Put Strategy First When Pondering Automation for Your DC

Put Strategy First When
The unsurprising investment eagerness of venture capital funds is manifesting in an automation tech glut in the distribution center space. Motivated by enabling trends like labor and land shortages, DCs are amid an automation transformation. Never has defining an automation strategy been more important.

There’s no shortage of VC cash available to logistics tech startups 

With a brightly shining spotlight centered on supply chains for the past two years, it’s no surprise that total funding in logistics startups has seen a dramatic increase – growing at over 70% CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate). Logistics technology startups raked in over $25 billion in the first three quarters of 2021. That’s more than half of the total amount raised in the whole of 2020, and the incentives for continuing investment persist.


The rise of the of the “micro” DC

“Micro” is a relative term. The size of a micro fulfillment center (MFC) can range from 5,000 to 50,000 square feet. Those reduced square footages allow location in dense urban areas, typically within 40 miles of most of their intended customers. In addition, smaller footprints lead to reduced rents compared to a standard customer fulfillment center (CFC), and the proximity to consumers makes for lower final mile delivery costs. It’s no wonder that MFCs accounted for more than half of the logistics real estate leasing activity in the third quarter of 2021. The “urban logistics” trend is fueling demand for these highly automated, smaller locations.


Vertical logistics integration grows ever more fashionable among retailers

It’s a very “in” thing right now, these acquisitions and partnerships, and they won’t be going out of fashion soon. For example, American Eagle took in Airterra and its parcel optimization tech and third-party logistics (3PL) provider Quiet Logistics.

Target started early. They bought Grand Junction, a software platform that helps retailers determine the best delivery method and track carrier performance, in 2017. Their 2020 acquisition of Deliv brought with it same-day delivery routing technology that they’re now applying to their 2021 purchase, on-demand delivery service Shipt. Target uses Delivs’ tech to generate more efficient routes for Shipt.

Kroger has partnered with UK’s e-grocery specialist Ocado to build automated CFCs across the US and expand their retail footprint. The first CFC opened last spring in Ohio and their second in Florida later that year. They plan to open 20 CFCs over the next three years.

“The proliferation of DC automation solutions and modalities, the rise of MFCs in high-density urban areas, the increasingly automated vertical integration of logistics, and the need to rapidly expand order fulfillment capacity have all, in combination, advanced the need for and application of clearly defined strategies concerning the implementation of automation technology. Do not operate without one.”
Vikas Argod, Principal, Supply Chains Operations practice at Chainalytics 


Coping with shortages in warehouse space and labor availability

Third quarter, 2021 US demand for industrial real estate exceeded supply by 41 million square feet. This pushed the national vacancy rate in the fourth quarter down to a record 3.7% in the Cushman & Wakefield US National Industrial MarketBeat report for Q4 2021. Who knows what the record might be when the Q1 2022 report breaks in a few weeks?

On the labor side, the December 2021 US unemployment rate was 3.9%, lower than in December 2019 (3.6%) yet reflecting a tighter labor market. Labor force participation rates are at 61.9%, nearly 2% below February 2020 levels, because of lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The rising wages and signing bonuses of the past year offer silent testimony to the ongoing constraints in today’s labor market.

Both trends will remain with us for the near- and mid-term, making an automation strategy a necessary part of your DC operations as you attempt to mitigate the effects of both. In addition, warehouse labor shortages are most pronounced in markets with high distribution center densities – Greater Memphis, In-land Empire, Allentown, PA, et al.)


Building the capability to rapidly open DCs at scale

No other factor drives home the need for a coherent DC automation strategy like this one. Let’s explore it with an example.

We’ll call this “A Tale of Two Companies.” One jumped on the automation bandwagon without hesitation – not a bad thing – but applied no strategic groundwork. The other is, well, Amazon.

Company one responded to increasing demand by creating DCs in their usual, strategically located fashion. However, with automation, the lack of a logical strategy led to adopting “the best that money could buy.” So, while these DCs work fine on their own (most of the time), each employs unique implementations from a variety of vendors, with little to no overlap of methods, capabilities, and management procedures between DCs. It’s functional, but a needlessly complicated hodgepodge.

