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LEADERS BY EXAMPLE: 10 INDUSTRY EXECUTIVES USHERING IN THE GREEN REVOLUTION

green

LEADERS BY EXAMPLE: 10 INDUSTRY EXECUTIVES USHERING IN THE GREEN REVOLUTION

A Nielsen survey found that 81 percent of global consumers feel companies should help improve the environment. “Business strategies must include sustainability in their core beliefs and practices,” says Hitendra Chaturvedi, a professor at the Supply Chain Department of W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University and an expert on global supply chain sustainability and strategy.

Fortunately, there are forward-looking leaders like the executives who follow that prove you can go green and succeed in business.

Simon Paris – CEO, Finastra; Chairman, World Trade Board

As the chief executive of one of the world’s largest fintech companies, while also chairing the World Trade Board, Simon Paris is in a unique position to talk about protecting the global trade system. Heading into the 2020 World Trade Symposium in his company’s hometown of London, Paris wrote about countering today’s protectionist narrative with “our reinforcement of the pro-trade narrative,” and he also called for ideas to reduce the small and medium-sized enterprises’ (SME) funding gap, currently estimated at $1.5 trillion. But he ended with a plea to “examine how open technology can act as the enabler for inclusive, sustainable trade.

As global supply chains become increasingly complex, our goal should not be measured on a binary figure of turnover or profit, but on the ethical and sustainable impact of our technological innovation; our technological social responsibility. How can we use technology, collectively, to ascertain the provenance of materials, improve the health and wellbeing of workers in remote locations, reduce the cause and effects on environment pollution of long-distance transportation or minimize the impact of waste and disposal? How can we use open finance technologies–and by this, I include open systems, open software, open APIs, open standards and open partner networks–to transform supply chains and encourage the formulation of more relevant and inclusive trade models, in support of ethical trade?”

Detlef Trefzger – CEO, Kuehne + Nagel International AG

This year, all less-than-container-load (LCL) shipments by Kuehne + Nagel began being CO2 neutral, which is part of the Swiss global logistics and transportation company’s goal of being totally CO2 neutral by 2030. “As one of the leading logistics companies worldwide, we acknowledge the responsibility we have for the environment, for our ecosystem and essentially for the people,” explains K+N CEO Detlef Trefzger, who along with his company supports the aim of the Paris agreement on climate. To that end, the company has also begun carbon-swapping nature projects in Myanmar, New Zealand and elsewhere.

Ongoing training programs maintain and expand the environmental awareness of employees, who have increasingly relied on video conferencing over business trips. In December, K+N announced its accession to the Development and Climate Alliance, which was launched in 2018 to simultaneously promote the development and environmental protection. “As a globally operating company, we are convinced that the private sector must also make its contribution to environmental protection,” says Otto Schacht, a member of K+N’s management board responsible for Seafreight.

Uwe Brinks – CEO, DHL Freight

DHL is a leader in piloting alternative drivetrains and fuels for its vehicles, which fits into the San Francisco-born, Germany-based global logistics giant’s target to reduce all its transportation emissions to zero by 2050. “Our sustainability goal is not just a vision, but a clear statement,” says Uwe Brinks, CEO of DHL Freight. “In the future, we will give preference to transportation solutions that contribute to achieving our environmental goals.”

To that end, DHL launched “Terminal for the Future,” which tests and implements solutions and technologies such as automated volume measurement, intelligent yard management, and partially autonomous transfer vehicles. “All these developments are based on a clear approach: We want to make life easier and more efficient for our customers and employees,” Brinks says. “Technology should support our employees in their everyday work, not replace them.” Globally, DHL has changed vehicles in certain delivery fleets to use alternative fuels, including electricity and compressed natural gas, to meet the goals of its GoGreen project to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and local air pollutants by 2025.

David Abney – CEO, UPS

 As leader of one of the largest logistics companies in the world, UPS CEO David Abney sums up sustainability success best when he says: “The greenest mile we ever drive is the one we don’t drive.” Better route-planning software and developments have been key to the UPS green transport system—as well as its bottom line: The company claims to have saved $400 million since overhauling the routing system.

But UPS has not stopped there, having switched out dozens of diesel trucks, which get about 10 miles per gallon, for electric vehicles that can squeeze out the equivalent of 52 MPG. Abney and UPS recognize they are an important part of the global supply chain and that their customers expect solutions that help reduce emissions. To that end, UPS has dedicated itself to building the smart logistics network of the future.

Ben McLean- CEO, Ruan

When Des Moines, Iowa-based Ruan was announced in October as a 2019 SmartWay Excellence Award recipient from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, CEO Ben McLean would have been forgiven if he’d reacted by saying, “Meh.” After all, this is the fourth time the green 3PL provider has received the EPA’s highest recognition for demonstrated leadership in freight, supply chain, energy and environmental performance. Of course, McLean—like everyone else at Ruan—was honored to again receive the honor. “This distinction from the EPA validates all the efforts and investments we have made to ensure we are operating as sustainably and environmentally friendly as possible,” said James Cade, vice president, Fleet Services. “To us, sustainability is more than a business practice—it’s our moral commitment. We live in the communities we serve, and it is our responsibility to provide leadership toward a cleaner future.”

Recognition is understandable given that Ruan is one of only three for-hire transportation companies selected for the National Clean Fleets Partnership membership and participation in its annual Clean Cities study. The company’s fleet has green specifications including auxiliary power units that reduce engine idle time, efficient progressive shifting, auto-inflation trailer tire systems, and onboard recorders that monitor MPG, over-RPM, idle time, hard breaking and over-speed driving. Ruan also utilizes alternative fuel types including biodiesel, compressed natural gas, renewable natural gas and renewable hydrocarbon diesel. McLean, part of the third generation of the Ruan family, was out in front of his office to check out a prototype electric truck from Tesla, which has five orders from the company.

Simon Cox – Head of Sustainability, Prologis

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January, San Francisco-based global logistics real estate firm Prologis was revealed to be No. 6 in the U.S. and No. 26 overall on the 2020 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World List. Those that make the list represent the top 1 percent in the world on sustainability performance, according to the Global 100 administrator, Toronto-based Corporate Knights. Prologis leases modern logistics facilities to about 5,100 customers principally across two major categories: business-to-business and retail/online fulfillment. It was among 7,395 companies worldwide that Corporate Knights analyzed.

“Sustainability has moved beyond simply a commercial advantage; it is now essential—business-critical,” Simon Cox, Prologis’ head of Sustainability, recently told Eye for Transport (EFT) by Reuters Events. “… We build warehouses that are ready for the next generation, who want to work for companies that do the right thing. Globally, we are seeing a move towards purpose-based products. It’s no longer enough to simply make something that cleans the kitchen, for example, it’s got to have a broader purpose. It’s got to be environmentally responsible. It’s the same for us as a business that develops and owns sustainable buildings.”

JJ Ruest – President and CEO, CN (Canadian National Railway)

Landing a spot for the first time on the 2020 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World List is CN, at No. 54. That recognition comes exactly 12 months after the Canadian National Railway marked its 10th straight year as a global leader on corporate climate action on the CDP Climate Change A list. Produced at the request of 650 investors with assets of over $87 trillion and/or 115 major purchasing organizations with $3.3 trillion in purchasing power, the A list is culled from thousands of companies that submit annual climate disclosures for independent assessments from CDP, an international nonprofit that seeks public and private sector reductions in greenhouse gas emissions as well as the safeguarding of forests and water resources.

CN transports more than $250 billion (Canadian) worth of goods annually for a wide range of business sectors, ranging from resource products to manufactured products to consumer goods, across a rail network of approximately 20,000 route-miles spanning Canada and U.S. cities such as New Orleans, and Mobile, Alabama as well as the Chicago, Memphis, Detroit, Duluth, Minnesota/Superior, Wisconsin and Jackson, Mississippi metropolitan areas. “Our commitment is to help our customers deliver responsibly by providing a safe, efficient and environmentally friendly way to move goods,” says CN President and CEO JJ Ruest. “To that effect, we have improved our fuel efficiency by 39 percent over the past 25 years.”

Kai Nowosel – Chief Procurement Officer, Accenture

Also landing on the 2020 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World List (at No. 20, up from No. 93 the year before), as well as making the CDP Climate Change A list is Accenture PLC, an Irish multinational that provides strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations services. From offices around the world—including 10 U.S. cities from Boston in the east to Irvine, California, in the west, and Seattle in the north to Houston in the south—Accenture uses “purchasing power to drive positive change on a global scale, creating more sustainable supply chains,” according to Chief Procurement Officer Kai Nowosel. “It also allows us to advance our key priorities, including environmental action, respect for human rights, inclusion, diversity and social innovation.”

Accenture has committed to using 100 percent renewable energy across its global portfolio by 2023. “We will be encouraging similar ambition from our value chain, and ideally reporting progress through established platforms such as CDP supply chain,” Nowosel says. “… We will actively seek partnerships and suppliers that are even more closely aligned to our corporate values so that, together, we will improve the way the world works and lives.”

Alexander Saverys – CEO, CMB (Compagnie Maritime Belge)

CMB’s bold CO2 pledge is “Net Zero as from 2020–ZERO in 2050.” The strategy involves having all carbon emissions from CMB operations completely offset (or net-zero) from this year, while the investment in new technologies will create a completely zero-carbon fleet by 2050. CMB started by supporting certified climate projects in developing countries and acquiring high-quality Voluntary Carbon Units (VCUs) in Zambia, Guatemala, and India. Back at CMB’s home base, the Port of Antwerp in Belgium, the company’s “Hydroville,” the world’s first sea-faring vessel to burn hydrogen in a diesel engine, shuttles up to 16 passengers while producing zero pollution. That won the company the second-ever Sustainability Award from Antwerp Port Authority, Alfaport-Voka and the Scheldt Left Bank Corp. in November 2018.

