Noted: The Supply Chain in Brief-2020

Good Works

  • Truck drivers and other employees at Averitt Express, a transportation and supply chain management company, raised $1 million in 2019 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital through its Averitt Cares for Kids charity program. The donation is the largest-ever employee contribution to the hospital.

Up the Chain

  • H&M chief operating officer Helena Helmersson was appointed as chief executive officer of the fashion retailer. Helmersson started on the ground floor of H&M’s sustainability work, previously managing its sustainable supply chain efforts and then serving as global head of production. She joins a growing list of executives who have risen to that post through supply chain roles.
  • Centric Brands, whose brands include BCBG Max Azria and Calvin Klein, appointed Laura Ritchey as its new chief operating officer. She will be responsible for developing a global operating platform and overseeing the group’s sourcing, warehousing, logistics, and information technology efforts. She brings more than 20 years of experience in the industry, most recently as chief operating officer at FullBeauty Brands.

Sealed Deals

  • Logistics and transportation services company BDP International implemented the FourKites machine learning platform to expand its predictive shipment visibility. FourKites provides real-time shipment location data and predictive tracking, which alerts BDP and its customers when a container is in jeopardy of missing an inland cutoff or sitting idly for an extended time, among other circumstances.
  • Porsche Cars Canada selected global logistics provider DB Schenker Canada to operate its new parts distribution center in Mississauga, Ontario. For the next three years, DB Schenker will work with the automobile manufacturer to run a streamlined logistics process that caters to Porsche’s customer base.
  • Dana Incorporated, an equipment supplier for conventional, hybrid, and electric vehicles, selected Transplace to manage its North American transportation network. Transplace’s artificial intelligence and machine-learning technology will enable efficient network designs, cross-customer shipment collaboration, and real-time shipment tracking.
  • Tompkins Robotics partnered with Nordstrom to design and deploy parcel-sorting systems to help streamline the fashion retailer’s e-commerce and replenishment needs at several U.S. locations. Nordstrom can add or remove the t-Sort autonomous robots without interruption, enabling the company to ramp up easily for peak seasons.
  • UPS venture capital arm UPS Ventures completed a minority investment in Arrival and intends to purchase 10,000 of its electric vehicles. UPS and Arrival are collaborating to implement advanced driver-assistance systems that increase safety and operating efficiencies, as well as the potential for automated movements in UPS depots.


  • SEKO Logistics completed its largest-ever acquisition in purchasing Air-City, a New York-based freight forwarding company.
  • Logistics and technology provider GlobalTranz acquired Cerasis, a North American third-party logistics, less-than-truckload, and multimodal shipping service.
  • Nolan Transportation Group, a third-party logistics provider in North America, acquired Eagle Transportation, a Mississippi-based freight brokerage that focuses on temperature-controlled shipping.
  • RoadOne IntermodaLogistics, a single-source intermodal, distribution, and logistics company, acquired Crown Transportation in Savannah, Georgia.

Shovel Ready

  • Real estate investment firm Elion Partners acquired a 197,600-square-foot last-mile industrial distribution facility in Boynton Beach, Florida, for $26 million.
  • Toshiba America Business Solutions is opening a 328,355-square-foot distribution center in Horn Lake, Mississippi, to expand its distribution in response to client demands. Toshiba plans to recruit 40 new employees when opening the facility in August 2020.


  • CFI was recognized by the Truckload Carriers Association in its Fleet Safety Awards competition. CFI achieved the lowest accident frequency rate among U.S. carriers that amassed 100 million or more miles in North America in 2019. Greg Orr, president of CFI, credited the achievement to the dedication of the company’s safety and operations teams and the perseverance of its drivers.
  • Dupre Logistics received the Dow Gold Safety Excellence Award during the 2019 annual North America road carrier safety director meeting in Freeport, Texas. Al LaCombe, vice president of safety and risk management at Dupre Logistics, accepted the award.
  • As of December 2019, J.B. Hunt Transport Services hired 10,000 veterans since 2014, and more than 15% of its employees are now veterans. J.B. Hunt also recognized its first company driver to complete 5 million safe miles without a preventable accident.

Green Seeds

  • Starbucks aims to cut its waste and carbon emissions in half by 2030. The company plans to conserve or replenish 50% of water used for its operations and coffee production, switch to reusable packaging, and add more plant-based options to its menu.
  • Nestle plans to spend $2.1 billion to cut one-third of its plastic use by 2025 and replace it with packaging made from recyclable materials. The multinational food and beverage company established a $260-million venture fund to invest in startups that focus on sustainable packaging, and plans to buy 2 million metric tons of recycled plastic.
  • Madewell expanded its partnership with Fair Trade USA to make 90% of its denim Fair Trade Certified by 2025. The fashion retailer partnered with Fair Trade USA in 2019, and produced a collection of Fair Trade Certified denim at a zero-discharge factory in Vietnam. Madewell added three new certified factories and plans to release new women’s and men’s Fair Trade products in 2020.