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Tuesday, July 21, 2020
Logistics Intelligence Brief
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Dollar Tree names new CEO

Retail Dive Kaarin Vembar July 20, 2020

Dollar Tree on Monday announced that CEO Gary Philbin is retiring, according to a company press release. Philbin, who has 40 years of experience in the retail sector, joined the company in 2001 and became CEO in 2017. Michael Witynski has been promoted to the chief executive role. Witynski joined Dollar Tree in 2010 as senior vice president of stores and was promoted in 2017 to president and COO of Dollar Tree stores. Most recently, he worked as enterprise president.

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Walmart picks site near Port of Charleston for distribution center

Freight Waves Kim Link-Wills July 20, 2020

Once completed, the storage and cross-dock facility near Ridgeville, South Carolina, will span nearly 3 million square feet, reportedly making it the third largest in the United States. The direct import distribution center, which will take about 14 months to build, will supply several regional distribution centers, supporting approximately 850 Walmart stores and Sam’s Clubs across South Carolina and beyond.

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Walmart Canada adds DCs, supply chain tech in C$3.5B push

Freight Waves Nate Tabak July 20, 2020

Walmart Canada plans to build two new distribution centers and bring more technology into its supply chain as part of a C$3.5 billion (US$2.6 billion) investment to grow its e-commerce and in-store operations. Walmart said it will spend C$1.1 billion to construct the new distribution centers near Toronto and Vancouver and renovate an existing one in Ontario. “The retail business is as dynamic as ever and this investment ensures we’re developing a supply chain that is the envy of the world,” John Bayliss, Walmart Canada’s senior vice president of logistics and supply chain, said in a statement. “The better the supply chain, the quicker our customers can get the products they want.”

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Intermodal June and year-to-date volumes are mostly down, reports IANA

Logistics Management Jeff Berman July 20, 2020

Total shipments for the month—at 1,415,627—were off 4.9% annually. Domestic containers—at 656,825—were off 6.8%, while trailers—at 101,919—slumped 4.6%.  All domestic equipment—at 758,744—was off 6.5%. ISO, or international, containers—at 656,883—saw a 13.2% decline. On a year-to-date basis through June, IANA reported the following:

  • domestic containers fell 2.5% to 3,605,467;
  • trailers were down 18.9% to 517,557;
  • all domestic equipment was off 4.9% to 4,123,024; and
  • ISO containers declined 13.4% to 4,071,864
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Report: Pandemic hits companies hard on the supply side

DC Velocity July 21, 2020

“[Less than] half of organizations had a pandemic plan in place [that] they felt was adequate to cover supply chain issues during the pandemic. As a result, the majority of organizations will now make changes to their plans going forward,” the researchers wrote. “Just over half of organizations will write a pandemic-specific plan and include supply chain in more detail, while another third will alter their general continuity plans to strengthen supply chain-specific elements.” Nearly three-quarters of organizations said they encountered “some or significant” detrimental effects on the supply side of their operation, and nearly 65% reported the same on the demand side. Twenty percent reported an increase in demand for their products and services, including IT, telecommunications, and pharmaceutical organizations; others said they launched new products and services that catered to different customer demands during the pandemic. As a result, more than 57% of respondents said they will diversify their supplier base in a post-Covid-19 economy, with many saying that means reducing their reliance on the Far East. About 30% said they will source less from the Far East, with 13% saying they will source less from China, in particular. Two-thirds of respondents said they plan to source goods more locally post-pandemic, with 21% saying they will move “a considerable number of suppliers more locally,” according to the survey.

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The ‘messy middle’: How trucking will get to an electric future

Freight Waves Linda Baker July 20, 2020

“We call the next couple of decades ‘the messy middle,’” said Mike Roeth, executive director for the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE.) While an electric truck future is achievable by around 2040, Roeth said, the interim period will feature an array of sustainable technologies ranging from diesel hybrids to renewable natural gas. Laurie Counsel, global environmental relations director for Cummins, the engine manufacturer, said trucking as an industry is often considered “a one-trick pony.” “But now there are so many exciting things happening,” Counsel said. “We just need to match the right technology with the duty cycle.”

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Drug Testing Refusal Data Added to Clearinghouse Report

Truckinginfo.com Deborah Lockridge July 20, 2020

New information in the latest Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Report could accelerate calls for federal approval of other testing methods, such as hair and oral fluid testing, according to one safety and compliance expert. The June 2020 Monthly Summary Report, the second such report issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration since the clearinghouse went into effect in January, showed an uptick in queries in June. That’s a change in direction, as those numbers dropped in March, April and May, presumably because of the economic slowdown and freight recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. “The report allows us to pretty clearly see a COVID-related dip in pre-employment queries, indicating driver hiring slowed in March-May 2020 due to the pandemic,” said Dave Osiecki, president and CEO, Scopelitis Transportation Consulting. “June brought good news for the industry, though, with a 28% increase in the number of pre-employment queries. Great to see that hiring snapped back!”

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The need for speed in CARB’s new zero-emissions trucking future

Transport Dive Julie Blumreiter July 20, 2020

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) recently announced aggressive goals for expanding deployment of zero-emission vehicles over the next 25 years. They're an important first step in mitigating the climate impact of petroleum diesel fuel and improving air quality in low-income urban areas, but CARB also acknowledged the challenges of scaling battery-electric and fuel-cell trucks.

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FMCSA Virtual Summit to Focus on Truck Safety

Transport Topics Eric Miller July 20, 2020

The meeting will present and solicit information during six panel discussions. FMCSA also will provide a live streaming video of the summit for interested parties to share in the information being presented. Originally, the event was scheduled for March 19, but it was postponed because of the COVID-19 emergency. The summit would have followed the Transportation Research Board’s annual meeting in January, during which acting FMCSA Administrator Jim Mullen said he has tasked his agency with finding ways to turn around the increase in large-truck fatalities over the past four years. In a briefing about the commercial motor vehicle safety landscape during TRB, Jack Van Steenburg, FMCSA’s chief safety officer, underscored Mullen’s concerns over the recent national trend of large-truck-involved fatalities. From 2017 to 2018, the number of trucks with a weight rating between 10,001 and 14,000 pounds in a fatal crash increased 4.6%, while the number of trucks more than 26,000 pounds involved in fatal crashes increased 1.6% over the same period, Van Steenburg said.

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