On the other hand, it definitely looks like Amazon has a standardized automation strategy. One that can easily adapt to exploit the individual physical specifications of any space. This makes it simple to arrive and equip it with a standard package of automation solutions. That’s probably how Amazon blanketed the US with over 400 new DCs in just the last two years. They waste no time or money on repeating unnecessary decisions along the way. 

Now, we all can’t have the resources of an Amazon. However, the rise of on-demand warehousing companies like Stord and Flexe allow organizations to dramatically decrease the cycle time of standing up additional fulfillment capability.

Developing an automation strategy will feel familiar. It begins with benchmarking, order profiling, current performance drivers, EBIT targets, and theoretical evaluations of newer technology options. All this leads to the creation of a decision framework for DC automation. The goal here is achieving alignment among the leadership on critical capabilities to focus on. These include rapid fulfillment, labor shortage, capacity constraints, safety challenges, or sustainability. Those that commit to this process will start slowly but finish with a strategy that will underpin thousands of decisions and enable sustained rapid growth.

If, in the end, you decide that automation is not right for your operation, that’s a perfectly valid strategy as well. So long as you have a method to evaluate all of your options, and you base your decision on cost-service-sustainability trade-offs, the right strategy for your organization may be no automation at all.


There’s no point in chasing shiny robotic objects if automation makes little sense‌.

The rise of automation and the multitude of technologies to choose from require the development of a strategic decision framework. Contact us and see how Chainalytics – an NTT DATA company – can be your guide in developing this critical part of your foundation for growth. Our top supply chain talent, enabled by proven, leading-edge digital assets – tools, methods, and content – deliver actionable insights and measurable outcomes to some of today’s largest and most complex supply chains.

Spotlight

Sony DADC

"Sony DADC is a full-service technology and solution provider for optical media, offering services from the traditional replication business to advanced solutions. Our services are: web-based business solutions, audio and video postproduction, DVD, UMD and Blu-ray Disc authoring, digital rights management, graphic design, mastering, replication, label printing, packaging, distribution and fulfillment. Therefore, Sony DADC is the partner for complete solutions for the music, video, games, software and information industries. Through the worldwide network of production facilities, Sony DADC has the capability of providing solutions on a global scale."

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Software and Technology, Supply Chain