CMB is now hard at work on “HydroTug,” a tugboat that will hit the water later this year or next using the same hybrid hydrogen/diesel technology as Hydroville. Hybrid barges would soon follow, and the company hopes to launch the world’s first hydrogen-powered container ships in the next decade. “Green hydrogen-based fuels are the only zero-emission solution in the long run,” according to CMB CEO Alexander Saverys. “… We are convinced of the potential of hydrogen as the key to sustainable shipping and making the energy transition of a reality.”

Thibaut de Lataillade – Global Vice President and General Manager, GetApp

Founded in 2010, the Barcelona, Spain-based Gartner company GetApp is an online resource for software buyers to compare products side-by-side with free interactive tools, detailed product data and user reviews. GetApp also serves as an online lead generation channel for SaaS. And the company also provides customers with sustainability advice. “Our main focus is on helping businesses become more efficient through technology and software,” says Thibaut de Lataillade, GetApp’s global vice president and general manager. “As consumers become more conscious of sustainability, businesses must adapt their supply chain processes. This means mapping their supply chain, setting goals and measuring supplier performance when it comes to sustainability. Using the right software to analyze and leverage data captured through this process will help business leaders make the right decisions and ensure sustainability in the future.”

GetApp doesn’t stop there. “We’ve also tried to highlight the many other benefits that come from becoming a socially responsible business. For instance, corporate social responsibility (CSR) can also lead to improved brand awareness and improved customer trust, loyalty and engagement,” de Lataillade says. “As a digital business, we have a duty to spread the message when it comes to creating a social impact strategy, and doing so for the right reasons.”

eaglerail

THE EAGLERAIL HAS LANDED: CEO MIKE WYCHOCKI PUSHES A “NO BRAINER” WHEN IT COMES TO MOVING SHIPPING CONTAINERS AT CONGESTED PORTS

It’s amazing where new logistics solutions come from. They are usually born by veteran shippers with visions on how to improve an existing operation. Or it can be a customer or customers seeking help in conquering a specific challenge that eventually resonates throughout the industry.

Then there is the inception of Chicago-based EagleRail Container Logistics’ signature solution. It can be traced to a pitch meeting for a new monorail in Brazil that was attended by a port authority official who was there more as a cheerleader than a participant.

Watching a Chicago marketing man’s PowerPoint presentation about his company’s passenger monorail system to local leaders in São Paulo eight years ago, the port representative, Jose Newton Gama, marveled at how the magnetic levitation (Maglev) trains holding people would be suspended under overhead tracks.

Then the Brazilian known by friends as Newton raised his hand.

“Excuse me?” he asked the Americano. “Could your system be adapted to hold shipping containers?”

That had never occurred to project designers, whose monorail cars for passengers are much lighter than would be required for cargo containers hauled by ships, trucks and freight trains. But the marketing man shared Gama’s question with his colleagues in the Windy City, and that planted the seed that eventually bore EagleRail Container Logistics.

Chief Executive Officer Mike Wychocki was an early investor who eventually bought out that marketing man, but the first EagleRail system is named “Newton” after the Brazilian who now sits on the company’s board of advisors. “He’s a great guy,” says Wychocki during a recent phone interview. “Newton is our biggest cheerleader.”

Wychocki’s no slouch with the pom-poms himself, having pitched EagleRail at 40 ports in 20 countries over the past five years. His company, which has offices around the world, is developing its first prototype in China, and studies are underway at six ports as EagleRail sets about raising $20 million in capital. (The window for small investments had just closed when Wychocki was interviewed. His company has since shifted its focus to large investors.)

The way ports have operated for decades left no need for a system like EagleRail’s. Big ships dock, cranes remove containers stacked on their decks and each box is then moved onto the back of a flatbed truck that either hauls it to a distribution center or an intermodal yard. Until recent years, no one really thought of disrupting the process because, as Wychocki puts it, “you could always find cheaper truck drivers.”

However, truck driver shortages, port-area air pollution and congestion caused by the time it takes to load and unload ever-larger ships have prompted serious soul searching when it comes to short hauls. Expanding the size of ports is often not an option due to the cities that have grown to surround them. This has led to the creation of large container parks for trucks and/or freight trains within a few miles of ports, but getting boxes to those remains problematic—at a time when megaships are only making matters more difficult.

“There is an old saying that ports are where old trucks go to die,” says Wychocki, who ticks off as problems associated with that mode of moving containers pollution, maintenance and fuel costs, as well as the issues of public safety because some drivers essentially live inside of their vehicles, which can attract prostitution and leave behind litter and human waste. Adding even more of these dirty trucks would necessitate more road building, which only adds to environmental concerns.

With ground space at ports a constantly shrinking commodity, tunneling underground may be viewed as an option. But Wychocki points out that many ports have emerged on unstable ground like backfill, and water, power and sewer lines are usually below what’s under the streets beyond port gates. The idea of a hyperloop has been bandied about, but it would require emptying shipping containers at the port, loading the contents into smaller boxes, sending those through to another yard, and then repacking the shipping containers on the other side. “That defeats the whole point” of relieving port congestion, the EagleRail CEO says.

Ah, but every port has unused air space, which is what Wychocki’s company seeks to exploit. “If an Amazon warehouse can lift and shuttle packages robotically,” he says, “why not do the same with a 60,000-pound package? Go to a warehouse. See how Amazon works with packages. They use overhead light rails. It’s an obvious idea, so obvious. It’s a no brainer when you think about it.”

Yes, Amazon also uses drones, but can you imagine the size it would have to be to carry a 60,000-pound shipping container? Wychocki sees a suspended container track as an extension of the cranes on every loading dock worldwide, which is why EagleRail systems are also all-electric and composed of the same crane hardware to avoid snags when it comes to replacing parts.

However, Wychocki is quick to note EagleRail is not a total solution when it comes to port congestion. He calculates that among the short-haul trucks leaving a port, 50 percent are going to 500 different locations, many of which are different states away, while the other half is bound for just a couple nearby destinations. EagleRail is geared toward the latter, and the problem with getting containers to them “is not technological; it’s who controls the five kilometers between the port and the intermodal facility,” he says.

Lifting equipment at ports “is exactly the same in all 200 countries,” he adds. “The part that is not the same is the back end. What is the port’s configuration? Where do the roads come in? What we do is form a consortium and build it with each local player, such as the port authority, the road authority, the national rail company, the power company. Getting everyone involved helps get procurement and environmental rights of way.”

He concedes that getting everyone on board “varies by location,” but when it comes to environmental concerns “everyone’s kind of wanting to do this because it means fewer trucks, and the power companies would prefer the use of electricity (over burning diesel). It sounds harder than it is to get everyone rowing in the same direction.”

Wychocki points to another bonus with EagleRail: It allows for total control of one’s intermodal yard because containers come and go on the same circular route—all day long. “We take this on as a disruptive business model,” he says, noting that short-haul trucks generally involve the use of data-chain-breaking clipboards and mobile phones. EagleRail systems track containers on them in real-time, rolling in all customs paperwork and billing invoices automatically.

“It’s amazing, I just came from the Port of Rotterdam, where I was a keynote,” Wychocki says. “Even the biggest ports in the world like Antwerp were saying, ‘This is great. Why isn’t anyone else doing it?’”

Actually, EagleRail accidentally created direct competition. Wychocki explains that during the initial design phase, his company worked with a foreign monorail concern whose cars used what were essentially aircraft tires rolling inside a closed channel. Concerns about maintaining a system that would invariably involve frequently changing tires—and thus slowing down operations—caused EagleRail to reject that design in favor of another third-party’s calling for steel-on-steel wheels. The designer with tires is pressing on with its own system and without EagleRail.

“I’m glad we didn’t go that route,” says Wychocki, who nonetheless expects more serious competition once EagleRail systems are up and running. Fortunately for the company, there are plenty of ports bursting at the seams that cannot wait that long. Wychocki says a question he invariably gets after pitching EagleRail is: “Where were you 10 years ago? Usually, there is an urgency.”

That’s why “our goal was to get out of the gate fast, build market share and our brand and create a quasi-franchise network,” says Wychocki, whose business model has EagleRail owning 25 percent of a system while the port and other local entities own the rest.

He estimates that within 10 years, 12 EagleRail systems will be operating. If that sounds like a pipe dream, consider that his company’s newsletter boasts 3,000 subscribers before a system is even up and running. Wychocki does not credit “brilliant marketing” for that keen interest. “It’s because every port’s problems are getting worse. Everyone is squealing about what to do with these giant ships that cannot be unloaded fast enough. They are desperate.”

cordero

SUPER MARIO: CORDERO HELPED SHAPE PORT OF LONG BEACH’S PIONEERING GREEN PORT POLICY YEARS BEFORE HE BECAME EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Mario Cordero was an attorney in Long Beach, defending industries and municipalities in workers’ compensation cases when he went to lunch with a local elected official. This was in the early 2000s when environmental issues were hot topics in a city that, by population, ranks second in Los Angeles County, seventh in California and 39th in the nation.

“He asked me if I’d be interested in being appointed to the harbor commission,” recalls Cordero of his lunch partner, who was referring to the City of Long Beach’s port authority. “I said of course I would. When you are talking about the port authority, that’s the pinnacle of civic involvement.”

But Cordero could not help but wonder … why him?

“At the time, port authority appointees had backgrounds either politically or as a developer or financier or someone in that circle, or as a community or environmental advocate who is a strong fundraiser,” he says. “I didn’t come under any of those classifications. So I asked, ‘Would the mayor consider me when I don’t have the history of those people who have been propelled to the port authority before?’ He said the mayor was looking for a different mindset, someone who was more sensitive to the concerns of the community and the environmental agenda.”

