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Bahrain News TNT and Con-way partners to provide cost efficient service BBBF member Ahmed Gamal writes in to tell us that TNT and Con-way Freight have announced a partnership to link their respective road networks in Europe and the USA and offer cost-effective express freight services between Europe and the United States. The agreement establishes Con-way Freight as TNT’s primary road transportation partner for deliveries of ‘Economy Express’ shipments across the USA. Con-way Freight is North America’s leading less-thantruckload (LTL) freight transportation company. It offers a day-definite service to 99% of all zip codes in the continental United States. Similarly, Con-way Freight’s network will be linked to TNT’s global air network and Express Road Network, which reaches over 35 countries in Europe and covers the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Brazil. The new service is being launched initially for heavy freight shipments originating

And Finally e-books in the news again. Amazon.com is making major strides in the ebook market, but another Internet giant seems poised to offer some healthy competition.

in Europe with a destination to any city in the United States. Other markets will be brought on-line later this year. The partnership also offers both companies the opportunity to explore and develop an expanded range of international freight services under their own brands, utilizing the network connectivity established between Con-way Freight in the USA and TNT in the rest of the world. All in all, this is a very exciting development. We can now safely say that we operate the world’s largest scheduled and interconnected road network for Economy Express shipments in the world!

Google is planning to enter the e-book market with a program that would enable publishers to sell digital versions of their latest titles directly to consumers, according to The New York Times. Some publishers are concerned that Amazon’s prices are too aggressive and may welcome Google if it sells digital books at better margins. Amazon peddles best sellers, on average, for $9.99. That’s less than the $26 at which bookstores typically sell hardcover editions. Google reportedly would allow publishers to set their own prices for e-books. As Michael Gartenberg, a VP at Interpret, said Amazon’s pricing strategy doesn’t hurt publishers. Amazon may sell the hard covers at $9.99 in digital format, but Amazon takes a loss when publishers won’t lower their prices. What’s more, he said, the pricing strategy is vital to educating the market. “The lesson we learned from iTunes is when you are trying to teach consumers a new paradigm, uniform pricing makes a lot of

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sense,” Gartenberg said. “Once you are five or six years down the road and you’ve taught consumers the notion of buying music at 99 cents and downloading it to your computer and transferring it to your phone or media player, you can get into things like variable pricing.” Now Google is becoming an e-tailer rather than a conduit for free content. Instead of pointing consumers to Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble to purchase hard copies of popular copyrighted books and letting users search though its book-scanning project, Google could possibly begin competing to sell those titles. Gartenberg has questions: How consumers will read the e-books? On a computer? Is Google going to get into the hardware business and build an ebook reader? Will the company build an e-book application for Android? “Given Google’s track record in their past forays of selling content, it’s nothing at the moment for Amazon to lose sleep over,” Gartenberg said. “The problem when an 800-pound gorilla jumps into the pool is it tends to make waves, but that doesn’t mean the gorilla knows how to swim very well.”

BBBForum Summer 2009  

The magazine from the Bahrain British Business Forum

BBBForum Summer 2009  

The magazine from the Bahrain British Business Forum

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