Selected market research projects
An analysis of target industries for a procurement logistics provider
Our client: A parcel and express company with a Europe-wide network
Client's aim: To analyse the structure and demand for transport services in the procurement logistics industry in order to identify potential CEP volumes.
Our solution: Based on our date archives, we showed the market's size and its segmentation in the first step. Based on informative industry profiles, we assessed the demanders' most important industries and especially their potential affinity towards using CEP services.
In the main stage of the project, we polled 3,000 commercial shippers and logistics providers. Based on this data, plus additional structural information on the covered segments, we developed a prediction model for the development and CEP volumes in the respective industries, their sub-segments and certain branches of trade.
Competition analysis in the special speed market
Our customer: A leading express provider in Germany.
Client's aim: Getting an overview of the market and the main competitors in the so-called special-speed market.
Our solution: Initially, our team carried out a structural analysis of the courier and express segments. The assessment covered both typical city couriers, as well as the so-called same-day market. In both segments, we compared the ten biggest players in both segments with the remaining market, and compiled a detailed company profile for each of the identified competitors. Besides corporate data and key financial figures, the profiles included the range of services offered by the networks. In the final step we made a five-year forecast for the whole market.
Forecast for the parcel market
Our client: A global parcel delivery provider
Client's aim: Developing a forecast model for the domestic parcel market based on a comprehensive analysis of the domestic parcel market that allows a forward projection of parcel volumes over the next five and ten years respectively.
Our solution: By conducting a detailed analysis of the parcel market, our team laid the foundation for developing the forecast model and identifying the influencing factors worth considering for the model. During the development, our team assessed the impact of several chosen factors on the development of parcel volumes with regression analysis. The functional relationship of the data was assessed by using optical and logical methods. Based on these assessments, the parametric objective function was modelled.
Based on the relationship between the influencing factors that was identified by regression analysis, a system dynamics model was created that allowed the assessment of different scenarios. From these scenarios, our team derived each scenario's influence on the client's operations and made recommendations on how to maintain our client's operating efficiency under these projected circumstances.
Production structures in the parcel market
Our customer: An international CEP provider
Client's aim: Providing a sound overview of the market, competitors and their production structures in the parcel market.
Our solution: In order ensure the compatibility of the results, our team carried out a detailed analysis of the delivery routes of the client's competitors in four different regions. These included an area where B2C deliveries were prevalent, a commercial zone, a mixed region and a peripheral region. By collecting structural information on deliveries in these four regions, we were, for the first time, able to provide exact cost items (for each route/ parcel) when using subcontractors or the company's own drivers. This overview of the market also contained a comparison of line-haul costs and comprehensive profiles of the client's competitors.
Utilisation optimisation for regional transports
Our client: One of the globally leading logistics providers
Our client's problem: Seasonal and regional fluctuations are increasing the costs for outsourced transport services disproportionally.
Our approach: First, our team identified industries with potential collaboration partners with a multi-tiered top-down approach that was geared towards our logistics requirements. In the next step we identified fleet owners in two regions in co-ordination with our client, and portrayed these companies using utilisation profiles. In the last step, we asked the identified companies directly whether they were interested in a collaboration.
Of towns, hinterland and e-commerce
E-commerce is continuing to boom. However, this trend has not only led to fundamental changes in the CEP sector, but has also attracted massive criticism regarding the negative impact of rising shipment volumes. Public pressure on the industry is mounting. In our 2018 study, we compared traffic volumes created by private transport, commercial vehicles and parcel deliveries in the city of Hamburg. This has contributed to the ongoing debate.
Digitisation in the postal market
This study, on behalf of Germany's regulatory authority, the Federal Network Agency, includes a quantitative analysis of the CEP market in 2015. Additionally, the key drivers in the German CEP and neighbouring markets were identified and their impact evaluated, both qualitatively and quantitatively. For the first time, a 'gain-loss analysis' was developed for the CEP market, which showed the amount and impact of volume shifts between the market segments and associated submarkets (e. g. FTL, e-fulfilment of retailers).
E-Commerce – challenges and solutions for logistics in Hamburg
In collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute SCS and the IAL, we have compiled a study on the chances and challenges e-commerce presents for Hamburg as a logistics location. Besides the regional economic impact regarding the expected area and labour demand, the study focussed on last-mile delivery. Overall, we identified ten main fields of action, and made tangible recommendations on these issues. These included developing methods to channel traffic in cities more effectively.
Market survey and development trends
In 2016, we compiled a further study on the impact of e-commerce on the CEP industry on behalf of the Federal Network Agency. This identified the key growth drivers and the major factors influencing market development. In addition to this, the study contained numerous examples of new e-commerce offers and how their logistics concepts were implemented.