Cordero accepted the appointment and was sworn onto the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners in July 2003, going on to serve as vice president and president during his eight-year stint. The Los Angeles native is now beginning what will this year be his 17th year as a maritime leader, not only locally and nationally but internationally, as he resigned from the harbor commission in 2011 to join the Federal Maritime Commission, the U.S. government agency responsible for regulating the nation’s international ocean transportation for the benefit of exporters, importers and the American consumer and fostering a fair, efficient and reliable international ocean transportation system, while protecting the public from unfair and deceptive practices.

Cordero, who became executive director of the Port of Long Beach in May 2017, now leads a Harbor Department staff of more than 500 and oversees a budget that was $982 million for the 2019 fiscal year.

The crowning jewel of his career (so far) is arguably the nationally recognized, globally influential Green Port Policy, which outlines a sustainable ethic for all port operations, mandating that trade growth run parallel with environmental stewardship. Cordero began working on the initiative in late 2004, while still on the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners. “We rolled it out,” he says, “and the rest is history.”

Cordero, who was appointed vice-chairman of the Board for the American Association of Port Authorities in October 2018, outlined his port’s strong 2019—despite a dip in exports due to the U.S.-China trade war—and the progress of sustainability efforts during his Jan. 23 State of the Port address at the Long Beach Convention Center. Last year, the Port of Long Beach moved 8.1 million shipping containers or its highest total ever. An $870 million project in the pipeline to improve the port’s rail yard will have more containers hauled by trains instead of trucks, he noted. “Rail is a big part of our green future,” Cordero told the audience. “For the American exporter, my message to you is this: Our rail will move your cargo faster and more efficiently, and we are on track to make it even better for you in the years ahead.”

He also highlighted the Clean Air Action Plan that the ports of Long Beach and neighboring Los Angeles, which together form the largest port complex in the nation, implemented in 2017. The goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050. “We all know climate change is a major global effort, and a global threat,” Cordero told the crowd. “We need to transition to sustainable low-carbon, and the Port of Long Beach will do its part. Our challenge is not just to reduce carbon emissions. It’s to eliminate them altogether. … Yes, we face great challenges, but this port of the future is meeting that challenge. With our many projects, we’re planting seeds so this region continues to thrive.”

Over the phone a week after his State of the Port address, Cordero credited his time on the Harbor Commission with helping to bring about his port’s revolutionary change. “That was the game-changer with me to be part of the port authority,” he says. “I started during a time when there was a real contentious relationship with environmental groups and neighborhood groups who questioned the impacts of having such a great port. Their primary concerns were the harmful emissions that came from those operations and congestion on the highways, streets and so forth. As a result, then-mayor Beverly O’Neill appointed me to the Harbor Commission, and one of my mandates was to bring different thinking to the commission, one that is more sensitive to the concerns of the neighborhood and communities, especially when it came to the environmental issues coming before us.”

Cordero helped usher in the Green Port Policy that the port formalized in January 2005, sealing his reputation as a leader who can bring together different stakeholders or constituencies when it came to economic and environmental sustainability. “Our motto was Grow Green,” he notes. “Back then, in 2004-’05, a lot of naysayers in the industry felt that if you try to do both, it will negatively impact business operations. Looking back, that of course, as I thought then, was not to be the case.” The League of California Cities bestowed Cordero an environmental award in 2007 (the same year the Mexican-American Bar Association named him Attorney of the Year). And still, after two decades of operating under the Green Port Policy, the Port of Long Beach ranks second in the U.S. when it comes to container moves. (The Port of Los Angeles is No. 1.) “It’s not only Grow Green, but we are also a growth leader,” Cordero says. “We eventually laid out a model for ports around the world.”

Some of those ports in the U.S. would not mind cutting into Long Beach’s trade action. “We recognize that we have to have a competitive edge in terms of competing with other gateways in the U.S. lobbying for a piece of the Asian-Transpacific cargo moves,” concedes Cordero, who during his early days in the industry became “intrigued” by “the whole issue of commerce and international trade.” He plunged into examining globalization, especially as it related to economic partnerships with Asian countries. His self-education, coupled with the port’s economic and environmental successes, led to President Barack Obama appointing Cordero to the Federal Maritime Commission, which he chaired from April 2013 to January 2017.

The FMC experience “gave me context into the high levels of Washington, D.C.,” he says. “That leadership really put the Port of Long Beach on the national front. I am very proud of that history.” It was forged by Cordero’s ability to get local residents, environmentalists, union workers, terminal operators, cargo owners, international shipping companies, transportation entities and government regulators to all buy in to the port’s vision when it came to what had previously been viewed as polar opposites: trade growth and environmental sustainability. “We had to educate the community about the importance of international trade, not only as a job producer, but every household is a beneficiary of international trade,” Cordero says. “And number two, the Port of Long Beach was serious about exploring ways we can further sustainable development.”

He points with pride to “a tremendous monetary investment” the port has made to mitigate air and water pollution. “We moved forward to introduce and put in place shore power, which is also known as cold ironing,” he says. “An investment in excess of $180 million resulted in international vessels coming to port and hooking up to the electrical infrastructure as opposed to burning bunker fuel, or what they call hoteling. The way it [previously] looked at the port was that the vessels were emitting black smoke while they were here. Not much more changed dynamically until, on the international front and the state level, the implementation of standards requiring environmentally friendly fuels and the getting away from the common use of bunker fuel, which was the worst kind to use as far as the diesel infrastructure.”

Cordero is pleased with where the port is in terms of achieving the goals of the Green Port Policy. Referring to the marketing spin that makes a supposedly green entity sound more focused on sustainability than it really is, Cordero conceded, “Many thought in the environmental community, and I don’t blame them, that we were just greenwashing here. Obviously, we did more than greenwashing. … Mitigating harmful emissions—we’ve done that. In 10 years we have reduced particulate matter 88 percent, noxious emissions 57 percent, and we’ve reduced sock emissions at a level of 97 percent. Those are astounding numbers in terms of what we did.”

In the same breath, he acknowledges the port must do more as it tries to meet the bold goals of zero emissions in cargo handling by 2030 and zero emissions from trucks by 2035. “There are 18,300 trucks registered at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. There can be anywhere from 14 to 16 truck moves a day. Our goal is to not be satisfied in reducing emissions and diesel emissions until we get to zero, so by 2035 trucks will be running on electric batteries or fuel-cell technology.”

That is why Cordero is not ready to pop the cork on the bubbly just yet. “I am satisfied at this point in terms of what this port and this city have been able to do, but ultimately we must meet our current quest of going zero emissions,” he says. “That is something we will celebrate in the future.”

It’s all pretty heady stuff when you consider Cordero “was not even thinking about being on the Harbor Commission until I had that lunch. … I love to speak to students assessing what careers they are looking at. Number one, I tell them to give 110 percent at the job they are doing. Second, I say you never know what door is going to open.”

NTG

NTG Slides Between Old Guard and Freight-Forwarding Disruptors

If there is one common theme among newish freight-forwarding disruptors, it is that they seek to replace an old guard that relies on paper, clipboards, and telephones with a brave new world that relies on cloud software, analytics platforms, and smartphones.

The stakes are high: tracking and handling freight is a $1 trillion industry. And so, the business media falls all over itself to profile the likes of Qwyk, Flexport and Zencargo. It’s a small wonder that established players have moved into the freight forwarding “startup” space, as evidenced by Twill, a so-called “Maersk innovation.” Amazon is also breaking into the freight-forwarding market, as is another well-known disruptor, Uber, which launched Uber Freight in 2017 and expanded into Europe last year.

Falling somewhere between the newbies and the established players is Nolan Transportation Group (NTG), a multimodal freight brokerage firm that was founded in Atlanta in 2005. Featuring parcel, truckload, less-than-truckload and intermodal transportation services for more than 7,000 customers across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico—as well as a carrier base with over 30,000 independent transportation/trucking companies that aid in facilitating the movement of clients’ products—NTG has mostly been in the news lately due to industry consolidation.

After Gryphon Investors injected capital into third party logistics company Transportation Insight in September, the private equity firm and the 3PL together acquired NTG three months later. Then, in January, NTG announced it had acquired Eagle Transportation LLC, a Mississippi-based freight brokerage specializing in temperature-controlled shipping. Out of the deal, NTG added Eagle’s expertise in cold-chain logistics and brokerage of refrigerated equipment, and Eagle received access to NTG’s vast pool of carrier representatives.

But NTG Freight is now seeking to turn industry heads with its new portal for carriers and shipping customers that went live for the public on Jan. 18, after months of beta testing. Those who log in 24/7 get real-time access “to every available shipment we have as a company,” says Garrett McDaniel, NTG’s vice president of Software Project Management. “Carriers like it because available loads are not on public boards where you have to beat out the competition to find lanes you are interested in running. The second a shipment is created, it shows up on our system as available.”

Previously, NTG communicated with its more than 8,000 companies and 100,000 trucking companies via fax, email, and phone. The portal makes that process communications and booking loads faster and easier, with bidding and rate confirmation handled automatically—and via a smartphone.

“We have created a few access levels for our preferred carriers, who not only see the loads available but the offer rate for that load as well,” McDaniel explains. “It’s created a bidding system that is pretty different than the eBay-style bidding that our competitors are doing.” With the latter, a bid amount is entered and after other bids are made, a “winning bid” is selected. But with the NTG portal, a carrier submits a couple of different amounts and is automatically chosen without having to debate.

Asked whether the new portal came about based on what customers were seeking or what NTG saw needed refinement, McDaniel answered, “A little bit of both. The platform was originally created based on some specific needs of carriers.”

You might assume here that NTG’s answer to those needs came in June 2019, when the 3PL deployed Descartes Systems Group’s MacroPoint, a cloud-based freight visibility solution. After all, Perry Falk, senior vice president of NTG’s Carrier Operations, said at the time: “Our customers can opt to get real-time visibility on every shipment we move. The drivers for our carriers can provide location updates with minimal interactions while in-transit, leaving us with happier carriers who can focus on driving safely.”

