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  October 11th, 2018 | Written by


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Best Buy recently closed on a lease for 500,400 square feet of space within Brandon Woods III, a 259-acre site located near Fort Smallwood Road in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. The electronic retailer with 1,000 U.S. stores plans to consolidate three existing locations throughout the Baltimore-Washington, D.C., metropolitan region to occupy the building.

Chesapeake Real Estate Group, LLC (CREG) broke ground on the speculative building with 36-foot-clear ceiling heights last year, and as of the end of August, it was 90 percent completed. It is considered the largest industrial speculative project ever constructed in Anne Arundel County and one of the largest built in the state of Maryland.

Best Buy, which expects to take occupancy in March 2019, will supply about 200 jobs at the facility. They’ll be getting neighbors, too, as CREG and partner EverWest Real Estate Investors, LLC intend to build up to 1 million square feet of industrial development in Brandon Woods III, which is close to the Port of Baltimore and Baltimore-Washington International Airport and within one-day truck drive to nearly 50 percent of the nation’s population.


U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross recently announced $13 million in Economic Development Administration (EDA) grants will go to 11 Trade Adjustment Assistance Centers (TAACs) that help American manufacturers hurt by imports adjust to increasing global competition.

“President Trump is engaged in a daily fight to ensure the latest success of American manufacturers and businesses turns into a permanent trend,” Ross said on Sept. 5. “This program is just one element of a vast, government-wide effort to restore jobs, strengthen domestic manufacturing, and ensure free, fair, and reciprocal trade.”

The TAACs are located in California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington. Included are:


  • $1.1 million to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, for the Great Lakes Trade Adjustment Assistance Center.
  • $1.1 million to the University of Missouri, Columbia, for the Mid-America Trade Adjustment Assistance Center.
  • $1.2 million to the MidAtlantic Employers’ Association, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, for the Mid-Atlantic Trade Adjustment Assistance Center.
  • $1.1 million to Applied Strategies International, Ltd., Chicago, Illinois, for the Midwest Trade Adjustment Assistance Center.
  • $1 million to the New England Trade Adjustment Assistance Center, Inc., North Billerica, Massachusetts.
  • $989,487 to the Research Foundation of the State University of New York at Binghamton, for the Trade Adjustment Assistance Center serving New York, New Jersey and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
  • $1.3 million to the Trade Task Group, Seattle, Washington, for the Northwest Trade Adjustment Assistance Center.
  • $1.5 million to the University of Colorado at Boulder for the Rocky Mountain Trade Adjustment Assistance Center.
  • $1.2 million to the Georgia Tech Research Corporation, Atlanta, Georgia, for the Southeastern Trade Adjustment Assistance Center.
  • $1.2 million to the University of Texas at San Antonio for the Southwest Trade Adjustment Assistance Center.
  • $1.4 million to the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, for the Western Trade Adjustment Assistance Center.


SEKO Logistics acquired a majority shareholding in its strategic partner Omni-Channel Logistics, the two companies recently announced. “This is a significant investment for SEKO Logistics and solidifies our relationship with what we see as the industry’s leading cross-border eCommerce team,” says Mark White, SEKO’s chief commercial officer. “As we continue to invest in market expansion focusing on cross-border eCommerce and returns, the big winners will be our clients as we continue to push shipping and technology boundaries to a new level for retailers, pure-play etailers, marketplaces and platforms.”

Managing Director Kai Lincoln, who along with his partners launched Omni-Channel Logistics in Australia in early 2014, will continue to lead SEKO Omni-Channel Logistics. “As a start-up business in 2014, we recognized the importance of having a reputable global brand behind us,” Lincoln says. “SEKO gave us that credibility and the two-way partnership we have enjoyed since has enabled us to become a global eCommerce force with an amazing team of individuals and a technology platform designed and built for scalable cross-border, marketplace and returns solutions.”

SEKO Logistics created a new integrated eCommerce and logistics division in 2013 with SEKO Omni-Channel Logistics to fast track traditional brick-and-mortar retailers into the global eCommerce market. The four key elements of the SEKO Omni-Channel Logistics offer are Global fulfilment, Global delivery management, Global returns solutions, and eCommerce development and design.

