NOTED: The Supply Chain in Brief-July 2020

Good Works

  • CenterPoint Properties provided warehouse space to help Houston Food Bank distribute food in 18 Texas counties. The food bank uses the 124,000-square-foot facility to receive shipments from the Texas Department of Emergency Management as part of its COVID-19 relief efforts. The Houston Food Bank distributed nearly 23 million pounds of food in April 2020.
  • Echo Global Logistics launched EchoCares: Thanking Truck Drivers During COVID-19. With this initiative, the 3PL surprised more than 2,200 truck drivers across the country with Subway gift cards to recognize their dedication during the pandemic.
  • Geodis provided personal protective equipment manufacturer LabMed with customs brokerage, short-term storage solutions, and transport management services from LabMed’s factory in China to international destinations including India, Malaysia, Germany, and the United States.

  • Regal Logistics donated 35,000 N95 respirator masks to the CHI Franciscan hospital system in Washington, and encouraged other third-party logistics providers, warehouses, distribution centers, and manufacturers to also donate excess boxes of unexpired masks.
  • Partnering with Thermo King, Premier Trailer Leasing provided free rental of Thermo King refrigerated trailers to Feeding America. The 53-foot trailers have a 40,000-pound perishable food capacity to help store and distribute 6 million meals during summer 2020.
  • XPO Logistics provided free logistics services when it shipped four ocean containers full of shoes from China to Soles4Souls distribution hubs in the United States, Canada, and the Netherlands. The shoes, donated by Skechers, were given to children living below the poverty line.
  • CMA CGM Group donated 200,000 face masks to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to help support the city’s supply and the essential workers at Port of Los Angeles who are keeping supply chains running.

Sealed Deals

  • Pcdata USA rolled out pick-to-light systems globally for Marley Spoon, Martha Stewart’s subscription-based meal kit service. The first systems went live in Texas, New Jersey, and California, followed by the Netherlands and Europe. Pcdata and Marley Spoon developed and tailored the systems to each Marley Spoon brand so all ingredients are either picked directly into boxes or meal kit bags. Pcdata integrated its pick-to-light hardware and software with intelligent conveyors and other materials handling equipment.
  • Crowley Solutions received a multiyear award from the U.S. Army 409th Contracting Support Brigade-Theater Contracting Command to transport personnel and cargo and procure materials handling equipment. Crowley will provide third-party logistics services to the U.S. government, NATO, and non-NATO partners throughout the European Command area of responsibility, supporting the 21st Theater Sustainment Command and Theater Movements Center in Kaiserslautern, Germany.
  • Michigan-based Wimsatt Building Materials, a distributor of exterior building products, selected Descartes Systems Group’s Route Planner On-Demand and Geotab GO devices to optimize its distribution network. The cloud-based route planner optimizes delivery routes by taking into account geographic location, customer time windows and truck capacities, and then tracking delivery status in real time. Geotab GO captures vehicle location data, vehicle health assessments, and collision detection to improve fleet management.
  • Bellisio Foods is installing Westfalia Technologies’ warehouse automation system at its Jackson, Ohio, facility. The warehouse will be equipped with automated storage and retrieval and an integrated conveyor system controlled by Westfalia’s Savanna.NET Warehouse Execution System to streamline operations and provide real-time inventory tracking. This system will allow Bellisio to efficiently transport pallets from production to storage and increase storage capacity.
  • The Da K’Nang Laba Banana Cooperative in Vietnam, which grows bananas on nearly 500 acres of land, is working with Tokyo-based technology firm Aquabit Spirals to manage and monitor the bananas with its Confidex Ironside Micro near field communications tags and mobile application. The tags, mounted on iron pipes near each banana tree, are designed to endure variable weather conditions and rough handling. The digital data that is collected can be used for agricultural activities and logistics management once the bananas are harvested and shipped to Japan.

In Memoriam

  • William (Bill) Armstead Robinson III, former president and CEO of DHL Americas, passed away June 10, 2020, at the age of 81. Robinson helped establish and expand DHL internationally, pioneering a new industry: international air express. His work enabled the growth of DHL’s express network, which now spans more than 220 countries and territories.

Green Seeds

  • SAP launched SAP Carbon Footprint Analytics to help firms understand and optimize greenhouse gas emissions in their supply chains. The platform delivers carbon emission insights for a company’s products by plant, profit or cost center. Users can integrate data from product databases and third-party solutions to analyze emissions breakdowns.
  • Google Cloud partnered with World Wildlife Foundation Sweden to develop a sustainable sourcing data platform that allows fashion brands to monitor the environmental impact of their supply chains and adapt to support green initiatives. Stella McCartney is the first fashion brand to pilot the technology.
  • IKEA partnered with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to accelerate the global home-furnishing brand’s transition to a circular business by 2030. The partnership will focus on advocating for circular design, working with policymakers, and developing new services to encourage customers to purchase, use, and recycle products in environmentally responsible ways.

Shovel Ready

  • Dot’s Pretzels is opening a 186,107-square-foot manufacturing facility in Edgerton, Kansas, the largest manufacturing plant for the pretzel brand. Dot’s Pretzels is investing $15 million and creating 22 new jobs, and will boost its production capacity to meet increasing national demand.
  • Kroger plans to build three new Ocado-powered automated warehouses in the Great Lakes, Pacific Northwest, and West regions. The robotics-driven customer fulfillment centers will fill online grocery orders in their respective regions. The Ohio-based supermarket company plans to open nine fulfillment centers in total, with the first opening in Ohio in 2021.


  • YRC Freight was recognized as the 2019 LTL Carrier of the Year by Dick’s Sporting Goods for its dedication to successfully handling shipments routed by the retailer and its vendors. YRC Freight’s comprehensive network services the 726 Dick’s Sporting Goods locations in North America.
  • Keypoint Intelligence honored Toshiba America Business Solutions with the Buyers Lab 2020—2021 PaceSetter award in logistics for the company’s leadership in supply chain, shipping, and warehouse management.
  • Gartner honored six organizations with its 2020 Supply Chainnovator Awards, which recognize unconventional, innovative, and high-impact initiatives transforming the supply chain. The winners include Amgen for life sciences, Cleveland Clinic for healthcare, Intel for high tech, Philip Morris International for consumer products, SKF for industrial, and Woolworths Group for retail.
  • BASF was named a GM Supplier of the Year by General Motors during a virtual 2020 Supplier of the Year awards ceremony. BASF also received the Overdrive Award for Sustainable Construction and Workspaces—performance beyond BASF’s work for GM and the automotive industry.

Up the Chain

  • CalAmp, a global technology solutions provider, appointed Nathan Lowstuter as senior vice president of global supply chain and operations. Lowstuter brings more than 20 years of experience to help elevate the efficiency, quality, and on-time delivery of products and services to customers. Lowstuter previously worked at Proterra, a heavy-duty electric transportation provider, where he developed supply chain strategy, infrastructure, and management operating system.