However, McDaniel corrects that the new portal’s inception actually stretches back a couple of years before that, when carriers were telling NTG as far back as 2017 that they needed online access to their payment information. “One thing they wanted was access to payments in real-time. Paperwork was missing on some loads, and they wanted to see information on available loads. Over time, as we grew as a development team, along with the experience of the users, things were refined internally.

“One of the very first versions that rolled out showed the payment status. You’d log in to see when you were being paid if you were paid already what the check number was and when it was mailed. Really within the last year, we rolled out a lot more core functionality, including bidding on loads, rate confirmation, as well as some of the customer-focused functionality as well.”

McDaniel considers all of this to be part of NTG’s mission “to improve the carrier partnership.” Relationships with loyal carriers and customers were already in place during the NTG portal’s beta phase. “We’ve received a ton of positive feedback, especially among the smaller carriers that have one to five trucks,” McDaniel says. “It’s been a great tool for them to be able to keep their trucks completely filled with loads purely by using the system.” Carriers “with thousands of trucks” also participated in the beta phase, he adds. “They were able to get in, play around with it and give us their feedback. We’ve taken a lot of the feedback and been able to implement changes.”

The live version features a redesigned front end, more user-friendliness and a more modern-feeling than the beta tester, according to McDaniel, who credits Gryphon Investors with steadfastly supporting his company’s high-tech vision. “They have been a really incredible partner in developing this application,” he says.

However, while new freight forwarding disruptors scramble to build new customer bases, McDaniel is also quick to applaud the NTG network with continuing to push his company to refine with the digital times.

“We have been around for 15 years,” he notes. “In that amount of time, we’ve grown a deep network of carriers and shipper partners. These were not acquired overnight as a tech startup disruptor.”

Which, McDaniel believes, gives NTG a competitive edge over the upstarts. “We have a pretty dedicated group of users. This is something we view as an enhancement for our carrier partners. You don’t ever want to replace human relationships. Rather, this is something that quite frankly helps strengthen that relationship with us.”

U.S.-China

U.S.-China Trade War of 2019 Spills into 2020 for Ports, Shippers and Manufacturers

The Jan. 15 signing of a U.S.-China Phase One agreement did spawn a sigh of relief among those troubled by the trade tensions between the two nations. But six days later, a warning came from a couple experts closely watching the unfolding events on behalf of ports, shipping lines and manufacturers. The crux of that warning? Stay tuned.

“This is a truce,” said Phil Levy, chief economist at Flexport, a San Francisco-based freight forwarding and custom brokerage company. “This is not the end of the trade war.”

Levy shared that opinion as he joined his company’s CEO Ryan Peterson in leading a webinar on Jan. 21 that was listened in on electronically by some of their 10,000 clients in more than 200 countries. Those who rely on the company’s expertise in ocean, air, truck and rail freight, drayage & cartage, warehousing, customs brokerage, financing and insurance–all informed and powered by Flexport’s unique software platform—heard Levy say of the U.S.-China trade war: “We haven’t seen a retaliatory escalation of this magnitude in the post-World War II era. … This really was a 2019 story that worsened throughout the year.”

He pointed to a graphic that showed trade between the world’s two biggest economies fell markedly last year, and that no one overseeing trans-Pacific supply chains were immune from economic harm. Many webinar participants could relate as 64 percent of Flexport’s customers rely on the trans-Pacific trade routes, according to Peterson.

Yes, the Phase One deal was a positive first step, but Levy pointed to some examples of lasting victims from the trade war. It exposed the continued “decay,” as the economist put it, of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which is supposed to prevent the escalation of trade disputes. The “keeper of peace” amid trade tensions was largely frozen out of U.S.-China talks and, therefore, silent as events transpired.

A second heavy blow came in December 2019, when the WTO’s appellate body ceased to function, according to Levy, who noted that the formation of the “WTO system was one of core achievements since World War II.”

Peterson found equally worrisome the first-ever disappearance of peak season when it comes to shipping. As many known, imports grow during the fall and really heat up by November’s holiday shopping season. That not happening in 2019, couple with a steady decline is U.S. imports from China after years of solid growth, is a reason for concern, according to the CEO, who maintained, “global trade is down due to tariffs.”

For one thing, not having a peak season to rely on, coupled with steadily declining trade, “from our perspective makes life very hard to plan for,” Peterson said.

He did see on the horizon what many may view as a green lining: lower freight fees and consumer prices. “Lower prices do sound good,” Peterson conceded, “until someone goes bankrupt. We want stability, predictability. Things getting too cheap is unpredictable. You are playing with fire.”

Feel the burn? Peterson called our current “degree of uncertainty relatively unprecedented. We learn about things in a tweet. Was that really implemented or not?” As an example, he cited France proposing a digital tax and President Donald Trump striking back with threats of tariffs on cheese and wine. “Is that policy or not?” Peterson asked rhetorically. “Right now it’s a tweet. It makes it very hard to plan for.”

Levy warned “there is no safe play.” You can withstand the brunt of the tariffs and see what that does to your bottom line, or you can figure out a way to work around them and then have a trade deal come along with no way to return to normal operations quickly enough.

As Peterson pointed out, it’s not just the sting of the tariffs but the amount of paperwork and other adjustments one must handle while trying to remain agile. That time takes away from other things you need to be doing with your business.

Speaking of time away, Levy believes there will be no further movement in deescalating trade tensions between the U.S. and China until after America’s November presidential election. He suspects that China agreed to the Phase One conditions, which were much more weighted against that country than the U.S., “to buy a year of peace.” He added that China could be playing it coy in the weeks ahead as Beijing awaits the outcome that determines whether they will continue to deal with Trump or a new White House occupant. “If Trump loses, it’s likely the trade agreement will change anyway,” Levy said.

In the meantime … uncertainty. Peterson noted that one Flexport client had to close a manufacturing plant due to the tariffs. Levy held onto the hope that an eventual U.S.-China trade deal will be beneficial economically, pointing to markets that opened up with the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement. But you never know, as evidenced by USMCA having also resulted in some restricted trade, particularly in the automobile sector. “That was disappointing,” he admitted.

Don’t be surprised if the pain ultimately spreads, as Levy predicted what will happen after the U.S.-China trade war comes to a head. “There are a lot of signs the president will turn his trade policy focus away from China and toward Europe,” said Levy, who later noted Trump has also begun accusing Vietnam of cheating when it comes to trade.

So what to do about all this?

“My stance is there is nothing more important than agility, the ability to adapt,” Peterson said of dealing with tariffs, real or threatened. “It can mean restructuring a supply chain or seeking exemptions.” Companies that foster a culture with an ability to adapt can look at these challenges, Peterson says, and respond: “Bring it on, bring on the change.”

anaheim

Anaheim Has Much More to Offer than Just a Magic Kingdom

The late San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen used to describe Southern California as “the box that Disneyland came in.” That would make Anaheim the box top. Along with Orlando, Florida, Anaheim is the only place in America where it’s a compliment to hear a visitor remark, “Well, that was a real Mickey Mouse place to stay.”

But there is more to Anaheim than being the granddaddy of Uncle Walt Disney’s theme parks. Indeed, there is even more to Anaheim than its next two most well-known entities: the Los Angeles Angels of Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League’s Anaheim Ducks.

For instance, did you know the Anaheim Convention Center is the largest exhibit facility on the West Coast? Originally opened in 1967, the convention center spans 53 acres, offers 1.8 million square feet of function space and also includes an on-site Hilton Hotel with display and meeting spaces of its own. Located directly across the street from the Anaheim Resort District’s second theme park, Disney’s California Adventure, the convention center hosts such large events as Citrix Synergy, Disney’s D23 Expo and the Winter National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Show. Don’t let the roster spook you into believing the facility is solely suited for mega-tradeshows as it can also host small meetings and intimate industry gatherings.

Business travelers can choose from a plethora of lodging offerings as there are 111 hotels with 22,183 rooms within two miles of the convention center, including 41 (with 8,749 total rooms) within a half-mile walk of the meeting place. Besides Anaheim, there are hotels, motels and other lodging options in the bordering cities of Buena Park, Garden Grove, Fullerton, Orange and Yorba Linda. Beyond those, there are surrounding Orange County’s famous (and generally pricey) oceanfront resorts in Dana Point, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Newport Coast and Huntington Beach. You might find a celebrity in these … checked in under an assumed name after having ditched the paparazzi an hour-and-change away in Hollywood.

Meanwhile, back in Anaheim, there is plenty to see and do locally. Most visitors do include at least a day at one of Uncle Walt’s parks, but those on a budget, tight on time or opposed to marathon standing sessions in attraction lines can get the Magic Kingdom flavor at the much mellower Downtown Disney shopping/dining/entertainment area that’s just steps from the main gates of Disneyland and California Adventure.

A similar destination on the other side of Harbor Boulevard from the Disney parks is Anaheim GardenWalk, which includes more great shopping and restaurants, as well as the House of Blues, live concert venue. Make sure to also check the entertainment listings for City National Grove, which is a couple of miles east on Katella Avenue from GardenWalk. And if you continue on Katella a bit you’ll hit the Honda Center, which draws arena acts when it’s not filled with conventions, Ducks games or other athletics.

Convention bookers should consider holding at least one gathering in The RANCH Restaurant & Saloon’s private dining and events center. Just two miles from the convention center—and five floors above The RANCH Restaurant (that is also available for buyout)—the exclusive sixth-floor venue offers spectacular views of Anaheim.

An even more unique outing can be had mere steps from Disney’s California Adventure. FlightDeck is the only simulator in the world that has visitors take a quick flight course, get fitted for a jumpsuit and experience mock flying that includes aerial maneuvers at 600 knots as well as air-to-air combat. Curse you, Red Baron!

Set about halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego, Anaheim is intersected by the 5 Freeway, which runs from the Mexican border all the way up to the Canadian border in Washington state. There are four major airports just minutes away from Anaheim: John Wayne (Santa Ana) International Airport, Long Beach Airport, Ontario International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Buses and shuttles that pick up steps from those hubs’ terminals feed into the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC), which is across the street from the Honda Center and nearly adjacent to one of Angels Stadium’s gates.

