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South Carolina Ports Accelerates Rail Expansion for Seamless Supply Chain Connectivity

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South Carolina Ports Accelerates Rail Expansion for Seamless Supply Chain Connectivity

South Carolina Ports is making strategic investments in its rail capabilities to foster growth in the Southeast, with construction underway at the Navy Base Intermodal Facility. Scheduled to open in July 2025, this near-dock, rail-served cargo yard aims to expedite goods to market, bolster port capacity, and elevate overall service quality.

The intermodal yard will be served by both Norfolk Southern and CSX, establishing a direct link between SC Ports’ Charleston port terminals and rail-connected inland ports in Greer and Dillon. This connectivity extends to markets in the Southeast and Midwest, enhancing the fluidity and reliability of the supply chain.

Key features of the facility include 78,000 linear feet of railroad track, six rail-mounted gantry cranes facilitating container movements between CSX and Norfolk Southern trains, and a one-mile dedicated drayage road for efficient cargo transport to and from Leatherman Terminal. Additionally, a future barge will facilitate container transportation between the Leatherman and Wando Welch terminals.

Supported by $550 million in state funding, these critical infrastructure projects aim to accommodate a 1 million lift capacity and handle trains exceeding 14,000 feet. The rail-served cargo yard is poised to play a pivotal role in streamlining the movement of goods along the U.S. East Coast.

SC Ports President and CEO Barbara Melvin expressed gratitude for the state’s support, emphasizing that these investments will empower port-dependent businesses, create jobs across the state, and enhance the overall success of the supply chain.

In addition to the Navy Base Intermodal Facility, SC Ports is extending its commitment to rail expansion by investing in the expansion of Inland Port Greer. This expansion will enable the inland port to handle longer trains and accommodate a 50% increase in cargo capacity. Inland Ports Greer and Dillon demonstrated robust performance, handling a combined 19,232 containers in November, reflecting a significant 48% year-over-year increase.

While container volumes experienced a slight decline in November, SC Ports demonstrated strength in the vehicle sector, with 21,821 vehicles crossing its docks. Vehicles are up 16% fiscal-year-to-date, showcasing the port’s agility and flexibility in serving the Southeast market.

As South Carolina Ports continues to fortify its rail infrastructure, these initiatives are set to significantly enhance supply chain efficiency and reliability across the U.S. East Coast.

port congestion import

Navigating the Waves: Examining the Looming Threat of Port Congestion

By Bryn Heimbeck, President and Co-Founder of Trade Tech, an industry-leading global logistics platform. He asks the question: Is it time to worry about port congestion again?

The following outlines Mr. Heimbeck’s position on why shippers and stakeholders throughout the supply chain should be looking for solutions to address the challenge of entering what he calls the “congestion zone” again.

According to Mr. Heimbeck, the White House’s announcement of the formation of the Council for Supply Chain Resilience is coming none too soon. There are a set of key facts facing the US Supply Chain Market today:

  • Carriers have an enormous number of new vessels on order and coming on line now.
  • New tonnage is driving freight rates down, although they seemed to plateau over the summer Peak Season.
  • The US Economy grew at an amazing 5.2% in the 3rd quarter according to Reuters and indications are for continued strong growth.
  • The low water issues in the Panama Canal has significantly reduced the number of vessels that can transit the canal and avoid the US West Coast ports.

“The pivotal point here is the level of container throughput in the ports. This was the bottleneck in 2020 – 2022 and will be the bottleneck again until capacity at the ports is enlarged either through capital development or process changes yielding greater efficiency.

The concern should be that October container volumes reached the same level where port congestion started in 2020. It is probably safe to project that November through February will have lower seasonal volumes but if March and beyond is normal and the economy continues to grow and carriers reroute vessels away from the Panama Canal, then we should anticipate port congestion is exactly the way we project traffic during rush hour in any large city. Congestion is just what happens when traffic volumes exceed a known point.

CALL TO ACTION

It’s time for the industry and the government to move forward quickly in discussing alternative ideas and concepts for process changes in cargo management. Focusing on these process changes stands a better chance of mitigating port congestion rather than waiting for several years to see capital projects implemented.

It’s time to look seriously at leveraging the data flowing to US Customs from the ocean carriers and NVOCCs as part of the 24 Hour Rule. This data includes all legal shipments, is standardized to meet US CBP’s requirements, is complete or otherwise rejected, and yields full accessible visibility that so many in the market have called for.