Top Certifications for Distribution & Warehousing Logistics Professionals

Article | July 18, 2022

Maintain a competitive advantage by effectively managing supply chain. Discover the potential opportunities and enhance the career in logistics with warehousing and distribution certificates. The rapidly changing and fiercely competitive business landscape necessitates that professionals must go an extra mile to maintain a leading edge and propel their careers forward. Taking the initiative to pursue warehousing and logistics certifications can significantly boost your career. By obtaining a recognized designation, you demonstrate a steadfast dedication to your profession, enhancing your appeal to potential employers. Furthermore, earning a respected certification can open doors to advancement opportunities and increase making potential within your current organization. Moreover, pursuing ongoing education offers rewards, keeping you engaged and ensuring you remain at the forefront of industry developments. 1. Supply Chain Warehousing Certificate Supply Chain Warehousing Certificate is a comprehensive program for individuals seeking expertise in warehousing and logistics. Developed by ASCM and Prologis, it covers essential topics such as inventory management, packaging, shipping, and sustainability in logistics. This self-paced course offers flexibility and can be accessed on mobile devices. Earning one of the exclusive warehousing and distribution certifications demonstrates your knowledge and expertise in managing inventory and helps you stand out in the competitive job market. Employers will recognize your ability to handle shipping processes, improve order fulfilment, and make informed transportation decisions. 2. SAP Extended Warehouse Management Training Enhance your expertise in warehousing management with this top-tier online certification course. Gain in-depth knowledge of extended warehouse management, including warehousing structures, expert data, and warehouse organization. This warehousing and distribution course includes techniques for processing received and shipping goods, slotting, replenishment methods, and physical inventory. Delivered through video and text-based modules, it provides comprehensive warehousing and distribution center operations training. In addition, this course will expand your career opportunities and help you excel in the dynamic field of warehousing management. 3. Storage and Distribution Certification Storage and Distribution Certification is a complete course that addresses the critical need for supply chain safety and integrity in today's complex logistics landscape. This supply chain warehousing certificate is focused on distribution and is designed for warehousing, logistics, and supply chain management professionals. The program covers supply chain visibility, risk management, and optimizing physical-flow networks. There are no specific eligibility criteria for this course, making it accessible to a wide range of individuals seeking to enhance their skills and knowledge. By obtaining this one amongst many warehousing certifications in this course , you'll be equipped with the expertise to mitigate supply chain vulnerabilities, improve operational resilience, and meet the evolving demands of the modern marketplace. 4. Certified International Warehouse and Inventory Manager The Certified International Warehouse & Inventory Manager certification offered by Blue Ocean Academy in Dubai and Abu Dhabi provides professionals with comprehensive training in warehouse management. Blue Ocean Academy, recognized as an industry leader in this field, offers the best warehouse and inventory management training courses. The Warehouse Management Certification Program focuses on the strategic role of warehousing within the broader context of supply chain management and logistics. Participants will gain knowledge and skills in the latest methods for storing and safeguarding high-value inventories and best practices for modern warehousing. The program also covers techniques to achieve accurate record-keeping and successful cycle counting, methods for conducting warehouse audits, and the operational and financial performance aspects of warehousing. 5. Warehouse Excellence Certification (WAREX) Developed by the Institute of Supply Chain Management (IoSCM), Warehouse Excellence Certification (WAREX) helps to elevate your warehousing career. This logistics warehousing and distribution program offers a range of qualifications catering to professionals at various stages of their logistics, warehousing, and distribution journeys. WAREX covers a broad spectrum of skills and knowledge, from entry-level to strategic management positions. Whether you're new to the industry or a seasoned professional, this certification equips you with the expertise to optimize warehouse operations, enhance inventory management, and drive overall supply chain efficiency. 6. Six Sigma Certification in Warehousing: Overview & Career Options Six Sigma Certification in warehousing is a specialized program that equips professionals with the tools and methodologies to optimize warehouse operations, eliminate defects, and achieve near-perfect efficiency levels of 99.997%. By applying Six Sigma processes, businesses can identify and solve warehouse problems, resulting in improved customer satisfaction, increased revenue, reduced errors, efficient inventory management, and enhanced overall profitability. With this warehouse certification program, you'll stand out in the job market with higher employability, salary potential, and opportunities with renowned companies like Amazon, Samsung, Boeing, FedEx, DHL, and UPS. 7. Certified International Warehouse & Inventory Manager This certificate in warehousing management is specifically designed to equip professionals with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in the dynamic world of warehouse operations. This program covers a wide range of essential topics, from strategic warehouse management to inventory optimization and sustainable practices. Participants will learn about warehouse design, storage techniques, materials handling, inventory control, performance measurement, warehouse management systems, risk management, and sustainability. This warehousing and logistics certification is ideal for warehouse managers, logistics professionals, supply chain executives, and individuals seeking to enhance their expertise in warehouse operations. 8. WHSEOPSCERT - Warehouse Operations Certificate The Warehouse Operations Certificate program offers essential training to develop fundamental warehousing skills and gain certifications in material handling equipment. This program is crafted to enhance participants' employability within the warehousing and distribution industries. It covers various topics, including warehouse operations, supply chain fundamentals, order fulfillment, shipping concepts, and lift truck certification training. The courses provide a comprehensive understanding of warehouse functions, inventory management, storage procedures, supply chain principles, and problem-solving strategies. Upon completion, graduates will be equipped for entry-level positions such as Order Puller, Warehouse Technician, Logistics Analyst, and more. 9. JHSC Certification Part Two - Warehousing & Distribution The JHSC Certification Part Two - Warehousing & Distribution is an essential training program designed to equip participants with the knowledge and skills to recognize and control hazards within their warehousing and distribution workplaces. After completing both Part One and Part Two training, this certification is the final step in becoming a certified member of a Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC). Aligned with the Ministry of Labour's JHSC Certification Training Program Standard, this interactive 2-day course strengthens participants' understanding of the RACE process (Recognition, Assessment, Control, and Evaluation) for all workplace hazards. Delivered by experienced health and safety experts familiar with the industry, this training covers sector-specific risks such as MSDs, slips and falls, motor vehicle incidents, unguarded machinery, unsafe material handling, and hazardous chemicals. Completing this certification ensures compliance with legal requirements, empowers individuals to make informed decisions regarding workplace safety, and enhances overall hazard management in the warehousing and distribution sector. 10. Warehouse Distribution, Continuing Education Workforce Certificate Warehouse Distribution Continuing Education Workforce Certificate is a comprehensive training program to equip individuals with the necessary skills for higher-skilled, frontline material handling roles within the supply chain industry. Ideal for individuals seeking employment in various supply chain facilities, such as warehouses, distribution centers, and transporters, this program prepares students for different job positions, including forklift operators, logistics specialists, freight handlers, and customer support representatives. By completing this certificate, learners will not only gain essential knowledge in waste reduction, logistics security, and forklift safety, but they will also have the opportunity to obtain the Certified Logistics Associate (CLA) credential from the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) and other relevant certificates. This certification provides a concrete foundation for entry-level careers in the logistics field and offers individuals a competitive edge in the job market. Conclusion Logistics and supply chain management professionals thrive on the exhilarating pace of constant change. Each day brings fresh challenges, opportunities, and innovative tools that enhance tracking, analysis, forecasting, and more. By actively pursuing a logistics or supply chain certification and diligently fulfilling the required continuing education hours, ensure that you remain at the forefront of these exciting industry advancements. This commitment positions you to leverage the latest insights and technologies, allowing you to optimize and streamline your supply chains for maximum efficiency. As a result, you stay ahead of the curve and empower your organization to achieve peak performance and drive continued success. Embrace the transformative power of certifications and embark on a journey of growth and excellence in logistics and supply chain management.