SEKO Omni-Channel Logistics boasts of giving major brands and SMEs fast and easy access to primary eCommerce markets in Hong Kong, the U.S., UK and Southeast Asia, as well as Australia and New Zealand.


At early September’s SMM, the leading international maritime trade fair held in Hamburg, Germany, a “groundbreaking” global initiative called “An Oceanic Awakening” was unveiled. Launched by Helsinki-based marine and energy solutions leader Wärtsilä, “An Oceanic Awakening” is focused on the radical transformation of the world’s marine and energy industry into one supremely efficient, ecologically sound and digitally connected ecosystem.

To fulfill its mission, Wärtsilä has formed the ambitious SEA20, which calls on the world’s most strategically important marine cities, including New York, Singapore, Hamburg, Helsinki, and Rotterdam, to develop a digitalized marine ecosystem–or Smart Marine—by 2020. This encompasses connectivity, data-sharing, intelligent automation and intelligent, carbon-free vessels, which feature efficient designs, hybrid propulsion technologies and cleaner fuels for eco-friendly shipping.

An assembly of key global influencers from each major marine city have already been brought together to participate in SEA20. New York-based influencers included architecture, design and sustainability innovators such as Dong-Ping Wong, designer/founder of FOOD and Friends of + POOL, who has worked on projects for Kanye West and Nike, ORE Design + Technology Founder/Principal Architect Thomas Kosbau, rePLACE Urban Studio’s Peter Syrett and The Dream Corps CEO, Vien Truong.

The Port of Vancouver USA Board of Commissioners on Sept. 11 unanimously approved the port’s 2018 Strategic Plan, which includes a new vision statement and outlines 20 goals and 66 strategies to guide the port’s activities and budget for the next decade.

The plan was developed over 11 months with broad public and stakeholder input, including advisory panels, public open houses, commission meetings, public workshops and hundreds of public comments.

“We appreciate all the time and energy our community has put in as we’ve created our new strategic plan,” says CEO Julianna Marler. “We heard from hundreds of people, both within the port and across our community. Their perspectives helped us develop a balanced plan so we can continue to advance as an organization while achieving our state-directed purpose and our mission of creating economic benefit through leadership, stewardship and partnership in marine, industrial and waterfront development.”

The port first developed a strategic plan in the early 2000s and updated it each year as necessary. By 2017, the port needed a new plan to address organizational change, including completion of many key initiatives; marine and industrial business growth; identification of new projects; and changes in staff and elected leadership.

The 2018 Strategic Plan is available here.


Denver-based OmniTRAX, Inc., one of the largest privately held transportation service companies in North America and an affiliate of The Broe Group, teamed up with its customers and suppliers to provide more than $30,000 to the Healing Warriors Program, a non-profit treatment provider for current and past members of the military in Northern Colorado.

“Giving back to the communities where we operate is very important to everyone at OmniTRAX, especially when the effort addresses critical issues like the welfare of our troops and veterans,” says Kevin Shuba, OmniTRAX’s CEO, who is a U.S. Army veteran. “We will continue supporting groups like the Healing Warriors Program to do our part in ensuring the appropriate treatments are available to the people who help keep our nation safe.”

“We are so grateful to OmniTRAX and the many customers and suppliers who were very generous with their support of our program,” says Ana Yelen, the Healing Warriors Program’s executive director. “The money raised will provide our heroes with non-drug treatment to address military-related health issues like post-traumatic stress disorders.”

The donation was made Aug. 28 at the Omni Interlocken Hotel in Broomfield, Colorado, right after the OmniTRAX Annual Golf Tournament that welcomed veterans to join the company’s participating executives, employees, suppliers, customers and railroad partners.

“Our group really appreciated OmniTRAX inviting us to the tournament and the reception we got from all the golfers,” says Barry Fulcher, who served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. “It was a special day. We’re also thankful for the donation made to Healing Warriors Program, which has been a godsend to me personally.”