it is important to select reliable third parties who won’t cause harm, whether this is with intent or not.

Sticking with third party providers, it is also important to ensure data stores are carefully selected. If a company sends its data to be housed with a third party company, it is obviously important to be rigorous when carrying out checks on that company. Will they protect pools of data from cyber attack? Can they be trusted to keep data private and confidential? Data many belong to customers, it may also cover intimate business details such as with regards to structure. If you’re contacted by a spam agency then chances are your data was infiltrated and reaped from a data store by a cyber attacker.

Watering hole attacks are also a prime channel for cyber criminals. Watering holes are used by a large number of people in the same field of employment; examples include government interfaces and healthcare bases. The members of these cohorts trust their watering holes fully, moving freely within them and downloading industry-specific content. Plenty of traps can be set up inside these trusted “safe” places, especially when people are downloading potentially spiked content without a second thought. These watering holes can serve to produce thousands of data entries. Much confidential information is stored and attackers are able to get an astronomical amount of data from just one infiltration as this data is often shared as part of one huge network. Such information pools can hold much sought after information, such as valuable government statistics or research conducted by health boards.

What practical measures can you take?

  • When picking your third party providers, make sure you can trust them. Ask them to evidence their security methods to ensure that your supply chain remains safe.
  • Don’t automatically rule out smaller companies. The stakes are high but often small businesses lose out when they are more than capable of managing a full and reliable service. Again, demand proof and complete relevant risk assessments before embarking on a contract.
  • Employ specialists in your organisation to take care of cyber security. If your organisation handles sensitive data or operates complicated systems can you afford to cut corners? Some warehouses are controlled entirely online; these systems can be under threat just as much as data stores. If an attacker wades in and controls your warehouse, the entire supply chain can be devastated. This also puts employees at great risk as autonomy is surrendered.
  • Regularly review your tactics. It is by no means enough to have set up measures years ago and rely on archaic strategy – keep ahead of your attackers! With each third party introduced into the company, however small they might be, a new risk is imposed. Keep on top of all potential portals of entry for criminals.
  • Establish a common communicative understanding with your third party providers. Make sure you have mutual key terms as well as a way to overcome potential language barriers. To maintain a robust cyber security system, everyone along the supply chain needs to be on the same page with a common understanding of terms and processes.
  • Always protect your sensitive data with passwords and store any references to said codes in an encrypted folder. Additionally, consider a two-factor authentication process to access sensitive information. Perhaps a physical object in addition to the digital password could be used in order to heighten security. This system is used, for example, by many online banking systems to log-in to your finances.
  • Change your passwords regularly and carry out cyber security audits at the same rate as you would monitor all other systems in your company. Maintain this vigilant attitude – question everything and don’t assume everything is ok unless it states otherwise.

It is impossible to entirely guarantee the safety of your digital supply chain; nevertheless, taking the above measures can make your business far less susceptible to attack. First and foremost, you need to be proactive and investigative; explore every new connection and act with vigilance across your entire supply chain. Threats will only become more menacing and so it is vital to ensure that you have a comprehensive security structure in place.

To further discuss supply chain security, find us on Twitter or Facebook!

Apollo Cardiff’s Same Day Promise

 

STORIES (4).png

It’s almost impossible to sustain a healthy business alongside a clumsy logistics plan. The ease at which your supply chain flows can have huge implications; it’s not worth taking the risk.

At Apollo, we craft bespoke courier services for our clients. Every business needs a different shaped logistics plan in order to succeed and we recognise that. Tailored to your company, all of our services adapt to you. As a result, we operate on a 24/7, 365 days a year basis, with professional industry experts always ready to speak with you.

Our same day service proves incredibly popular with our clients; they consistently return to Apollo based on our promise that their goods will be the only ones on board. The key to delivering a fast, tracked and secure service is providing dedicated vehicles and we never fail to do so. We are able to provide vehicles from small vans and transits through to 26 ton artics. Our vast range of vessels allow our clients to use us as their primary courier provider.

We guarantee to be on time, every time. We are in constant communication with all our drivers and will ensure that all information is reported back to you. We don’t leave you in the dark; we treat every consignment with the utmost importance!

Click here to navigate to our website. Here, you can find out a bit more about us, book a job, or even just get an immediate, non-committal quote based on your business specifications.

We operate UK-wide and internationally so you really have no excuse to revamp your logistics plan!

Why does the Logistics Industry need the Internet of Things?

Why does the (2)The Internet of Things defines a technology whereby physical objects are connected to a wireless network. Some predictions suggest that 200 billion items will be connected by 2020. With a shift from independence to integration, data can now be passed from a network of linked objects; this has huge implications for a great number of industries. The technology permits open networks of communication, resulting in increased intelligence for companies. This intelligence, often referred to as ‘machine learning’, extracts valuable insights from an IoT network, which may improve future usability, production or functionality.

The IoT has been effective across the logistics industry, providing a certain level of visibility not gleaned from previous technologies. Far more insightful data can now be captured, facilitating supply chain optimisation. It is integral that heads of supply chain keep up with this trend in order to safeguard the future of their business. A large company, reliant on supply chain success, will begin to fall behind its competitors without the knowledge provided by the IoT.

The IoT can benefit warehousing hugely. Every element is linked and now operating as one gigantic system. Warehouse managers have an aerial view, enhancing efficiency and risk management strategy. Sensors are in place throughout a smart warehouse to monitor every movement; the information is then sent wirelessly for machine learning analysis. For example, forklift damage can be addressed before the entire machine breaks down. If a part of the forklift isn’t functioning as it should, the IoT alerts warehouse operation staff to replace it, allowing the forklift to resume its job without interrupting productivity too much.

Item location is also important in the warehouse. If hundreds, or even thousands, of items are being picked at once, a robust and intelligent system needs to be in place. With the IoT, the exact location of the item can be found, as well as other information such as where it came from and what condition it is in. Having the real-time visibility to assess the full status of an item accelerates productivity massively.

Human error is also removed. When all items are accounted for by sensors, time won’t be wasted searching for something that may have been inputted incorrectly by hand. Additionally, there will be automatic updates regarding replenishment. Item numbers can be recognised and replaced quickly and automatically, once again removing potential human intervention error.

The IoT doesn’t exclusively benefit the warehouse; the transit process can also be fully connected to the network. The vehicles can be fitted with sensors. Should the vehicle endure any faults, data is immediately transmitted in order to alert staff of the issue before a more serious one occurs. This not only safeguards the company against huge financial implications but also minimises the risk of the driver facing harm.

Tracking sensors can also be installed to monitor full journeys. The company is able to track the progress of a vehicle and this information can then be communicated to the client in real-time. This immediate intelligence will put IoT enabled companies ahead of their competitors who can’t provide this information instantaneously.

Companies storing and transporting food and other perishables benefit from the IoT hugely. It is advantageous to remotely monitor and control the conditions in which these items are stored. Temperature, for example, can be observed and maintained to stop the goods being ruined in transit. Clients expect perishables to arrive in perfect condition and the IoT leaves companies with no excuse.

The assumption that warehouses will run efficiently, goods will be successfully picked and transported, and vehicles will reach their destination at the agreed time is central to the success of the IoT in logistics. ‘Uberfication’, requesting an item be picked and sent immediately, is a great pressure looming over supply chain operators. The integration of the IoT will allow for these high expectations to be met. Clients and consumers want instant gratification and if a company lacks the appropriate IoT technology to grant this then they will get left behind.

Thanks to:

http://www.supplychain247.com

http://www.supplychainquarterly.com

http://www.intel.com

http://www.wired.com