NOTED: The Supply Chain in Brief-January 2021

Sealed Deals

  • CEVA Logistics and Italian publishing company Mondadori Group signed a contract to extend their partnership for another five years. The CEVA Logistics Italia team will continue to manage consumer orders, concentrating operations in a dedicated warehouse in La Città del Libro (City of Books), where it will handle 30 million book copies and 65,000 titles each year.
  • Agros Produce, which grows tomatoes in high-tech greenhouses in Mexico, partnered with IFCO Systems, a provider of reusable plastic containers, to pack and transport tomatoes to retail grocery customers in the United States and Canada. Agros uses more than 400,000 IFCO containers each year to pack and ship beefsteak, on the vine, Roma, and grape tomatoes to food stores.
  • Hollister, an employee-owned company that develops healthcare products and services, selected Kinaxis as part of its technology innovation strategy. Kinaxis’ RapidResponse platform helps the company make decisions based on real-time data, provides end-to-end visibility, and improves its risk management capabilities.
  • Radiation oncology company Accuray is partnering with DHL Supply Chain to strengthen its aftermarket supply chain and expand customer service globally. The partnership provides medical care teams with access to the radiotherapy technologies they need to deliver effective treatments to patients.
  •, an Australian online retailer, will implement more than 100 Körber robots to create new e-commerce opportunities in Australia and New Zealand. With a growing customer base and more consumers now shopping online, the robots will flexibly scale in line with the company’s business growth and increase its product and service offerings.
  • Michigan-based distributor Gordon Food Service selected Descartes Systems Group’s Perform for Food cloud-based solution to improve accuracy and efficiency during final-mile delivery. The mobile solution eliminates paper and related costs, and increases customer satisfaction by enabling accurate deliveries and clean invoices.
  • American Tire Distributors, a supplier for the replacement tire market, is partnering with delivery orchestration platform OneRail to expand the company’s expedited tire delivery program, ATD Express, nationally. Customers can order tires through an online portal, which provides an option for delivery in 90 minutes or less.


  • FedEx signed an agreement to acquire ShopRunner, an e-commerce platform that connects brands and merchants with online shoppers.
  • Penske Logistics signed an agreement to acquire Chicago-based trucking company Black Horse Carriers.
  • New England-based rail transport provider CSX Transportation acquired Massachusetts-based Pan Am Railways.
  • North American supply chain solutions provider J.B. Hunt Transport acquired the assets of Mass Movement, which provides logistics, delivery, and installation services for the commercial fitness industry.
  • Taylored Fulfillment Services, a national third-party logistics provider based in New Jersey, acquired the U.S. operations of Australia-based Toll Global Logistics.
  • Dupré Logistics acquired Michigan-based TTS Logistics, a specialty produce transportation services provider.
  • Transportation and logistics management solutions provider Hub Group acquired NonstopDelivery, a last-mile logistics provider.
  • Global investment firm Platinum Equity entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Ingram Micro, a provider of technology logistics services and solutions, from HNA Technology.
  • Distributed commerce network CommerceHub acquired Utah-based digital supply chain company Dsco.

Shovel Ready

  • Walmart broke ground on its nearly 3-million-square-foot Ridgeville Import Distribution Center in Dorchester County, South Carolina. The direct import distribution center will supply several regional facilities, which support approximately 850 Walmart and Sam’s Club stores.
  • Amazon plans to build a 629,186-square-foot warehouse and distribution center in East Fishkill, New York, to handle high-volume inventory. The facility will have 132 shipping and receiving docks and 700 trailer parking spaces. Amazon has signed leases for five new delivery stations in New York.
  • Union Pacific will offer intermodal service to Minneapolis and St. Paul with the opening of its Twin Cities Intermodal Terminal in Minneapolis. The new service will provide domestic intermodal service between Minnesota and Los Angeles.
  • With growing e-commerce demand, Texas-based jewelry brand Kendra Scott opted to expand its operational footprint with PFS. To that end, PFS will open a new fulfillment center in the greater Dallas area to increase daily output capacity for Kendra Scott, for which the company operates an e-commerce fulfillment program.