The individualisation of delivery services – how new concepts are changing e-commerce
Based on the market surveys on e-commerce by the German e-Commerce and Mail Order Trade Association (bevh), we have compiled a study that describes and categorises the latest trends and changes regarding delivery concepts and services. In addition, the study contains information on shipment volumes by commodity and postcode. The study, which, among other things, describes recent changes in last-mile delivery processes, is now the fourth study we have conducted on behalf of the bevh.
Market survey and development trends in the courier, express and parcel business, 2017
In 2017, the Federal Network Agency commissioned MRU and the Institute for Applied Logistics at the University of Applied Science, Würzburg-Schweinfurt IAL, with writing a market survey on development trends in the courier, express and parcel market. Since 1995, we have regularly compiled studies on behalf of the regulatory authority on postal services that are not subject to licensing, the developments in these segments, and their interdependence. These market surveys are part of the Federal Network Agency's official task to inform legislative bodies about developments in the postal market. This study has not been published yet.
Technological and social developments with an impact on the business models of mail services
The increasing substitution of traditional letters by electronic means of communication, such as e-mails or text messages, has had a severe impact on the German mail market. Moreover, these developments are putting mail companies under pressure. The German parliament's Office for Technology Assessment commissioned us with analysing the influence of the increasing penetration of information and communication technologies in the postal market. The object of the expertise was to show how mail companies have to react to this development, and how the political regulatory framework has to be adapted to these developments to secure a properly functioning market. The study was used by the parliament's Committee for Education, Science and Technology Assessment to compile a report for the lower house.
Selected operational projects
'Smart City' concept
Our customer: A public transport provider
Client's aim: Checking how to contribute to improving the traffic situation and the city's eco-balance and increase public transport passengers’ satisfaction.
Our approach: In a tiered approach, we set up the foundation for a contemporary e-commerce ecosystem. Our goal was to link the formerly separated passenger and goods transport systems in the city. In close collaboration with our client, we prioritised the different potential approaches and identified the most promising project for a pilot scheme. In the next step, our team made well-structured preparations for the trial phase, e. g. by surveying the particular requirements of each stakeholder in the project and developing a viable business case.
Cost optimisation of the client's express and air freight volumes
Our customer: A technology group
Client's aim: Cutting annual costs of 330m euros for global express and air freight services.
Our solution: In view of the considerable volumes, our client had completely outsourced its transport management in a long-term contract. Therefore, re-negotiating existing contacts together with our client was not an option. In a multi-tiered approach, we examined the client's global shipping volume, down to single shipments, with the aim of cutting costs and curtailing transit times. Our team made tangible recommendations focussing on our client's main routes; Asia - USA and Asia – Europe. Overall, our recommendations led to annual savings of 17m euros, while cutting transit times at the same time.
Introduction of parcel lockers in a market
Our customer: A technology group
Client's aim: Identification of promising solutions for an expansion in the parcel market.
Our approach: We used a modular, multi-tiered approach to identify the needs of market players and potential solutions for the planned expansion in the parcel business. Based on the results of the first step, we prioritised our client's strategic options with regard to their attractiveness and suitability in an iterative process. Afterwards, the identified solution was approved by the board. One of our recommended solutions was the introduction of so-called parcel lockers. Our team developed a viable business case for the introduction and the complete pilot test and accompanied the trial.
Development of a web-based shipment manager
Our customer: One of the 15 biggest logistics providers in Germany
Client's aim: First, our team identified our client's actual needs and the fitting solutions by collecting primary data and carrying out an operational analysis on site. Based on the results of this step, we developed an integrated, web-based information system for monitoring consignments from receiving orders, to the delivery by an in-house distributor, e. g. to different carriers. Our client needed a completely customisable notification in the event of a deviation from the usual shipping process. In addition, the system had to include a modifiable conveyor control, a balancing module for automated invoicing with carriers and several different payment terms for different contractors. Apart from this, the system offers the client's controlling team a tool to check contribution margins in addition to a multitude of statistics and evaluation tools. The system currently handles over 12m shipments per year.
Benchmarking for publishing logistics providers
Our clients: A collaboration of over twenty companies from the publishing logistics industry
Clients' aims: Developing a method for benchmarking the performance, costs on the last mile, and optimising the delivery.
Our approach: In order to provide sound results, we developed a classification system that takes each participant's individual framework conditions into account. In the next step, we collected data from the companies involved, and consolidated and analysed it. Based on the data we compiled, our best-in-class benchmark allowed the clients to assess their individual performance with regard to last-mile delivery and their product mix. This benchmark even allows the clients to assess their performance by region. Based on these results, we carried out a causal analysis that revealed weak spots and provided an approach for tangible streamlining measures.