Much farther south, on the other side of the Orange County border, is San Diego County, which is home to the pioneering California craft brewing scene. But Anaheim is no slouch when it comes to suds. The city boasts numerous craft breweries, some of which have won national awards for their elixirs. I recommend an Uber or Lyft crawl that at the very least includes Bottle Logic Brewing Co., Noble Ale Works, Towne Park Brew Co., Bruery Terreux and, nearby in Placentia, The Bruery Tasting Room. As Charles Harris, senior vice president of Marketing with Visit Anaheim, puts it: “You don’t have to be a cicerone to appreciate the perfect pint in Anaheim.”

Another worthy beercation stop is Anaheim Brewery, a revived pre-Prohibition beer garden that is this year celebrates its 150th anniversary. But it’s recommended not only for the milestone and delicious brews (their Anaheim 1888 is a must pour). A small lawn area separates the brewery from Anaheim Packing House, an old citrus packinghouse that has been reimagined as a hip food hall. People watching while nibbling on artisan eats is the real treat.

You can usually pack light because Anaheim is graced with nearly 300 days of sunshine, a miserly 13 inches of annual rainfall (and no snow) as well as an average temperature of 67 degrees. The 42-mile-long Orange County coastline facing the Pacific Ocean is usually just 20 minutes. If traffic is heavy, skip the maddening freeways and take Harbor Boulevard south.

It’s little wonder you must plan ahead when getting around, given that 20 million people reside within a 90-mile radius of Anaheim. Guess it’s not such a small world after all.

site selection

Our Annual Governor’s Cup Ranks Top 10 Southern States for Site Selection Incentives

A funny thing happened on the way to compiling Global Trade’s latest Annual Governor’s Cup feature on state site selection incentives: the preponderance of states from the South that offer more attractive benefits than just about anywhere else in the country.

Rather than cast the net wide enough to include non-southern states for the sake of comprehensiveness, we decided to this year focus more strongly on the country’s hottest region. There are 16 states in the American South, and based on data and statistics from the U.S. government and various business, industry and media entities, we have ranked the top 10.

It must be mentioned that differing sources had Tennessee and Georgia as the top state among all 50 when it comes to site selection incentives. We did not flip a coin but instead gave The Volunteer State the ever-so-slight edge based on the quality of incentives offered. Really, you would do well to start up or relocate in either state or, heck, any of the 10 that follow.

1. TENNESSEE

Capital: Nashville

Population: 6.77 million

GDP: $287.77 billion (2-16)

Largest cities: Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville, Chattanooga

Targeted industries: Business Services, Chemicals, Plastics & Rubber, Food & Agribusiness, Distribution & Logistics, Aerospace & Defense, Transportation, Healthcare & Medical Devices, Energy Technology, Automotive, Advanced Manufacturing

Site location success story: Amazon opening a major operations and logistics office hub in Nashville that creates 5,000 high paying jobs and pumps $230 million into the local economy.

Key agency: Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development

Key site-selection incentives:

*Fast Track Economic Development Fund, which provides grants to local communities to reimburse companies for eligible expenditures not covered by infrastructure or job training grants, including relocation of equipment, temporary office space, capital improvements and retrofitting.

*Job Tax Credit of $4,500 per job to offset up to 50 percent of franchise and excise taxes (F&E) in any given year with a carry forward for up to 15 years so long as businesses create at least 25 net new full-time positions within a 36 month period and invest at least $500,000 in a qualified business enterprise.

*Enhanced Job Tax Credit, which allows an additional annual credit for locations/expansions in designated Tier 2, Tier 3 and Tier 4 Enhancement Counties and can offset up to 100 percent of F&E liability.

*Industrial Machinery Tax Credit of 1-10 percent for the purchase, third party installation and repair of qualified industrial machinery used in manufacturing, warehousing and distribution and at headquarters and call centers.

*Sales and Use Tax Exemptions at headquarters or for industrial machinery and reduced sales tax rates for utilities at qualified call centers, data centers and warehousing, distribution and manufacturing facilities.

*Research and Development sales tax exemption.

*FastTrack Job Training Assistance Program for new or expanding companies that provide funding to support the training of net new full-time employees.

*Export Assistance that includes networking, training and free planning services and trade and travel assistance.

2. GEORGIA

Capital: Atlanta

Population: 10.52 million (2018)

GDP: $461.1 billion (2016)

Largest cities: Atlanta, Columbus, Augusta, Macon

Targeted industries: Call Centers, Cybersecurity, Financial Technology, Food Processing, Logistics, Automotive, Life Sciences, Aerospace, Information Technology, Manufacturing, Headquarters

Site location success story: Brazil’s Guidoni Group, which is one of the leading producers and exporters of ornamental stones in the world, locating a manufacturing facility in McRae-Helena that creates 455 jobs and invests $96 million. The project is slated to open in 2020’s third quarter.

Key agency: Georgia Department of Economic Development

Key site selection incentives:

*No real or personal property tax, no state property tax on inventory and 5.75 percent corporate income tax.

*Inventory Tax Exemption, where counties and municipalities have the option of enacting a local property tax exemption for four classes of inventory at 20, 40, 60, 80 or 100 percent of the value.

*Investment Tax Credit for companies to upgrade or expand as long as they have operated a manufacturing or telecommunications facility (including corporate office and other support facilities) for at least three years in the state.

*Mega Project Tax Credit, which is available for companies that employ at least 1,800 net new employees, and either invest a minimum of $450 million or have a minimum annual payroll of $150 million.

*Port Tax Credit Bonus rewards new or expanding companies that increase imports or exports through a Georgia deepwater port by at least 10 percent over the previous or base year. It can be used with the Job Tax Credit program or the Investment Tax Credit program.

*Quality Jobs Tax Credit for jobs that pay higher-than-average wages.

*Research & Development Tax Credit for Georgia companies performing qualified research and development in manufacturing, telecommunications, broadcasting,

warehousing & distribution. R&D, processing and tourism.

3. SOUTH CAROLINA

Capital: Columbia

Population: 5 million (2017)

GDP: $183.8 billion (2016)

Largest cities: Charleston, Columbia, North Charleston, Mount Pleasant

Targeted industries: Advanced Materials, Distribution & Logistics, Aerospace, Automotive, Office/Shared Services, Life Sciences, Advanced Manufacturing

Site location success story: AIRSYS Cooling Technologies Inc., global information, communication and technology cooling solution provider, establishing operations in Spartanburg County, where more than $5 million is to be invested and 116 new jobs created.

Key agency: South Carolina Department of Commerce

Key site-selection incentives:

*Economic Development Set-Aside Program that assists companies in locating or expanding in South Carolina by providing financial assistance for road or site improvements and other costs related to business location or expansion.

*Single Factor Sales Apportionment for a company whose primary business in the state is manufacturing, distribution or selling or dealing intangible personal property. The apportionment formula is advantageous for a company whose majority of sales occur outside of South Carolina.

*Corporate Headquarters Credit of 20 percent based on the cost of the actual portion of the facility dedicated to the headquarters operation or direct lease costs for the first five years of operation.

*Credit for Revitalization of Abandoned Buildings, of which at least 66 percent has been closed continuously or otherwise nonoperational for at least five years.

*Fee-in-lieu of Property Taxes may be offered by a county to companies with a total investment of $2.5 million or greater on new buildings and equipment.

*Investment Tax Credit that allows manufacturers a one-time corporate income tax credit for a company’s investment in new production equipment.

*Job Development Credit that can refund a portion of state withholding tax liability for 10-15 years.

*Port Volume Increase Credit for manufacturers, distributors or entities engaged in freight forwarding, freight handling, goods processing, cross-docking, transloading or wholesaling of goods that use state port facilities and increase base port cargo volume by at least 5 percent over base-year totals.

*Research & Development Tax Credit equal to 5 percent of the taxpayer’s qualified research expenses in the state.

4. NORTH CAROLINA

Capital: Raleigh

Population: 10.2 million (2017)

GDP: $538.3 billion (2017)

Largest cities: Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Durham

Targeted industries: Biotech & Pharmaceuticals, Automotive, Aerospace & Defense, Agribusiness & Food Processing, Business & Financial Services, Information & Communication Technology, Truck & Heavy Equipment

Site location success story: Merck, a leading global biopharmaceutical company, investing $57 million to establish a filling and packaging line for the company’s RotaTeq vaccine and create 55 jobs in Wilson.

Key agency: Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina

Key site-selection incentives:

*Job Development Investment Grant that provides cash grants to new and expanding businesses to help offset the cost of locating or expanding in North Carolina.

*One North Carolina Fund that allows the governor to respond quickly to competitive job-creation projects that do also require a local match.

*Building Reuse Programs for renovation and upfitting vacant industrial and commercial buildings.

*Singles Sales Factor Apportionment that determines how much of a corporation’s income is subject to state tax based solely on its revenue from sales located in or sourced to North Carolina.

*Sales and Use Tax Exemptions for specified manufacturing, fulfillment, data centers and more.

5. ALABAMA

Capital: Montgomery

Population: 4.87 million (2017)

GDP: $211 billion (2017)

Largest cities: Birmingham, Montgomery, Huntsville, Mobile

Targeted industries: Aerospace/Defense Manufacturing, Automotive Manufacturing, Chemical Manufacturing, Agricultural Products/Food Production Manufacturing, Steel/Metal Manufacturing, Distribution & Logistics, Information Technology

Site location success story: Airbus’ first single-aisle A220 passenger jet rolling out this year at its second Mobile campus, which opened last year.

Key agency: Economic Development Partnership of Alabama

Key site-selection incentives:

*Alabama Department of Commerce’s Certified Capital Company (CAPCO) Program offers an alternative to conventional bank financing to accommodate a slightly higher risk profile and provide a more flexible structure for growing businesses in the state.

