NOTED: The Supply Chain In Brief-June 2021

Good Works

  • Oversize air freight transportation provider Volga-Dnepr Airlines operated three charter flights to India from China, Ireland, and Germany to aid the nation during its COVID-19 crisis. Volga-Dnepr delivered more than 200 tons of medical equipment, including oxygen-storing and cryogenic containers, to various regions that experienced oxygen equipment shortages.
  • IAG Cargo and its sister company British Airwaysoperated a relief flight to India, transporting 27 tons of medical aid. The carriers loaded a B777-200 with more than 1,000 items from the High Commission of India and charities, including oxygen cylinders, oxygen concentrators, respirators, and blood oxygen saturation monitors. British Airways is also donating care packages for families in need.

Shovel Ready

  • Averitt Express opened a new distribution and fulfillment center near Dallas, Texas, and its service center in Grand Prairie. The 400,000-square-foot facility handles domestic and international freight, and is equipped to accommodate growing international shipping needs in the region.
  • Third-party logistics provider Kenco Logisticsis building, staffing, and managing a finished goods warehouse and distribution point in Salt Lake City for Oatly, a Swedish sustainable food company. Kenco will help Oatly achieve its sustainability goals, streamline operations, and meet consumer demand in North America.
  • Blackline Cold Storage broke ground on a 298,000-square-foot cold storage facility at the Port of Houston. Its design incorporates flexibility for multiple segregated temperature zones, including blast freezing capability, and up to 50 truck doors and rail connectivity to serve multiple customer requirements. The facility is set to open in 2022.
  • GameStop is expanding its North American fulfillment network by leasing a 700,000-square-foot fulfillment center in York, Pennsylvania. Expected to be operational by the fourth quarter of 2021, the facility will support the company’s e-commerce and fulfillment needs and expedite shipping across the East Coast.


  • Canadian National (CN)and Kansas City Southern entered into a definitive merger agreement. The combined rail company connects North America’s industrial corridor to create new options for shippers.
  • PayPal acquired Happy Returns, a California-based startup that allows online shoppers to make returns in person.
  • Multinational electronics company Panasonic acquired Blue Yonder, a digital fulfillment platform provider.
  • E2open, a provider of a cloud-based, end-to-end supply chain management platform, acquired BluJay Solutions, a cloud-based logistics execution platform.
  • Canada-based logistics technology company Descartes Systems Group acquired Portrix Logistics Software, a German provider of multimodal rate management solutions.


  • The University of Minnesota’s Center for Transportation Studies presented Deb DeLuca (pictured), executive director at Duluth Seaway Port Authority, with the 2021 Distinguished Service Award. The award honors a private-sector professional in the freight transportation and supply chain industry for leadership and mentorship.
  • Peak Technologiesreceived the Supply Chain Solutions Partner of the Year award from Ivanti-Wavelink for exceptional performance in 2020. The award is based on total revenue for the year, product sales growth, and similar metrics.
  • J.B. Hunt Transport Services was named Walmart’s 2020 Intermodal Carrier of the Year. Walmart bases the honor on a demonstrated commitment to customer service, effective communication, and service improvements.
  • Southwest Airlines Cargo was honored as the Airforwarders Association’s Domestic Airline of the Year for delivering outstanding service for its customers. The airline was ranked at the top of the list for its operational performance, service offerings, and overall value for air cargo customers.
  • Gartner named RateLinx, a logistics payment platform, in its Magic Quadrant for Real-Time Transportation Visibility Platforms for its TracLinx solution. Gartner bases its evaluation on completeness of vision and ability to execute. TracLinx is a multimodal, transportation platform that delivers real-time visibility into shipments, carriers, locations, and users.

Sealed Deals

  • Ready-made cocktail maker Edmunds Cocktails selected logistics provider Johnston Logistics UK to store and supply its sustainable glass bottles. Johnston, which specializes in alcohol-focused logistics, helps store pallets of empty bottles before they are filled to streamline warehousing operations.
  • Cardinal Health selected FourKitesto enhance tracking of medical equipment, pharmaceutical products, first-aid supplies, and personal protective equipment in transit to healthcare facilities. FourKites’ advanced tracking and analytics enable a fast, reliable experience for the pharmacies and hospitals that contract with Cardinal Health for critical supplies.
  • Titan Brands selected global software provider enVista and supply chain technology company Korber to meet increasing demand for direct-to-consumer fulfillment. To achieve an order-to-ship cycle within hours rather than days, Titan will leverage Korber’s warehouse management system, while enVista’s order management system will provide inventory visibility as well as shipment experience management.

Green Seeds

  • DB Schenkerand Lufthansa Cargo completed the first carbon-neutral cargo flight connection in history from Frankfurt to Shanghai Pudong. Sustainable aviation fuel, which is produced mainly from biomass waste such as used cooking oil, covered the fuel requirements. This conversion saves approximately 174 metric tons of conventional kerosene weekly.
  • Dutch brewer Heineken plans to decarbonize its production by 30% by 2030 and its full value chain by 2040. Heineken beer is set to be transported from its brewery in Zoeterwoude to Moerdijk on an emission-free barge.
  • IKEA Canada plans to achieve 100% zero-emission deliveries by 2025. The home furnishings retailer partnered with logistics and last-mile delivery provider Second Closet, which will integrate zero-emission trucks into its fleet for IKEA home deliveries in Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia.

Up the Chain

  • Final-mile platform OneRailappointed Bill Hancock to its board of advisors. Hancock brings nearly two decades of leadership experience, having served in executive leadership roles at Target Corporation, American Tire Distributors, and US Foods.
  • Bridge Industrialhired David Aschenbrand as its new vice president of cold storage. Aschenbrand previously served as director at Lineage Logistics, where he oversaw the transportation and logistics division.