Operational due diligence
Our customer: A private equity firm
Client's aim: Assessing the operational performance of an acquisition target
Our service: Our team conducted a comprehensive operational due diligence for a logistics company that operates throughout Europe. The primary goal was vetting an investment of around 450m euros and assessing resale opportunities after the consolidation phase.
Second opinion on network planning
Our client: A global leader in logistics
Client's problem statement: Vetting a planned network expansion worth several hundred million euros in view of the strategic importance of heavy and bulky shipments.
Our solution: In our three-tiered approach to the project, we compiled data on the regional development of shipment volumes (source and sink), the change of shipment sizes over the period, and identified important drivers for the development of shipment volumes and sizes.
Altogether, our team analysed the source and sink of over one million transactions in the so-called two-man delivery market and structured them by commodities.
Moreover, we identified consumer preferences in this segment with our 'Dynamic Consumer Feedback', that was developed for this project. The feedback provided us with the necessary information to assess the current and future challenges our client's delivery service faces, and describe the implications this has on our client's network planning.
Tapping a New Business area: Healthcare
Our client: A leading contact logistics firm in Germany
Client's aim: Entering the healthcare business
Our approach: Initially, we examined the business sector by viewing the different segments and their market relevance, thus providing our client with decision guidance. Our client chose the cosmetics submarket for his initial market entry. We identified the most promising target customers in a detailed analysis of the European cosmetics market, which
included structured profiles of producers, retailers and distributors. We added these profiles to our client data base. In collaboration with our client, our team then approached chosen target customers in an anticipatory sale.
Optimising utilisation rates in the textiles distribution business
Our client: A leading textile logistics provider
Client's problem statement: High distribution costs, especially in structurally weak regions, due to insufficient utilisation rates
Our approach: In a comprehensive, structured analysis of target industries, our team identified products from certain sectors as potential extra cargo, and assessed whether these goods met the client's demands. The results were provided in the form of detailed profiles. Based on these results, we supported our client by identifying the most promising target industries in a three-tiered approach, and developed a strategy for establishing the new business fields.
Selected cross-border e-commerce projects
UK to Europe
a British online retailer
Improving transit times and lowering costs in order to access the European continental market by simultaneously targeting to as few logistics partners as possible. At the same time logistics and administrative costs needed to be reduced significantly.
Learning from the consignment data base and also IT requirements of our customer it let us to analyze how consumer demands occur and purchasing process of parcel recipients are being laid out.
Coming from this experience we then negotiated with a limited number of quality suppliers across Europe and took care for a much more density of shipments per lane and destination country.
Over all we have been able to reduce relevant logistics costs of more than 20 % and transit times improved to less than 1.5 days in average.
From China to the US and Europe
an American-Chinese online retailer
Optimizing of sea and air freight from China to the USA and Europe. Analyzing a wide scale of different shipments as from not less than a mail piece up to a full container load we have stream lined all involved suppliers according to our customers individualized requirements.
Individual shipments have been pre-sorted to the different destination regions through our dedicated IT solution in China. To simplify processing, two outbound gateways were set up and return handling hubs had been established on each continent, so that return handling including inventory and costs savings had been ensured. In total, this led to a cost saving of around 3 million US dollars annually; transit times improved by an average of 4 days.
Asia to USA
a British online retailer with target market USA
Generating a better cost and service level on air freight volumes from Asia to the USA
According to USPS's 9 delivery zones in the USA, shipments had already been pre-sorted in country of origin through our IT solution prior to be shipped in order to gain best practice transit times at most achievable discounted costs from USPS.
Due to our adjustments, delivery times were improved by an average of 2.5 days and costs were reduced by almost 30 per cent.
Consolidation of shipments from the UK and USA to Europe
a British-American online marketplace
Reducing logistics costs and optimize transit times from the US and UK into 20 European countries.
Consolidation of volumes destinated to Europe by bundling a limited number of delivery partners in order to achieve significant cost savings and swifter transit.
Our task was to harmonize all available logistics systems on behalf of our customer such as Air, Sea, Road, Rail, Parcels by injecting the appropriate volume into any of these systems at the right time, at the right place, the right quantity and at best costs.
As a result, logistics costs were reduced by a total of 2 million euros per year and transit times were improved by an average of 1.5 days.
By operating a worldwide network of selected and long-term logistics partners, MRU is glad to offer you a wide range of international packet and parcel services at a high-quality standard and best cost to help you growing your cross-order e commerce business all over the world.