*Industrial Revenue Bonds, which are tax-exempt and issued at rates lower than conventional sources, may be used as long-term financing of up to 100 percent of a project for acquisition of land, buildings, site preparation and improvements; building, furnishing and filling structures; and “soft costs” such as architectural and engineering, interest incurred during construction, cost associated with bond issuance, etc.

*Investment Credit for a qualifying project for up to 10 years and can be taken against the Alabama income tax liability and/or utility tax liability.

*Jobs Credit annual cash rebate up to 3 percent of the previous year’s gross payroll (not including fringe benefits) for eligible employees for up to 10 years. The rebate rises if at least 12 percent of employees are veterans.

6. TEXAS

Capital: Austin

Population: 28.3 million (2017)

GDP: $1.7 trillion (2017)

Largest cities: Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Austin

Targeted industries: Advanced Technologies & Manufacturing, Energy, Information & Computer Technology, Petroleum Refining & Chemical Products, Biotech & Life Sciences, Aerospace & Defense

Site location success story: United Alloy Inc., a serial production metal fabrication and powder coating company, building its new state-of-the-art, 200,000-square-foot manufacturing facility on a 27-acre site in Seguin, which benefits from at least 100 new jobs and $35 million in total capital investment over a three-year period.

Key agency: The Governor’s Office of Economic Development & Tourism | Gov.texas.gov/business | (512) 936-0100

Key site-selection incentives:

*Capital Access Program financing for small and medium-sized businesses and non-profits which face barriers to accessing capital or fall outside of guidelines of conventional lending.

*Industrial Revenue Bonds that provide tax-exempt financing for land and depreciable property for eligible industrial or manufacturing projects.

*Spaceport Trust Fund financial support for the development of infrastructure necessary or useful for establishing a spaceport in Texas.

*Texas Enterprise Fund awards “deal-closing” cash grants to companies considering a new project for which one Texas site is competing with other out-of-state sites.

*Texas Product Development & Small Business Incubator Fund long-term, asset-backed loans to product development companies and small business incubators/accelerators located in Texas.

*Business Relocation Tax Deduction & Exemption for qualified businesses relocating to Texas.

*Renewable Energy Incentives for any qualifying Texas business that exclusively manufactures, sells or installs wind or solar energy devices.

*State Sales & Use Tax Exemptions for rented, leased or purchased machinery, equipment, replacement parts and accessories that have a useful life of more than one year or 12 months, and that are used or consumed in the manufacturing, processing, fabricating or repairing of tangible personal property for ultimate sale.

*Texas Economic Development Act incentives for large-scale manufacturing, research and development and other large capital investment projects that locate in Texas.

*Texas Enterprise Zone Program state sales and use tax refunds for private investment and job creation in economically distressed areas of the state.

*Texas Research & Development Tax Credit sales tax exemption when buying materials, software and equipment directly used in qualified R&D purposes.

 7. KENTUCKY

Capital: Frankfort

Population: 4.45 million (2017)

GDP: $202.5 billion (2017)

Largest cities: Louisville, Lexington-Fayette, Bowling Green, Owensboro

Targeted industries: Automotive Related Engineering & Manufacturing; Aerospace; Advanced Manufacturing; Logistics & Distribution; Food & Beverage; Aluminum & Steel Related Manufacturing; Chemicals, Plastic & Rubber

Site location success story: The first Kentucky operation for Precision Pulley & Idler, a supplier of idlers, pulleys, bearings and other products for the major bulk and material handling components industries. The $10.75 million production facility in Maysville creates more than 100 full-time jobs over the next decade.

Key agency: Kentucky Association for Economic Development

Key site-selection incentives:

*Direct Loan Program loans at below-market interest rates for fixed asset financing for agribusiness, tourism, industrial ventures or the service industry. Retail projects are not eligible.

*Industrial Revenue Bonds to finance manufacturing projects and their warehousing areas, major transportation and communication facilities, most health care facilities, and mineral extraction and processing projects.

*Kentucky Enterprise Fund and Rural Innovation Fund seed-stage capital for companies that are commercializing a technology-based product or process.

*Kentucky New Energy Ventures Fund seed stage capital to support the development and commercialization of alternative fuel and renewable energy products, processes and services.

*Kentucky Small Business Credit Initiative and Small Business Loan Program loans for small businesses engaged in manufacturing, agribusiness or service and technology.

*Angel Investment Tax Credit of up to 50 percent of an investment in Kentucky small businesses; the investor and business much each apply.

*Kentucky Business Investment Program income tax credits and wage assessments to new and existing agribusinesses, regional and national headquarters, manufacturing companies, alternative fuel, gasification, energy-efficient alternative fuels, renewable energy production companies, carbon dioxide transmission pipelines and non-retail service or technology related companies that locate or expand operations in Kentucky.

*Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act tax breaks for new or expanded companies engaged in manufacturing, non-retail service or technology activities, agribusiness, headquarters operations, alternative fuel, gasification, energy-efficient alternative fuels, renewable energy production companies, carbon dioxide transmission pipelines, or tourism attraction project in Kentucky.

*Kentucky Industrial Revitalization Act tax credits for the rehabilitation of manufacturing or coal mining and processing operations that are in imminent danger of permanently closing or that have closed temporarily.

8. VIRGINIA

Capital: Richmond

Population: 8.47 million (2017)

GDP: $508.7 billion (2017)

Largest cities: Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Richmond

Targeted industries: Cyber Security, ­ Software Publishing, Data Centers, Information/Communications Technologies, Corporate Services, ­ Headquarters, Supply Chain Management, Food & Beverage Processing, Advanced Materials, Aerospace, Automotive, Wood Products, Life Sciences, Unmanned Systems

Site location success story: Cascades, a Canadian packaging and tissue products producer, paid $40 million and plans to invest up to $300 million more to replace the Bear Island paper mill that shut down in Hanover County in 2017. The facility that’s planned to reopen in 2021 will employ 140 workers.

Key agency: Virginia Economic Development Partnership

Key site-selection incentives:

*Virginia Economic Development Incentive Grant for those locating significant headquarters, administrative or service sector operations in the state.

*Virginia Investment Performance Grant for companies involved in added capacity, modernization, increased productivity or the creation, development and utilization of advanced technology.

*Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Grant Program for companies that locate new maritime-related employment centers or expand existing centers in the Commonwealth that foster the port’s growth.

*Virginia Small Business Financing Authority programs for small businesses that need access to capital for growth and expansion.

*Rail Industrial Access Program connecting businesses to freight rail service by funding the construction or improvement of railroad tracks and facilities to serve industrial or commercial sites where freight rail service is currently needed or anticipated in the future.

*Corporate Income Tax Credits for multiple industry and business sectors.

*Property Tax Exemptions for multiple types of industry and business property, equipment and tools.

*Sales & Use Tax Exemptions on gross receipts derived from retail sales or leases of tangible personal property, unless the retail sales or leases are specifically exempt by law.

9. MISSISSIPPI

Capital: Jackson

Population: 2.98 million (2017)

GDP: $111.7 billion (2017)

Largest cities: Jackson, Gulfport, Southaven, Hattiesburg

Targeted industries: Aerospace, Advanced Manufacturing, Shipbuilding, Agribusiness, Automotive, Forestry & Energy, Healthcare

Site location success story: Amazon leasing a 1 million-square-foot facility in DeSoto County’s Olive Branch for a fulfillment center that brings 500 new full-time jobs. Just 11 months ago, Amazon disclosed plans for its Marshall County fulfillment center that’s employing 850 workers.

Key agency: Mississippi Economic Development Council

Key site-selection incentives:

*Development Infrastructure Grant Program to finance infrastructure projects for manufacturers, warehouses and distribution centers, research and development facilities, telecommunications and data processing facilities and national or regional headquarters.

*Energy Efficiency Revolving Loan Program for businesses and other eligible entities that are increasing energy efficiency in their buildings, equipment and processes.

*Standard Property Tax Exemptions that local governing authorities may grant businesses locating or expanding in their areas for up to 10 years.

*Industrial Revenue Bond Program to finance companies’ location or expansion projects in the state.

*Advantage Jobs Incentive Program for businesses that create new, high-quality jobs through locating or expanding in the state.

*Growth and Prosperity Program state income tax, franchise tax and property tax exemptions for up to 10 years, as well as a sales and use tax exemption on equipment and machinery purchased during initial construction or an expansion at an approved facility.

*Jobs Tax Credit equal to a percentage of payroll for each newly created job for a five-year period for eligible businesses.

*Mississippi Aerospace Initiative Incentives Program is a 10-year income and franchise tax exemption and a sales and use tax exemption for the start-up of a new facility or expansion of an existing facility that manufactures or assemble products for use in—or that provides research and development or training services to—the aerospace industry.

*Mississippi Clean Energy Initiative Program is a 10-year income and franchise tax exemption and a sales and use tax exemption for the start-up of a new—or expansion of an existing—clean energy business.

*Mississippi Data Center Incentives for a business enterprise certified by the state as a data center.

*National or Regional Headquarters Sales Tax Exemption for an eligible business that creates or expands its national or regional headquarters in the state.

*Property Tax Exemption for Industrial Revenue Bond Financing.

*Property Tax Exemption on In-State Inventory (finished goods that will remain in the state).

*Research and Development Skills Tax Credit for a five-year period for each position requiring R&D skills.

10. LOUISIANA

Capital: Baton Rouge

Population: 4.68 million (2017)

GDP: $246.3 billion (2017)

Largest cities: New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Shreveport, Metairie

Targeted industries: Software Development, Energy, Automotive, Advanced Manufacturing, Aerospace, Process Industries, Agribusiness, Water Management, Entertainment

Site location success story: Testronic, a leading quality assurance firm in the digital gaming industry, launching a new 150-job testing facility in New Orleans that will result in another 169 new indirect jobs, for a total of 319 new jobs in New Orleans and the Southeast Region.