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November Sees 9% Drop in US Container Imports; Panama Drought Affects East and Gulf Coast Ports

Descartes Systems Group (Nasdaq: DSGX) (TSX:DSG), the global leader in uniting logistics-intensive businesses in commerce, released its December Global Shipping Report for logistics and supply chain professionals. In November 2023, U.S. container import volume decreased 9% from October 2023, with East and Gulf Coast ports experiencing the greatest declines. While the decrease is large, it’s consistent with monthly reductions at the end of prior years. Imports from China also continued to decline, but at a slightly faster pace than the overall numbers. The Panama drought finally appears to be negatively impacting U.S. container import volume at East and Gulf Coast ports, which could worsen with the Panama Canal Authority’s plans to further reduce the number of daily transit slots in coming months. The December update of the logistics metrics Descartes is tracking shows a decline consistent with seasonal import patterns and signs that global supply chain performance improvements have stalled.

November 2023 U.S. container import volumes decreased 9.0% from October 2023 to 2,099,408 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) (see Figure 1). Versus November 2022, TEU volume was higher by 7.4%, and up 10.4% from pre-pandemic November 2019. The growth in import volume over the first eleven months of 2023 is within 4.0% of the same period in 2019.

Figure 1. U.S. Container Import Volume Year-over-Year Comparison

Source: Descartes Datamyne™

“November has traditionally been a weaker month than October and while the decline is steep, it is consistent with other years’ performance,” said Chris Jones, EVP Industry at Descartes. “The impact of the drought in Panama is finally hitting as volumes at the Gulf Coast ports (see Figure 2) and, in particular, the port of Houston(-26.7%) are considerably lower than the overall decline. East Coast ports experienced a significant decrease as well.”

Figure 2: U.S. Gulf Coast Container Imports for 2023

Source: Descartes Datamyne™

The November report is Descartes’ twenty-eighth installment since beginning its analysis in August 2021. To read past reports, learn more about the key economic and logistics factors driving the global shipping crisis, and review strategies to help address it in the near-, short- and long-term, visit Descartes’ Global Shipping Resource Center.

Trucking Industry solvento

Solvento Secures $53.5M Funding for AI-Powered Trucking Solutions and Financial Inclusion

Solvento, a Latin American fintech company revolutionizing payment and credit infrastructure for the trucking sector, has successfully closed a $50M debt facility from Lendable and raised an oversubscribed $3.5M seed extension led by Quona Capital. This news coincides with the launch of Solvento Audita, an innovative AI-powered software streamlining the accounts payable process for the on-the-road freight industry.

The funding, backed by investors such as Dynamo Ventures, Ironspring Ventures, Proeza Ventures, and Zenda VC, aims to propel Solvento’s mission of creating a comprehensive payment and credit infrastructure for the Latin American trucking sector. Solvento’s focus is on automating payments, financing invoices, and addressing liquidity needs for carriers, ultimately enhancing operational efficiency and supporting growth.

Solvento Audita, the newly launched software, utilizes AI to automate end-to-end accounts payable processes, offering a transformative solution for the trucking industry’s supply chain and freight dynamics. The platform enables quick pay options for shippers and brokers, injecting working capital into the supply chain to benefit carriers and truckers. This not only facilitates faster payments to drivers but also addresses the ongoing driver capacity deficit in the industry.

Iñaki Garcia, Head of LatAm Investments at Lendable, expressed confidence in Solvento’s transformative approach, stating, “Solvento’s take on the transportation industry is creating a line of capital and credit infrastructure that the region doesn’t see often. We’re proud to help facilitate this move into a more inclusive and diverse financial state.”

Rafa de la Guia, Partner at Quona Capital, highlighted the underserved nature of the trucking industry in Mexico and Latin America, emphasizing the opportunities for specialized companies like Solvento. The funding provides Solvento with the resources to execute ambitious growth plans and further contribute to financial inclusion in the region.

Jaime Tabachnik, Co-Founder & CEO of Solvento, emphasized the transformative impact of their technology on the trucking industry, contributing to higher levels of financial inclusion and efficiency. Solvento Audita’s use of APIs and AI enables seamless integration into existing software, offering a groundbreaking solution for digitizing and validating complex freight documentation.

