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CEVA Logistics wins world’s worst press release award

CEVA Logistics wins world’s worst press release award

MESSAGE for CEVA Logistics: ‘Double Dutch’ is a common English language description of verbal or written communications that are nonsensical or consist of gibberish.

Traditionally, air cargo and its connected businesses have managed to avoid such banana skins when they have communicated their news or sent out messages to the press and to customers.

As far as the overall quality of these industry press releases go, occasionally there is one of sufficient calibre that it is refreshingly to the point, interesting, easy to consume, relevant to the reader, informative, entertaining and believable. Oh and it doesn’t require major re-writing.

But, most often, these statements are from companies unashamedly seeking free advertising space in gullible media outlets. These offerings are disguised as news stories and some companies truly excel at them.

Then there are the bad ones, the really bad examples – and the shockingly awful.

So, in an industry poorly served in this area, how do you qualify as the world’s worst?

Some businesses have come very close to the mark over the 35-plus years I have been writing about the air cargo industry, writes Nigel Tomkins. You wouldn’t believe some of the dross that has reached my desk from all parts of the world, from Hong Kong, the UK, USA, Russia, Switzerland, for example, en route to the waste paper bin.

I’m not just talking about embarrassing spelling or grammatical and accuracy errors. Sadly, I have come to take those for granted. Even the most shortsighted writers will admit that sometimes their golden prose misses the mark. Nothing is perfect.

But some of these air cargo announcements should be accompanied by a government health warning. And yet, all this time, there has been a Dutch master of the craft lurking in our midst.

CEVA has finally cracked the code of how to create the dullest, most wearisome, almost impossible to understand, head-bangingly suicide inducing, numbness-inspiring, I’m-losing-the-will-to-live, written effort.

Hearty congratulations to CEVA and apologies for publishing it in full below.

Oh, and just before you take the plunge and start reading the press release, I feel the need to point out that CEVA Logistics is a global logistics supply chain company which operates in both freight management and contract logistics with, according to its corporate website, some US$7 billion of revenues. Its head-office is in Hoofddorp in the Netherlands and the company was founded in 2007 as a result of the merger of TNT Logistics and EGL Eagle Global Logistics – two companies with an excellent prior record of informative press releases.

Perhaps the biggest disappointment is that the announcement below actually comes from a nation of exceptional linguists and international traders. From an air cargo standpoint, it is a crying shame especially considering that over the decades and years, it has been the Dutch with their fine maritime trading heritage or their path-finding and innovative approach to the air cargo business that I believe have often led the world so spectacularly well.

Sadly, this lofty position is now a shipwreck on the rocks of logistics communications, judging by the spectacularly poor quality of the insipid press release, which could almost be a new artform in which CEVA, in its bid to confuse and obfuscate, has gone that extra mile, to use another awful press release cliché.

I wrote to CEVA recently, generously taking the time to point out this ludicrous deficiency, but received no reply.

Here (below) is this latest acronym-strewn offering in all its glory and, at aircargoeye.com, we sincerely hope you are able to survive the dreary experience of reading it and, once you have worked out what it may mean, having looked up what CMA CGM actually stands for – and then re-read the entire press release again and again enough times to grasp its meaning, that you won’t feel the need to rush either to the lavatory or to the nearest mental health specialist. Finally, if you have understood it, please let us know what it means.

CEVA Logistics upgrades its 2021 expectations

Strategic partnership with CMA CGM – Acquisition of CMA CGM Log

 Baar, Switzerland, 26 November, 2018 – CEVA Logistics AG (“CEVA” or the “Company”) announced today its revised strategic plan which includes three key levers to accelerate top-line growth and improve profitability: the launch of a strategic partnership with CMA CGM and the acceleration of turnaround efforts with the support of CMA CGM’s corporate transformation expertise, the leveraging of the CMA CGM’s overall platform to accelerate revenue growth, and the acquisition of CMA CGM’s freight management activities (“CMA CGM Log”).

Key highlights of the revised strategic plan:

        CEVA’s 2021 revenue target above US$ 9 billion, reflecting a 5% average annual organic growth and the contribution of CMA CGM Log of US$ 630 million

        Stronger footprint in Ocean Freight Management

        Upgraded 2021 management expectations on Adjusted EBITDA raised from US$ 380 million to US$ 470-490 million

        Acquisition of CMA CGM Log for US$ 105 million (cash free/debt free) paid in cash

        Appointment of Nicolas Sartini as Chief Operating Officer and Deputy CEO as of January 1,2019

        Intensified business relationship with CMA CGM while keeping an arm’s length governance

“With the support of our strategic partner CMA CGM, I am proud to open a new chapter for CEVA Logistics and announce that we can accelerate our transformation and turnaround action plan in the next three years and beyond. This can be achieved by a combination of our commercial and sales focus, cross selling with CMA CGM customers, our own productivity actions, the integration of CMA CGM Log within CEVA and sharing resources with CMA CGM in the field of procurement and administrative functions. I am very happy to welcome Nicolas who has successfully turned around the APL shipping company as my Deputy and COO.” says Xavier Urbain, CEO of CEVA Logistics.

A Realistic Enhanced Margin Improvement Trajectory

CEVA has been on a transformation journey since 2014 with a commitment to strengthening its approach to new business development, transform its IT infrastructure and improve the company’s operational performance and productivity through increased standardization and streamlined processes. At the time of the IPO, CEVA had been halfway through this journey and has continuously been pursuing these actions since. The strategic partnership with CMA CGM now opens up significant opportunities to accomplish this journey more rapidly, secure a more robust execution and take advantage of CMA CGM’s customer base and turnaround expertise.

The combination of CMA CGM’s and CEVA’s expertise in corporate transformations is expected to deliver faster and more sustainable efficiency.

The revised management expectations rely on the following three key initiatives:

        Acceleration: Accelerate CEVA’s transformation by leveraging CMA CGM’s operational and commercial expertise and benefit from cross-selling opportunities

        Efficiency: Leverage CMA CGM’s platform to generate cost efficiencies in terms of back-office optimization

        CMA CGM Log: Strengthen CEVA’s footprint in Ocean Freight Management through the acquisition of CMA CGM’s Freight Management activities.

CEVA will remain an independent and standalone listed company. This strategic partnership is aligned with CMA CGM’s strategy to offer end-to-end logistics solutions to its customers, pioneering the development of integrated logistics solutions, while retaining an arm’s length business relationship with CEVA.

Management expects that these three key initiatives will result in an incremental US$ 100 million of Adjusted EBITDA by 2021 compared to the objective set at the IPO. As a result, management expects an Adjusted EBITDA range of US$ 470 to 490 million by 2021. In terms of EBITDA margin, the objective remains to achieve more than 5% in the longer term when full benefits materialize.

CEVA’s Board of Directors will formally confirm these management expectations when the Public Tender Offer prospectus presented by CMA CGM is issued.

And now, breathe out …

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