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Logistics Intelligence Brief
Tuesday, July 18, 2023


Weak freight market doesn’t slow ‘incredibly active’ 2023 mergers

Fleet Owner Scott Achelpohl July 17, 2023

Plenty of big names, including some high-ranking FleetOwner 500 companies, have been involved in mergers and acquisitions through the middle of this year, but current market dynamics—slumping spot rates, softer demand for freight haulage, excess truckload capacity, even an uncertain used commercial vehicle pricing—are making the environment for M&As more complex, a leading transportation and logistics advisory firm said in its midyear report on merger activity in 2023.
The M&A market has been active, even as the new Tenney Group midyear report notes that freight transportation faces significant headwinds.

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Kraft Heinz says $400 million DC will distribute more than 60% of its foodservice business

DC Velocity July 17, 2023

Food distributor Kraft Heinz Co. will build a $400 million distribution center in DeKalb, Illinois, saying the facility will become one of the largest automated consumer packaged goods (CPG) DCs in North America.
The 775,000 square-foot national distribution facility will combine automation technology with national railway access, enabling Kraft Heinz to drive greater supply chain efficiencies and distribute its products to retail and foodservice customers faster than ever, the company said Thursday.
When finished, the facility will play a critical role in the Pittsburgh-based company’s operations. The facility’s design includes a 24/7 automated storage and retrieval system with the ability to drive twice the volume for Kraft Heinz customers, distributing more than 60% of the company’s foodservice business and approximately 30% of all dry goods.

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Average Diesel Price Unchanged at $3.806 a Gallon

Transport Topics July 17, 2023

• The last time there was no change in the average diesel price was April 26, 2021, when it cost $3.124 a gallon.
• The average diesel price held steady after a 3.9-cent gain July 10, which marked just the sixth increase of the year and third since January.
• The national average diesel price is $1.626 less than it was at this time in 2022.
• Of the 10 regions in EIA’s weekly survey, the average price went up in seven and down in three. The largest gain was 2.7 cents a gallon in California; the biggest decline was 1.6 cents in the Midwest.
Link: Energy Information Administration Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Update

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Post-COVID ocean market has normalized, not collapsed: analyst

The Journal Of Commerce Lars Jensen July 17, 2023


Looking at demand, the same issue arises. Using data from Container Trade Statistics, the number of containers shipped from Asia to North America has shown year-on-year declines in the range of 15% to 29% in the past nine consecutive months, if the Chinese New Year effect is taken into consideration. This certainly sounds like a collapse. But much as with the freight rates, context becomes all-important. If the current volumes are instead compared with the same months in 2019, the number of containers loaded in Asia in May is 8% higher than pre-pandemic. This equals an annual growth rate of just under 2%, which might be on the slightly lower side of normal, but clearly not a collapse at all.

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NTSB Probes Deadly Bus Collision with Trucks Parked on Ramp

Heavy Duty Trucking July 17, 2023

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating what happened last week when a passenger bus struck three tractor-trailers parked along an exit ramp leading into a rest area near Highland, Illinois. Three bus passengers died, and others sustained serious injuries. Part of NTSB’s investigation will look at why the trucks were parked along the entrance ramp rather than in the rest area.

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Massachusetts to Fund CDL Training for Workforce Re-Entry

Transport Topics Noel Fletcher July 17, 2023

A program to train formerly incarcerated individuals to obtain commercial driver licenses is part of $2.59 million in grants recently awarded in Massachusetts across 14 organizations.
“These grants will help ensure that individuals re-entering our communities have access to meaningful career pathways to set themselves up for success in this next chapter of their lives and obtain new skills and experience in high-demand industries,” Gov. Maura Healey announced July 10. “At the same time, we can connect employers with skilled talent to help them meet their workforce needs.”
The funding is part of the state’s Re-Entry Workforce Development Demonstration Grants Program initiative, administered by the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development’s Commonwealth Corp (CommCorp).

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