The new funding will fuel the continued development of Solvento’s products, with a focus on expanding commercial efforts to meet the growing demands of the $200 billion Latin American trucking market. Solvento’s vision extends to becoming the de facto payment platform for truckers in Mexico and cross-border trucking, contributing to the evolution of the region’s logistics industry.

armada

Armada Supply Chain Solutions Unveils State-of-the-Art Logistics Hub in Dallas to Propel Industry Growth

Armada Supply Chain Solutions Expands Reach with Inauguration of Dallas Logistics Hub

Armada, a prominent provider of logistics solutions catering to the food industry, is thrilled to announce the official opening of its latest warehouse facility situated at 101 Enterprise Drive in Flower Mound, Texas. This cutting-edge Hub signifies a strategic move for Armada, enhancing its capacity, efficiency, and overall service to clients and the market. Spanning an impressive 465,000 square feet, the facility boasts three distinct temperature zones, making it an ideal space to support Armada’s flourishing business.

John Burke, the CEO of Armada, expresses his enthusiasm, stating, “The unveiling of our new Dallas Hub Center is the culmination of years of meticulous planning and hard work. As we consistently invest in infrastructure, the Dallas Hub stands not only as a physical space but also as a symbol of our unwavering commitment to innovation and industry growth. Armada’s resilience and our dedicated team will furnish both existing and future clients with the essential framework for success.”

The facility includes 357,069 square feet of ambient space, equipped with 72 dock doors to facilitate seamless operations. The temperature-controlled section comprises 33,678 square feet of refrigerated space and a 54,630 square foot freezer, complemented by a 16,723 square foot cool dock and 16 dock doors. Maintaining food-grade standards and Merieux NutriSciences approval, the facility employs Kargo optical reader verification for shipping and receiving, coupled with a narrow-aisle layout to optimize operational efficiencies.

The Dallas Hub aligns seamlessly with Armada’s existing facilities in Greencastle, PA, Romeoville, IL, and East Point, GA, all of similar size. Representing a significant milestone for Armada, the new hub is poised to offer enhanced flexibility and reliability to clients. Moreover, the operational expansion brings about the creation of 70 new jobs in the region.

engagement roambee

Roambee Wins 2023 Supply Chain Innovation Award at CSCMP EDGE 2023

CSCMP Announces Roambee as Winner of the 2023 Supply Chain Innovation Award.

In an event filled with insights into cutting-edge supply chain solutions, the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) has officially declared Roambee’s presentation titled “Global Reusable Packaging Supplier Transforms Supply Chain with Roambee’s AI-Driven Asset Intelligence,” presented by Vidya Subramanian, Vice President at Roambee, as the proud recipient of the 2023 Supply Chain Innovation Award (SCIA™) at CSCMP’s EDGE 2023.

Roambee, a global real-time supply chain visibility and intelligence provider, showcased its transformative role in enhancing the supply chain operations of one of the world’s leading suppliers of reusable packaging containers (RPCs). Operating across more than 50 countries and boasting over 100 service centers worldwide, Roambee’s AI-driven, sensor-powered asset intelligence innovation has revolutionized the way this company manages its 350+ million RPCs, resulting in a multi-million-dollar boost and improved unit cost economics.

The CSCMP’s Supply Chain Innovation Award™ (SCIA) is a prestigious competition designed to recognize teams that have exhibited excellence, innovation, and a significant return on investment in tackling complex supply chain challenges. For two decades, supply chain teams worldwide have submitted their cases to the SCIA, vying for recognition and acclaim from their peers on a global stage.

This year, the competition saw over 25 case study submissions, from which a committee, including the editorial board of SupplyChainBrain, selected four finalists. The 2023 finalists presented their case studies virtually to the SCIA Evaluation Committee before delivering their presentations to a live audience at EDGE. Alongside the winner, the top three submissions included:

1. FastFetch / Saddle Creek Logistics Services / IPSY:

Highlighting a scalable system for picking millions of orders per week, this case study explored an innovative strategy and supporting technologies for fulfilling orders for IPSY, a renowned personalized beauty subscription company. This involved synchronized, parallel processes using high-speed kitting cells and small-footprint pick-to-light cells to achieve remarkable throughput.

