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Logistics Intelligence Brief
Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Trucking

Werner grows final-mile platform through $64M acquisition of Nehds

Freight Waves Todd Maiden November 29, 2021

Werner Enterprises announced it has acquired final-mile carrier Nehds Logistics LLC for $64 million, which includes a potential earnout of $4 million. Nehds generated $71.4 million in revenue over the last 12 months and has grown revenue by 27% on average over the past three years.
The Monroe, Connecticut-based carrier operates a fleet of more than 400 company-owned and independent contractor trucks, largely in the Northeast and Midwest. It uses two-person teams to deliver big and bulky goods to residences and commercial facilities for companies like Bob’s Discount Furniture and Macy’s (NYSE: M).
The deal is expected to be accretive to Omaha, Nebraska-based Werner’s (NASDAQ: WERN) earnings in 2022 and brings 12 managed and seven customer facilities to its network. Margin detail was not provided on a call with analysts, but management coined the deal as “solidly profitable.” The purchase was financed through cash and debt.
Related: DC Velocity Werner expands final mile delivery network for big and bulky products

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Shippers/3PLs

Amazon says it will ship more packages than UPS and FedEx by 2022 at the latest

Business Insider/MSN Avery Hartmans November 29, 2021

"We expect we will be one of the largest carriers in the world by the end of this year," Dave Clark, the CEO of Amazon's worldwide consumer business, said Monday during an interview on CNBC's "Squawk Box." "I think we'll probably be the largest package delivery carrier in the US by the time we get to the end of the year, if not in early
Amazon has been quietly amassing a logistics empire over the past decade, operating its own fleet of cargo planes, contracting with local delivery companies, and opening fulfillment centers across the US. The decision to move a large chunk of its parcel deliveries in-house was driven by rising shipping costs — Amazon's worldwide shipping costs grew fifteenfold between 2009 to 2018 at the same time that net sales increased sevenfold. Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky in 2019 said that the company believes it can transport its own packages more efficiently and more cheaply than third parties can.

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Black Friday retail spending ticks up slightly as holiday “peak” spreads across entire month

DC Velocity Ben Ames November 29, 2021

The data comes from Salesforce’s compilation of global shopping data from more than one billion consumers on its Commerce Cloud and Marketing Cloud platforms, which are used by 24 of the top 30 U.S. online retailers. The results showed a similar pattern for global trends, which showed a 2% rise on Black Friday to $63.4 billion and a predicted flat trend to $43 billion on Cyber Monday.
“After a strong start to the holiday season, momentum continued with moderate growth throughout Cyber Week,” Rob Garf, Salesforce’s VP and GM of Retail, said in a release. “With the smoothing out of demand throughout the entire season, peak days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday have less of an impact than previous years. It’s been less about Cyber Week and more about Cyber November. It’s always a retailer’s dream to pull demand early in the fall, and with supply chain bottlenecks and fears of inflation, consumers did shop early and often.”

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Small Manufacturers Scramble to Remake Their Supply Chains

The New York Times Nelson D. Schwartz November 29, 2021

Subscription-Based

“The more control you have over your own supply chain, the better,” said Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, a policy group representing manufacturers and the United Steelworkers.
In practice, that means meeting needs through less-distant sources. “That way,” Mr. Paul said, “you’re either first in line or have a leg up.” But that can push up costs — a burden that is sometimes passed along to customers, and in other cases is absorbed by the businesses.
Until this year, DPS bought the Paulownia species of hardwood for the core of many of its skis from China, but shipping delays meant that running out of the material was a real possibility. At one point as supplies dwindled in October, “we were holding our breath,” Mr. Adema said.