Green Seeds

  • UPS is upcycling thousands of its old uniformsinto dog leashes to help provide homes and jobs for Atlanta residents. Participants in the Initiative for Affordable Housing’s re:loom program made about 1,200 leashes in six months. Re:loom trains homeless and low-income individuals to make hand-woven products. The leashes are donated to Best Friends Animal Society and go home with dogs adopted at the center.
  • Moonshot, a startup snack brand, aims to create a new product category called “climate-friendly food.” The ingredients in all its snacks are grown regeneratively, and its shipping operations are carbon neutral. Any emissions from the product that can’t be reduced are offset.
  • Lufthansa Cargo’s Boeing 777F completed the first-ever 100% carbon-neutral freight flight in partnership with DB Schenker. The aircraft traveled to Shanghai, China, and back from the airline’s main hub in Frankfurt, Germany. The logistics service provider and the airfreight company transported goods from Siemens Healthineers AG, and plan to operate carbon-neutral flights during the summer 2021 flight schedule.
  • Danone North America partnered with Full Harvest, a business-to-business online produce marketplace, to create a line of yogurts flavored with imperfect and surplus fruit that would otherwise go to waste. The first yogurt in this line will be made from upcycled Meyer lemons, and will feature a “Full Harvest Verified Rescued Produce” seal on the label. Additional flavors will roll out in 2021.
  • Diamond producer De Beers plans to ethically source diamonds and be carbon neutral by 2030. It will provide the origin and impact of every diamond it discovers, while extending ethical standards across diamond mining. It tracks diamonds using blockchain to eliminate impostors and conflict minerals.
  • Under construction in Costa Rica, Sailcargo’s first shipping vessel is made almost entirely of timber. When conditions are ideal, the masts propel the boat while the solar panels power the electric engine and propellers when needed. Sailcargo plants more trees than it chops down, making it carbon negative.

Good Works

  • E-commerce retailer Internet Fusion Group created a 99% plastic-free sustainable packaging process by investing in two Quadient automated packaging machines and switching to corrugated fanfold material, a fully recycled and recyclable cardboard product, from Ribble Packaging.
  • Fiat Chrysler donated nearly 10 million masks and more than 55,000 face shields overall, including 400,000 masks and 30,000 face shields to Protect Native Elders, a nonprofit that supports people living on tribal lands in the United States, who are disproportionately impacted by the virus.
  • South Carolina Ports Authority awarded $61,000 in grants to 55 charitable organizations through its annual Community Giving Program. Many of the recipients, such as Fresh Future Farm, Fields to Families, and East Cooper Meals on Wheels, fight hunger and address food deserts by providing meals, urban gardens, and affordable grocery options to their communities.
  • a2b Fulfillment pledged $150,000 to the Pete Nance Boys and Girls Club’s campaign for a new facility in Greensboro, Georgia. The facility will establish a foundation for Greene County youth and connect them with high-quality mentors, coaches, teachers, and counselors.
  • OmniTRAX and its affiliate Northern Ohio & Western Railway funded 120,000 meals to help the West Ohio Food Bank serve Northwest Ohio. They also pledged volunteer employee support as the state continues to fight food insecurity and other public health challenges resulting from the pandemic.
  • Ford worked with General Electric to produce 50,000 ventilators under a contract with the U.S. Health and Human Services Department. Having pledged not to profit from the pandemic, Ford put the earnings from that contract into making and distributing 100 million fabric masks by the end of 2021.


  • BYD was named Sustainable Supplier of the Year at the Anheuser-Busch Eclipse Sustainability Summit for its innovative 8TT battery-electric heavy-duty trucks. BYD’s foresight into additional applications of electric vehicle technology helped make the beer company’s logistics operations more sustainable.
  • Canadian National Railway (CN) earned a spot on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index of global and regional sustainability leaders. The index is based on an analysis of economic, environmental, and social performance, and assesses issues such as corporate governance, climate change mitigation, and labor practices.
  • Schneider, a provider of transportation and logistics services, was honored with the Platinum Dry Carrier of the Year award by global food company General Mills. The award recognizes one carrier that goes above and beyond in several categories, including on-time service metrics, teamwork, and creative solutions.
  • CB Insights named Happy Returns to its inaugural Retail Tech 100 list, which ranks the most promising business-to-business retail tech companies in the world. Companies were chosen based on business relations, investor profiles, sentiment analysis, market potential, competitive landscape, and tech novelty.
  • Logistics services provider ArcBest’s less-than-truckload carrier ABF Freight was recognized as a 2021 Military Friendly Employer based on public data sources, input from employed veterans, and survey responses. Through the Teamsters Military Assistance Program, ABF creates job opportunities for military personnel transitioning to civilian careers. More than 500 veterans have graduated from the program.
  • Old Dominion Freight Line has earned the Mastio Quality Award for national less-than-truckload carriers. Old Dominion was ranked as the top carrier according to a survey of logistics professionals assessing carrier performance. It stood out from other national carriers in a quantitative ranking of attributes such as trustworthiness, on-time delivery, and courteous and professional drivers.

Up the Chain

  • Volkswagen’s head of VW Group Logistics, Thomas Zernechel, retired at the end of 2020 after 16 years. He will be replaced by Simon Motter, previously head of supply chain at Audi’s Ingolstadt plant and head of international logistics at Audi. Motter will continue to advance Volkswagen’s digitization and sustainability efforts.
  • Bridget Neal, former president of Bridgestone Americas’ off-the-road tire business in the United States and Canada, was promoted to senior vice president of logistics and supply chain management. Neal joined Bridgestone as an engineer and served in various roles of increasing responsibility during her 18-year tenure.
  • Less-than-truckload carrier Central Freight Lines named Jerry Moyes as its chief executive officer. Moyes, founder of Swift Transportation, will help optimize less-than-truckload services, expand product offerings to customers, and guide the company through the disruption resulting from the pandemic.