2. Intel’s Innovative Damaged Goods Inspection Using Computer Vision and Intel AI/ML:

This case study detailed a novel, low-cost solution combining computer vision and AI/ML to inspect incoming boxes efficiently, resulting in substantial savings through fewer rejections, faster claims filing, and more efficient warehouse space and inventory management.

3. Cisco’s Quality Guarantees in Today’s Nonlinear Supply Chain:

Responding to the increasingly nonlinear and unpredictable nature of global supply chains, Cisco introduced a strong business process to enhance both long- and short-term revenue without compromising product quality. This was achieved through automated tools and innovative quality management processes.

CSCMP expressed its gratitude to Maayan Nissan, the outgoing SCIA Chair, for her two years of dedicated service to the committee. Maayan Nissan is a highly experienced Global Supply Chain and Operations Executive known for forming and leading top-performing teams in complex global operations. Jim De Vries, Founder and Managing Director of Enhance International Group, will succeed Maayan as the new SCIA Chair.

logistics

Bolloré Logistics in the ranking of the 75 leading Green Supply Chain Partners carried out by Inbound Logistics 

Bolloré Logistics has been recognized again this year as a Green Supply Chain Partner by Inbound  Logistics Magazine. This prestigious recognition highlights Bolloré Logistics’ commitment to  sustainability, its significant achievements in reducing carbon emissions and promoting eco-friendly  practices. 

Since the launch of its CSR program “Powering Sustainable Logistics” in 2018, Bolloré Logistics has  successfully implemented various initiatives to minimize its environmental impact and meet its objectives. In particular, the company has committed to reducing scope 3’s CO2 emissions from its  transport services by 30% by 2030 (2019 baseline).  

In 2023, the company’s accomplishments include among others doubling up on the amount of  purchased quantity of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), avoiding more than 37.000 tons of CO2e. Furthermore, it has partnered with industry leaders to explore and implement alternative fuels such as  Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), Renewable Natural Gas (RNG), and  Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (HVO) technologies.  

Other projects have been initiated to foster the development of a greener and more sustainable supply  chain. The company is thus looking to encourage the use of alternative transport for sea freight and has  already organized its first trial to transport pallets on a sailboat from France to the US.  

About Bolloré Logistics USA 

Headquartered in New York, Bolloré Logistics was established in April 1969. The company is present in  17 cities across the US. Our US organization provides a wide range of solutions in the logistics and  supply chain industry, air & ocean freight, ground & cross border, project cargo, customs brokerage,  warehousing, regional & local distribution centers, and e-commerce. Bolloré Logistics USA is also a  company of over 500 experts with strong value-added skills in specific vertical markets such as  aerospace, healthcare, cosmetics & perfumes, flavors & fragrances, fashion & retail, chemicals, energy  & new energy, automotive, military & defense, and aid & relief.  

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Arrive Logistics Opens Two New Offices and Sets Tone for Growth in 2023

Leading freight brokerage demonstrating accelerated growth to support headcount, volume, and multimodal expansion

Arrive Logistics, a leading multimodal transportation and technology company headquartered in Austin, Texas, has announced the opening of its two newest offices, located in Phoenix, Ariz. and Columbus, Ohio. The additions demonstrate Arrive’s rapidly rising position amidst a challenging market and industry consolidation.

The offices represent Arrive’s fourth and fifth newly opened locations within the last year, which debuted its San Antonio, Tampa, and Guadalajara locations in 2022, bringing its total footprint to seven offices. Fueling this expansion is Arrive’s plan to strategically grow headcount in key departments including sales, product development, data science, and business operations.

The announcement of Arrive’s new office openings comes on the heels of the organization surpassing a personal best $2.35 billion in 2022 revenue. Arrive also added multiple employment recognition awards in the last year, most recently named a “Top Tech Employer” by the Austin Business Journal, and has earned three carrier of the year honors from Fortune 500 companies in Q1 2023, alone, including a second consecutive honor from The Home Depot.

Both of Arrive’s new offices in Phoenix and Columbus are hiring. Job postings for open positions can be found at www.arrivelogistics.com/careers. Arrive’s Phoenix location resides at 4940 South Wendler Dr., Tempe, Az. 85282 while the Columbus office is located at 500 W Broad St, Columbus, Ohio, 43215. The two offices add more than a combined 26,000 square feet of additional space.

