Noted – The Supply Chain in Brief

Noted – The Supply Chain in Brief

Sealed Deals

Gifts, toys, apparel, and accessories e-tailer Hollar deployed inVia Robotics’ Picker robots and cloud-based Robotics-as-a-Service management system to streamline e-commerce fulfillment in its Los Angeles warehouse. Hollar uses the collaborative mobile robotics platform to automate goods-to-person fulfillment, boosting warehouse productivity. The e-tailer deployed 100 inVia Picker robots and will scale as needed to address seasonal shopping and company growth.

Baking company Grupo Bimbo, which distributes baked goods through more than 100 umbrella brands including Arnold, Thomas’, Sara Lee, and Entenmann’s, selected an order picking system from intralogistics system provider Cimcorp, which worked with systems integrator Stöcklin Logistics on Grupo Bimbo’s fully automated distribution center in Mexico City. When completed, it will supply more than 100 smaller distribution centers and run 24/7 year round. Featuring a high-bay warehouse with 24,576-pallet capacity, it will dispatch nearly 8,000 pallets daily.

Skincare brand Rodan + Fields partnered with DHL Supply Chain, the contract logistics arm of Deutsche Post DHL Group, to handle inbound and outbound logistics for all U.S. customer orders. To match increased customer activity and engagement, DHL Supply Chain enabled Rodan + Fields to automate order fulfillment and administration, and increase inventory capacity and visibility. Rodan + Fields now receives inventory and order status visibility, improving accuracy on product availability and order status for customers.


Knight-Swift Transportation, the largest truckload carrier in the United States, bought Abilene Motor Express, adding $100 million in revenues. Taking place less than one year since Knight Transportation merged with rival Swift Transportation, the deal signifies rapid expansion plans. The purchase adds approximately 400 late-model tractors, 1,000 dry vans, and 275 refrigerated trailers to Knight-Swift’s fleet.

FedEx acquired U.K.-based P2P Mailing Limited, a provider of worldwide e-commerce transportation solutions. P2P’s capabilities expand FedEx’s offerings for the global e-commerce marketplace. P2P provides customers with last-mile delivery options, leveraging its relationships with private, postal, retail, and clearance providers in more than 200 countries. It offers plug-and-play options with carrier networks and customer systems. P2P will operate as a subsidiary of FedEx Cross Border within the FedEx Trade Networks operating company.

St. George Logistics, a provider of specialty 3PL and transportation services, acquired import/export logistics provider Summit Northwest. The move expands its import/export presence into the Pacific Northwest and Canada.

Up The Chain

Tire marketer TBC appointed John Flowers vice president of supply chain optimization and performance, and David Rodriguez vice president of supply chain planning. Flowers joins TBC from American Tire Distributors, where he worked as senior vice president of operations. Rodriguez joins TBC after working in supply chain for CVS. The supply chain and logistics team appointments reflect the tire company’s expansion plans.

Shovel Ready

The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) broke ground on its $126.7-million Mason Mega Rail Terminal. The expansion increases the Port of Savannah’s rail lift capacity to one million containers per year. The project adds 97,000 feet of track at Garden City Terminal, taking more than 200,000 trucks off the road annually, according to GPA figures. GPA officials estimate the new terminal will begin coming online by fall 2019, with project completion in fall 2020.

Green Seeds

A UPS-led consortium deployed a new charging technology in London that overcomes the challenge of simultaneously recharging an entire fleet of electric vehicles (EVs). The breakthrough allows UPS to increase the number of EVs operating from its central London site from the current limit of 65 to all 170 trucks based there—without the need to make costly upgrades to the external power grid. The new smart grid uses a central server, which is connected to each EV charge post, as well as the grid power supply and the on-site energy storage.


Earl E. Congdon, Old Dominion Freight Line executive chairman, was honored by the American Trucking Associations with the Diamond Legacy Award. The inaugural award recognizes Congdon’s legacy at ODFL, in ATA, and throughout the trucking industry from a career that spans more than half a century. He has been a champion for the trucking industry, and works as a ground-level member of Trucking Moves America Forward. (Pictured from left to right: ATA President and CEO Chris Spear; Earl Congdon; ODFL CEO David Congdon.)

American Airlines received the 2017 Express Cargo Service Standard of Excellence award for the second year in a row from the Express Delivery & Logistics Association (XLA). The award recognizes excellent performance servicing the express cargo industry. XLA, a trade association for companies that provide and procure services within the global air express mail and logistics industry, surveys its member companies each year, asking them to rate airlines based on their general express cargo performance, services, and products as well as on-time performance and next-flight-out availability, communications, customer service, recovery experience, web and technology, cold chain, and other factors.

Furniture retailer Bob’s Discount Furniture named Cory as Carrier Partner of the Year, recognizing Cory team members serving Bob’s in New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Chicago, and California. Bob’s recognized Cory’s North Bergen, New Jersey, location for the most improved facility and its Shorewood, Illinois, location for the Voice of the Customer and On Time Delivery awards. The Mid-Atlantic team in Aberdeen, Maryland, won the Effective Completion Rate award while the Frederick, Maryland, team took the Voice of the Customer, On Time Delivery, and Customer Service Index awards.

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