Key agency: Louisiana Economic Development

Key site-selection incentives:

*Competitive Projects Property Tax Exemption for non-manufacturing industry sectors, including corporate headquarters, distribution facilities, data services facilities, research and development operations, and digital media and software development centers.

*Economic Development Award Program financial assistance to influence a company’s decision to locate, relocate, maintain, rebuild and/or expand its business operations in Louisiana.

*Industrial Tax Exemption Program, which offers an attractive tax incentive for manufacturers who make a commitment to jobs and payroll in the state.

Sources: Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce, BusinessFacilities.com, Site Selection Group, Area Development.

 

global

Global Traders on the Move

James J. White, who has guided the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore during a period of record revenue, cargo and job growth as executive director of the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Port Administration (MDOT MPA), resigned effective Dec. 31, 2019. He had led operations for 18 years as the Port of Baltimore improved its national rankings, upgraded security procedures and completed infrastructure projects that made it one of the few ports in America capable of receiving the largest ships in the world.

Modern Terminals Hong Kong Managing Director and CEO Peter Levesque was confirmed in November as the newly appointed president for the largest North American marine terminal and stevedore, Ports America. Levesque, who returns to the U.S. after living and working in Asia for the past 25 years, will step into his new role starting in February when Horace Lo takes over as Modern Terminals’ group managing director.

B&H Worldwide, the award-winning aerospace logistics provider, appointed Michael Pearson to the newly created position of General Manager-Americas. From the company’s Los Angeles office, he must now develop the America’s market and drive growth plans in the States for B&H Worldwide, which was founded in the UK.

Ruan’s President and COO Dan Van Alstine was elected as the 2020 chairman of the board for the Iowa Motor Truck Association at the organization’s annual management conference last fall. Based in Des Moines like Ruan, the association was established in 1942 and has more than 600 member companies (trucking and suppliers) throughout Iowa.

Chicago-based Edsal Manufacturing announced that Scott White was appointed CEO effective Nov. 11, 2019. He succeeded Bruce Saltzberg, who retired after 47 years of leadership but served as strategic advisor through the end of last year and remains on the Board of Directors.

Laguna Hills, California-based LOCATE Inventory, a technology company responsible for developing a cloud-based inventory and order management software application, recently hired former Intuit executive Annie Terry as chief business officer.

Team Worldwide, a Winnsboro, Texas-based global 3PL, announced in October that Amy McKinney was named director of Marketing. She joins the company after having worked for Southwest Airlines and, most recently, Susan G. Komen.

The Containerization & Intermodal Institute (CII) presented the prestigious 2019 Connie Award in December to Bruce A. Fenimore, CEO of New Jersey-based company Columbia Group, which provides US-flag barge service and landside port services to the shipping industry. Also before some 450 people at CII’s annual industry-wide luncheon at the Renaissance Newark Airport Hotel in New Jersey, Sara Mayes, president and CEO of New York’s Gemini Shippers Group, received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Tewolde GebreMariam was recognized as Airline Executive of the Year at December’s annual Global Aviation Awards for Excellence organized by the Centre for Aviation in Malta.

Virginia Zimmermann, senior communications manager with Port Manatee (Florida), is the 6,000-member International Propeller Club of the United States’ International Member of the Year. She received the global honor at an Oct. 17, 2019, luncheon during the maritime industry group’s 93rd annual International Convention and Conference in New Orleans.

The New York/New Jersey Foreign Freight Forwarders and Brokers Association named David F. Adam, chairman and CEO of the United States Maritime Alliance, its 2020 Person of the Year. He will be honored at a gala dinner Feb. 6 in New York.

American Shipper Magazine founder David A. Howard passed away Dec. 15. He was just two months short of his 100th birthday.

warehousing

Insource or Outsource? That’s the Question Facing Companies When it Comes to Warehousing.

To insource or outsource your warehouse: That is the question.

Companies face many considerations when it comes to deciding whether to own or lease a warehouse filled with their own employees or hire a third party with warehousing expertise and their own workers.

Exploration of the latter has often caused the phone to ring—or the computer inbox to fill—for Todd Alloway, vice president, Contract Logistics at ODW Logistics. Since 1971—and including the 16 years Alloway has been with the company—the Columbus, Ohio, concern has been providing warehousing, distribution and transportation solutions for hundreds of brands.

Of course, ODW will take all the new business it can get, but Alloway concedes in a phone interview that outsourcing usually makes the least sense to a company that has “a team of logistics people inside the business.”

“They might have a vice president of supply chain who has 10 people under that person and a lot of other staff that are part of the business,” he says. “They may understand more about what they are doing” than a third party could coming in cold.

Alloway says he and his team must understand that before making a pitch to outsource to such a company, admitting it can get delicate if you are talking with someone who may lose his or her job or has buddies in positions that could disappear with outsourcing. “We have to walk that fine line,” he says.

It also might make sense to keep things in house if a company’s services or products are complex or highly specialized, something that can come up with those who are big in the manufacturing world, according to Alloway.

Typically, before partnering with a potential client, Alloway will meet with their leadership “face to face to ensure they are a good fit.” During that initial interview, he will gather information about the business. “I can’t go on and say why ODW will be better until I truly understand your business,” he says. “Upfront research is the first thing we have to do.”

“I tell folks that all the time that you can’t just hand me a price sheet and have me give you a price. There is no blanket pricing or one size fits all for businesses. We find out a lot of times that they don’t even know what they need. We have to find out what is valuable on both ends, we’ve got to find out what’s important.”

In today’s ever-changing modern warehousing, outsourcing may be what’s important. It allows a company to leverage someone else’s expertise in transportation, warehousing, distribution, setting up supply chains and maintaining compliance standards, so the original client can focus again on its core competency.

“A lot of our customers started out doing it themselves,” Alloway notes, but as those companies grew, so did their capital investments in staffing, equipping and maintaining warehouses. Suddenly confronted with the need to consolidate operations and/or become technologically viable, many such companies turn to third-party experts like ODW Logistics.

Another challenge with keeping a modern warehouse in-house is staffing, according to Alloway, who cites as an example his company’s Columbus base, where the unemployment rate currently hovers around 3 percent. Companies with warehouses, he says, must develop strategies when it comes to seeking, training and retaining skilled workers among an ever more competitive labor pool. Faced with the time, effort and cost of staying in the hiring game, many conclude it would be better to farm all that out so they can, again, concentrate on their company’s service or product.

When it comes to logistics, companies that ship to big box retailers also have to know the differing compliance, ordering and fulfillment processes of, say, Walmart, Target and Kohl’s. Concerns like ODW Logistics already thrive in that atmosphere because of experience already gleaned on behalf of existing customers, Alloway points out.

As a for instance, ODW’s Director of Marketing John Meier mentions a health and beauty customer that knew going in that the logistics company already worked with others in the same industry.

“One key differentiator” when it came to snagging that account “was our expertise with Ulta, Sephora, different salons and big box retailers,” Alloway recalls. “Word of mouth is still very big in the industry.”

Wanting to know whether ODW has experience in a potential customer’s industry is often the first question Alloway gets. Another, obviously, is price, “especially from someone new to the market that has done it themselves the entire time,” he says. “They want the new technology and whatever the latest and greatest inventory management system is, but they don’t understand the cost that gets that. A lot of time it is education on our part” that is imparted to the potential client.

Likewise, a company like Alloway’s can figure out the overall savings that will ultimately come from outsourcing, but the one thing he and his colleagues will not do is quote a price until they have completed research of the potential client and its industry.

Today’s “I want it now” shipping culture has challenged companies like ODW Logistics, concedes Alloway, who adds that he approaches a delivery schedule less on speed than on the best optimization of his trucks. “Next day and two day are still important,” he says, “but in a direct consumer market it’s more important how you handle returns.”

After pausing to think more about today’s expected speedy deliveries, he adds, “We have had to put in a valiant effort that last few years.”

However, Alloway also offers that with a new client, landing the account does not always come down to speed, price or even experience. He brings up Handgards, a provider of high quality food safety, food protection, protective wear and food service products. The El Paso, Texas-based company managed its distribution network for half a century before partnering with ODW Logistics a decade ago.

“One of the most important attributes they sought was a cultural fit,” says Alloway. “They are a family-oriented business and when we first went to visit them we quickly understood that, and we were able to help them see how ODW has the business values that would match theirs.”

You read that right: Choosing whether to stay in house or go with a third party can come down to whether you get your new partner and are convinced your new partner gets you. What was most important to Handgards was someone, as Alloway put it, “with a similar feel.” ODW now handles the food safety company’s logistics and warehouse support in a 300,000-square-foot facility.

“The people that I have worked with in the ODW organization have been excellent partners to our business and work diligently on our behalf,” said an executive with Handgards.

“Like with most companies outsourcing for the first time, there can be a fear of change, a fear of how a new one is going to handle a product,” Alloway says. “‘Will they do it like we do? Will they talk with customers like we do?’ We went and visited them, made some research and it did not come down to price. It came down to did they like us and did they think we would be a good business fit together.

“… Sometimes we are not the best fit, somebody else is or they should keep doing it themselves. You just do not know that until you do the research.”

market

Despite the Name, the Refrigerated Container Market is Red Hot, Spurring Industry Moves

The global shipping containers market is poised to experience significant market valuation and robust growth through 2025, according to industry research published last year. Sorry about the temperature mix you are about to withstand, but the hottest segment of that market in that study was refrigerated containers, a.k.a. reefer.

Be they 20-foot, 40-foot or even higher cubes, “reefer containers are projected to be the fastest-growing segment in the product type category during the forecast period,” which was 2017-2025 for Persistence Market Research. (See https://www.persistencemarketresearch.com/market-research/shipping-containers-market.asp.)

The Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) for the period is forecast by PMR to be 10.2 percent for the reefer segment, with the 20- and 40-foot sub segments expected to push the positive growth. It’s interesting to note that this factoid was part of a report that more prominently played up the predicted 8.6 percent CAGR for the dry container segment.

That said (or, more accurately, written), it is telling that PMR expects the overall container market to register a “robust” CAGR of 8.3 percent throughout the eight-year period, even with the forecast of a slowing global economy in 2020.

“The growth of the shipping containers at a global level is pushed by the growth in the economy, rising seaborne trade, increasing demand for highly efficient and superior capacity shipping containers, growth in sales of specialized shipping containers by department of defense and rising trend of increasing use of remote container management (RCM) solutions,” PMR finds.

There have been anecdotal indications of the reefer market’s continued growth. Universal Africa Lines (UAL), a conventional ocean transportation carrier that specializes in handling project cargo, breakbulk and containers, boasts a fleet of more than 4,000 containers including reefers, high cubes, open tops and flat racks with the ability to provide a multitude of shipping options including door-to-door service. Last summer, UAL announced its call at Port of Houston’s City Docks as part of its U.S. Gulf/Mexico to West Africa liner service.

Port of Houston was attractive to UAL due to the available dedicated laydown area for project cargoes and berth availability, both of which provided added flexibility to the carrier’s multipurpose fleet.

Cogoport, a leading digital freight logistics business in India, announced in July 2019 the launch of reefer cargo services to and from destinations around the globe. “We are meeting significant demand for reefer exports to North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and to those importing refrigerated cargoes–enabling SME [small-to-medium enterprise] shippers all over India to deliver better productivity, service and profitability when moving their perishable cargoes,” said Cogoport CEO and founder Purnendu Shekhar at the time.

India has experienced “rapid and sustained growth in refrigerated exports during the past decade with commodities like fish, vegetables, fruit and nuts, meat, pharmaceuticals and chemicals driving demand for reefer import and export services,” explained Shekhar’s company in a press release.

“We have had a great experience working with Cogoport, moving onions to different corners of the world–saving us time and budget,” says Ankit Begwani, CEO and founder of BegwaniGlobal. “Like many other SMEs, we are also seeing huge demand for shipping of perishable cargoes, not least for fruit and vegetable exports to Malaysia and Dubai. This requires high operational output, optimization of shipments and customer satisfaction for delivering goods on time. Every cent matters to every SME business, and Cogoport has demonstrated that it can help deliver that value with better rates, better margins and better visibility.”

The reefer demand is not going one way in India, where the rise of the middle class has created a greater desire for refrigerated imports, particularly from Germany, South Korea and Russia, according to the advisory from Cogoport, which is headquartered in Mumbai and has offices in Hong Kong and the Netherlands.

Perhaps the greatest indication of reefer’s rise comes in the form of technological advances that different industry players seem to announce almost daily.

Miramar, Florida-based Wireless Maritime Services (WMS), the largest wireless network operator at sea, and Globe Tracker, the fastest growing provider of global supply chain IoT visibility for cold-chain, announced their partnership in November to bring real-time reefer monitoring to Seaboard Marine, the largest marine cargo shipping line in Central, South America and the Caribbean.

Under the multi-year, multi-ship agreement, Seaboard Marine becomes the world’s first container ocean line to implement a truly portable, fully 24/7 monitored, 4G LTE based private cellular and integrated satellite communication network for containers on vessels. The innovation and expertise from WMS and Denmark-based Globe Tracker—whose North American headquarters are in Sarasota, Florida—results in “a novel vessel network that is seamless, interoperable, and provides end-to-end enhanced visibility and real-time connectivity, both in the cloud and on the vessel at sea,” according to the companies.

They add that Seaboard Marine also becomes the world’s first ocean line to implement full IoT visibility across their fleet of intermodal assets, including reefers, gensets, chassis and vessels—all on a single integrated easy to use platform.

“By IoT equipping our Controlled Atmosphere (CA) reefer fleet and other critical assets, we are well-positioned to provide more responsive cold chain services for our trade lanes, which facilitates complex processes such as USDA cold treatment,” noted Seaboard Marine Vice President Piero Buitano in the announcement.

“The vessel system also provides real-time alerts to crew technicians, so problems can be quickly detected and corrected, if necessary, thereby increasing temperature compliance,” added Frederick Urbina, Seaboard’s Refrigerated Services manager.

Noted Pramod Arora, WMS president and CEO, of Seaboard Marine: “They have been a valuable partner in pushing us to innovate first-to-market solutions that we are now deploying within their fleet. We look forward to continuing to partner with Seaboard Marine for future innovations.”

Globe Tracker had already started the partnering mojo in September, when it announced having teamed with Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey-based SeaCube Containers, a global leader in refrigerated shipping containers and gensets, to provide IoT-enabled gensets for Ocean Network Express (ONE), the sixth-largest shipping line in the world.

The cutting-edge GT technology provides cellular communication of operational parameters from gensets, including fuel level, battery voltage, events and alarms and even remote shut-off capability for certain genset brands.

“The growing demand for greater tracking, transparency, security, diagnostics and asset fleet management using smart technology will continue to be a key driver for leased solutions,” said Greg Tuthill, chief commercial officer at SeaCube, in the joint announcement. “By partnering with Globe Tracker, we will continue to enhance our leading-edge technology solutions and expand our commitment to the intermodal industry by providing smart asset technology leased products.”

John Harnett, senior director Marine and Intermodal at Globe Tracker, added he was pleased to be working with SeaCube “in providing this best-in-class genset solution to ONE. In genset telematics, we are the only provider integrated into the micro-controller of two out of the three leading brands in North America. This provides ONE with the most robust amount of data and assists in setting maintenance intervals, reducing maintenance costs, extending asset life, monitoring fuel consumption and having full operational visibility of their genset assets.”

Palm Beach Gardens, Florida-based Carrier Transicold, which is under the umbrella of Farmington, Connecticut’s United Technologies Corp., used the Nov. 5-7  Intermodal Europe 2019 in Hamburg, Germany, to unveil its new TripLINK digital tool that is designed to make shipping perishables simple, transparent and reliable worldwide.

The tool digitally connects customers to updates on their assets, including vital cargo health information. TripLINK software securely gathers and analyzes machine and cargo-health data that it wirelessly obtains from telematics hardware in the refrigerated container and the micro controller.

“Our aim in unveiling these new digital solutions is to bring to our customers convenience, visibility and actionable intelligence, ultimately to derive more savings for them,” said Kartik Kumar, vice president & general manager, Carrier Global Container Refrigeration. “At Carrier, the future is now. Through leveraging the latest cutting-edge technology, especially on the digital front, we provide our customers practical solutions they only once dreamed possible.”

Also part of a new suite of digital solutions is the Container eCommerce portal, which began supporting customers in Southeast Asia in mid-November. The portal put on view Carrier Transicold’s full catalog of refrigerated container unit parts and allowed orders to be placed easily.

Also on display in Germany was Carrier’s new Micro-Link 5 controller, which is billed as the industry’s first wireless connectivity enabled refrigerated container unit controller that is also equipped with advanced diagnostics, allowing service technicians to save time and money by reducing container moves and the need to restack units to retrieve critical data or conduct troubleshooting. And a new DataLINE Connect mobile app allows customers to work directly with a refrigerated unit equipped to receive data via a smartphone or tablet.

Staying in Europe, but traveling back the previous month to October 2019, CEVA Logistics opened a new integrated, end-to-end cold chain facility at DP World London Gateway in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, UK.

More than 50 customers, including representatives of French container transportation and shipping company CMA CGM, attended the unveiling of The Chill Hub, which CEVA describes as a state-of-the-art facility with dedicated areas for handling pharmaceuticals, fresh and frozen produce, beverage products and flowers as well as other goods requiring temperature specific handling and storage.

The location is considered strategic because a deep-sea port is on the same site as the logistics park where The Chill Hub rests. London Gateway, which has links to more than 110 ports in 60 different countries, is considered the UK’s No. 1 reefer hub.

“With its excellent road and rail connections, our best in class warehouse management systems and direct port access, the Chill Hub is a powerful demonstration of the synergies between CEVA Logistics and CMA CGM,” said Nicolas Sartini, CEO of Baar, Switzerland-based CEVA Logistics, which has offices worldwide, including all over North America.

“This state-of-the-art facility will enable us to offer a unique value proposition to our shipper customers,” Sartini continued, “providing a faster delivery of goods through an energy-efficient building. We can also give full visibility and control of the entire inbound operation through The Chill Hub.”

CargoSmart Limited—which leverages technologies including artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain, as well as a deep understanding of ocean shipping for its transportation and logistics clients—announced in November its new Connected Reefer Solution. The one-stop, AI and IoT-enabled reefer cargo management system for ocean carriers and shippers features end-to-end information transparency, including enhanced reefer container Pre-Trip Inspection (PTI) support, real-time container status monitoring updates, and predictive cargo arrival status.

“CargoSmart Connected Reefer Solution provides users with a one-stop, hassle-free solution that seamlessly integrates IoT-enabled containers with cloud-based monitoring software and APIs [application programming interfaces],” said Lionel Louie, CargoSmart’s chief commercial officer, in the announcement. “With the cutting-edge technologies and the vast volume of data collected, CargoSmart Connected Reefer Solution brings an unprecedented level of real-time cargo status visibility, empowers more accurate and responsive planning, and significantly drives down operation costs for carriers and shippers.”

Louie was not blowing smoke. CargoSmart reefer management was the winner of the Lloyd’s List 2019 “Excellence in Supply Chain Management” Asia Pacific and the 2019 TIBCO Trailblazer Visionary awards. And the solution received this praise from Li Dong, general manager of COSCO Shipping’s Equipment Management Center: “In addition to heightened visibility to reefer cargo status, COSCO Shipping replaced manual PTI with AI-enabled PTI, bringing significant enhancements in cost-efficiency savings as well as reefer management capabilities.”