Why do FedEx vans routinely park illegally in Tsim Sha Tsui? | South China Morning Post
  • Sat
  • Mar 28, 2015
  • Updated: 12:32am
Lai See
PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 July, 2014, 1:28am
UPDATED : Friday, 11 July, 2014, 1:28am

Why do FedEx vans routinely park illegally in Tsim Sha Tsui?

BIO

Howard Winn has been with the South China Morning Post for two and half years after previous stints as business editor and deputy editor of The Standard, and business editor of Asia Times. His writing has also been published in the Far Eastern Economic Review, the Wall Street Journal, and the International Herald Tribune. He writes the Lai See column which focuses on the lighter side of business.
 

In 2006 Roger Frock, a former general manager of courier company FedEx, wrote a book about the company entitled Changing How the World Does Business: FedEx's Incredible Journey to Success - The Inside Story. From modest beginnings, FedEx has gone on to become a runaway success. You see FedEx vans all over Hong Kong. But one location in particular has been brought to our attention. Five days a week between 12 noon and 7pm you are almost guaranteed to find a FedEx van parked in the yellow-hatched box at 19 Granville Road in Tsim Sha Tsui. The yellow hatching means that it is illegally parked. Its presence is frequently reported to the police who frequently give the driver a verbal warning. Occasionally if the driver is not around the vehicle is ticketed. The van serves as a cheap mobile office. It's so much cheaper than renting a shop, as other couriers do. The only cost is the occasional ticket, which at HK$320 a pop is hardly going to strain profitability.

Given FedEx's "incredible journey to success," you have wonder why it has to employ such tacky business practices in Hong Kong. Surely persistent offenders like this should be clamped or towed away by the police? Just to rub salt into the wound the van is often one of the 10 electric vans that FedEx bought in 2012, boasting that it demonstrates FedEx's commitment to delivering industry-leading innovation, while reducing its environmental impact. These vehicles were bought under a government pilot scheme to encourage the introduction of electric vehicles and were subsidised by the taxpayer.

 

Top World Cup drubbings

Germany's 7-1 defeat of Brazil has prompted a scramble through the record books for signs of a worse drubbing. It's not just the numbers but the extent to which expectations were overturned that has caused this result to reverberate around the globe.

Surprisingly, the online Economist has been very much on the ball with its chart that depicts every goal scored in World Cup games by minute. Thus we learn that altogether there have been 2,375 goals, of which 175 were penalties, and 38 were own goals, which altogether resulted in an average of 2.9 goals per game. It can also be observed from the graphic that the most goals have been scored in the 18th and 75th minute.

As for the biggest defeats in World Cup history, Hungary beat El Salvador 10-1 in 1982. Hungary also pummelled South Korea 9-0 in 1954. Germany beat Saudi Arabia 8-0 in 2002, and let's not forget Scotland's 7-0 thumping by Uruguay in 1954.

 

Upgrading NPOs

The law firm Clifford Chance is to organise a series of workshops for non-profit organisations (NPOs) aimed at improving their board governance. This follows a survey of 50 NPOs together with Asian Charity Services which found that while non-profit board members are inspired by their organisation's mission and values, they wanted to improve in areas such as long-term planning at the board level, more effective processes for the board, routine reviews and updates on internal policies and regular performance evaluations.

There were some 7,194 NPOs in Hong Kong as of 2012 with revenues of between several hundred thousand dollars to HK$400 million. The survey notes that while NPOs receive widespread support from the community and corporations in Hong Kong in terms of time and donations, recent scandals within the global non-profit community have directed greater public attention towards the board governance of NPOs, including how donation dollars are spent.

 

Have you got any stories that Lai See should know about? E-mail them to howard.winn@scmp.com

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