Damotech warehouse security soundproofing

CILTSA Leads the Discussions on Warehouse Automation at its Free-to-Attend Conference

The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport: South Africa (CILTSA) is gearing up to host an informative and insightful warehousing conference. Themed ‘Warehouse Automation: The benefits and risks’, this hybrid event takes place on 23 May at The Garden Venue in North Riding, Johannesburg and online.

The program includes talks on:

  • ‘Warehouse automation: the benefits and risks’ by Martin Bailey FCILT, Chairman of Industrial Logistic Systems
  • ‘How to optimize digital transformation in your warehouse’ by Munya Huvsu, CEO – ISB Optimus
  • ‘The current challenges preventing warehousing automation and how to overcome them’ by Gerhard van Zyl – Group Operations Director: AsimoTech
  • Safety and compliance in the modern warehouse, transport and logistics environment by Annah Ngxeketo – Founder and CEO: Mamoja Projects

Warehouse automation aims to automate repetitive and tedious manual tasks in warehousing operations, making manual work less labor-intensive, whilst reducing labor costs. It also increases productivity, accuracy and safety levels.

While the possibilities of warehouse automation are varied and exciting, investing means making difficult choices and taking high risks. “Implementing automation technologies in a logistics network is costly and time-consuming, with hundreds of possibilities, from the most basic to the most innovative. It is a long-term investment: experts are quick to cite the benefits of warehouse automation, but it is also vital to understand and assess the risks”.

CILTSA’s conference is being hosted in collaboration with the Transport Forum. The event sponsors are Acrow, Fumani Holdings, ISB Optimus, Mamoja Trading and Projects, Toyota Material Handling and Tendai Mhlanga Photography. Event supporters include CILTSA interest group Women in Logistics and Transport: South Africa (WiLATSA), the African Women in Supply Chain Association and Sincpoint.

To sign up for this free-to-attend event in person, register at https://www.transportsig.com/component/dtregister/23-may-2023-737/register?Itemid=99999  If you wish to attend online, click on https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMlc–gqz4sEtdBC20H9ItPB_NGnjhIo92o

About CILTSA

The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport supports the professionals who plan the systems, bring in the raw materials, manage the movement of people and goods, who ensure safety standards, maintain mobility, and keep the economy working.

We are the leading professional body for everyone who works in supply chain, logistics and transport. We are a global family, representing professionals at all levels across all sectors, with a mission to give individuals and organizations access to the tools, the knowledge and connections vital to success in the logistics and transport industry.

Founded in 1919 with a mission to improve industry practices and nurture talent, our Institute supports over 35,000 members in 35 countries. Through our educational suite, our strong community and our commitment to high standards, we help professionals at all levels to develop their careers and access better jobs.

procurement logistics trax

Trax Provides Next-Level Transportation Cost and Emissions Optimization Strategy

Trax Named a Representative Vendor in Gartner 2023 Freight Audit and Payment Market Guide.

Global leader in Transportation Spend Management (TSM) solutions, Trax Technologies, has been recognized again in the Gartner® report, “Market Guide for Freight Audit and Payment Providers” as a representative vendor. Freight Audit and Payment (FAP) is a fast-growing industry backed by increasing demand for credible data insights for cost optimization.

According to the report, “Lack of freight spend visibility combined with increasing globalization are increasing complexity and making it more difficult to have a holistic view of transportation costs. Finally, shippers are starting to look to their technology and service providers for resources and information to support sustainability commitments.”

As a global provider, Trax is highlighted as a vendor that is using complex data to empower shippers’ sustainability impacts measurement in addition to traditional FAP functions, including invoice collection, auditing, and transportation invoice payments across multiple modes and regions.

The report, written by Gartner analysts Brock Johns, Brian Whitlock, and Brian Day, notes that:

  • Though foundational FAP services have not changed much throughout the last 10 years, vendors now provide customers with needed freight spend data and industry counsel for informed decision-making.
  • Shippers should outsource FAP processes after thorough analysis of vendor capabilities due to notable cost savings and potential for automated optimization processes.
  • Global shippers need FAP providers with global capabilities to improve functionality and business processes.

For additional insights, get the complete report, compliments of Trax here.

Trax’s Carbon Emissions Manager provides supply chain leaders with a credible emissions monitoring system in advance of  the anticipated new U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) climate disclosure rules for reporting on scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions. Company leaders are expected to be required to have an emissions monitoring system in place by January 2024 to have reporting data available for the SEC by 2025.