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Industry

When Shipping Containers Are Abandoned, the Cargo Becomes a Mystery Prize

Bloomberg Jeff Wise November 29, 2021

Subscription-Based

“When a product doesn’t reach its destination for a period of time, it often loses the value that it originally had,” says Tom Enders, owner of Michigan-based The Salvage Groups Inc. When that happens, customers sometimes refuse to accept the goods; other times, they simply abandon them. In either case, “shipping lines can contact a company like ours to recover as much value from it as they can,” he says.
It’s hard to say exactly how much the total global cargo salvage business is worth, because it’s highly fragmented and most participants are privately owned. Houston-based Salvex, one of the 10 or so main players in the U.S., boasts that it has $5.2 billion worth of goods for sale on its online marketplace, though not all is maritime container salvage, as it also disposes of excess inventory.

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AAR President and CEO Jefferies addresses myriad topics at RailTrends

Logistics Management Jeff Berman November 29, 2021

Over the first six months of 2021, the industry moved more intermodal containers than any other six-month period in the entire history of railroading. To me, that says a lot but honestly it is a little concerning in that intermodal has dropped off. In talking to our West Coast members, they have capacity coming out of the ports right now.
We have significantly more containers coming into the yards than our partners were able to pull out so what did we do? We opened up additional capacity in existing yards, we opened up dormant yards, started providing incentives to have our containers picked up off-hours and on weekends and in some cases increase the number of rebates available for goods to dwell,” he said. “What happened was, especially in the Chicagoland area, was that we were able to work off a lot of that backlog and are managing fluidity pretty well. Chicago terminals writ large have been at green status for all but eight days this entire year, which was entirely weather-related and Chicago volumes are up 11% annually while maintaining green fluidity status. We are doing what we need to do to keep goods moving hence the reason we take on additional capacity and take on additional [freight] to our lines.”

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Government/Safety/Sustainability

Buttigieg, Landrieu Lead White House Infrastructure Task Force

Transport Topics Eugene Mulero November 29, 2021

The Infrastructure Implementation Task Force — consisting of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm — was created by Biden via executive order soon after he signed the bill. Its mission is to monitor strategies for investing the bill’s funding, including identifying opportunities for job creation, implementing severe-weather resilient infrastructure programs, and promoting fuel efficiency across mobility corridors.
Specifically, the task force “will be committed to break down barriers and drive implementation of infrastructure investments across all levels of government to realize the president’s vision of rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure and positioning the U.S. to compete and win in the 21st century,” per the White House.

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Did FMCSA Clearinghouse shrink the driver pool and challenge recruitment?

Transport Dive S.L. Fuller November 29, 2021

"We estimate that the decrease of the driving school applicants and graduates, the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, and the impact presented by the pandemic combined have resulted in approximately 220,000 fewer drivers available to meet industry capacity needs," J.B. Hunt COO Nick Hobbs said on an earnings call in April.
Faster, but slower, processes
The same number of drivers would have been taken out of the available-driver pool, with or without the Clearinghouse, an FMCSA spokesperson said via email. It didn't change the zero-tolerance stance of the agency.
Instead, the Clearinghouse made it harder for drivers to get around the system, the spokesperson said. It was perhaps easier for divers to fail a drug test at one company, then apply to another fleet without disclosing that first failure. It takes longer for paperwork to catch up.
Digitalization promises to speed the process, eventually. But the introduction of this new system has, so far, slowed down the hiring process — particularly for fleets that had no digital processes in place before.

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Biden Meets With CEOs of Walmart, CVS on Holiday Supply Chain

Bloomberg/Transport Topics Jenny Leonard November 29, 2021

Small Businesses
Biden added that he was especially interested in how small businesses are managing supply chain issues and in “how the federal government can continue partnering with you all to keep shelf stock so American consumers can get what they need.”
McMillon told Biden, “While we’re all concerned about the supply chain, we have more inventory than we did a year ago and have the inventory that we need to be able to support the business.”
He said port and transit delays “are improving.”
“There are a few items — as are every year with the hottest toys or things in electronics — that we wish we had more of, but generally speaking we’re in good shape,” he said.

Related:  Bloomberg The White House’s Envoy on What They’re Doing To Fix the Ports

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