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Software and Technology, Logistics

Shelves to Success: Essential Distribution & Warehousing Reads

Article | July 16, 2022

Explore the techniques to improve warehousing and distribution centre. Learn from the best books of logistics and distribution management and enhance warehousing operations and distribution processes. Efficient warehouse management is crucial in the complex world of distribution and logistics. With various warehouse types serving different purposes, warehouse managers are responsible for ensuring smooth operations, safeguarding valuable goods, and optimizing supply chain units. Building a strong knowledge base is key, and the best way to start is by delving into the top warehouse management books. This article presents a curated list of essential reads that will provide you with a solid foundation in the warehouse and distribution field. From understanding fundamentals to exploring cutting-edge practices, these books help in better decision-making regarding warehousing and distribution operations. 1. Fundamentals of Warehousing & Distribution Author Name: Material Handling Industry Fundamentals of Warehousing & Distribution is an essential book for professionals in the warehousing and distribution industry. Published as part of the MHI Career & Technical Education Program, this series of four warehouse management books provides comprehensive knowledge on material handling equipment, information technology tools, and warehouse operations. Volume 1 serves as a foundational guide, introducing readers to modern warehouses and distribution centers' equipment, processes, and operations. With its focus on practical knowledge and industry best practices, this warehouse and distribution book provides readers with the skills and expertise necessary for successful warehouse and distribution management. 2. Warehousing and Distribution Practices Author Name: xu ji ying Divided into two parts, Warehousing and Distribution Practices covers seven key areas of the real-world processes for managing storage and implementation of effective distribution strategies. This distribution management book focus on essential knowledge and skills, each section provides valuable insights through logistics standard terms, case studies, knowledge links, and practical application. As one of the best books on logistics and distribution management, it will give you the complete step-by-step guidance to expand and improve warehousing and distribution centre by leveraging the theory shared by xu ji ying. 3. Warehousing And Distribution Management Project Type Tutorial Author Name: Wang Yu Warehousing and Distribution Management Project Type Tutorial, a logistics and supply chain management book, revolutionize logistics education with its innovative approach. This comprehensive book goes beyond traditional teaching methods, immersing readers in real-world scenarios and practical projects. Through eleven immersive teaching projects and thirty-two dynamic learning tasks, readers gain hands-on experience in system planning, business management, quality control, inventory operations, technology application, and more. Developed in collaboration with industry experts, this tutorial bridges the gap between theory and practice, empowering logistics professionals to navigate the complexities of warehouse and distribution management. With its unique project-based structure, this warehousing and distribution book delivers a transformative learning experience for aspiring logistics and supply chain industry leaders. 4. Fundamentals of Warehousing & Distribution: Volume 3 Author Name: MHI Fundamentals of Warehousing & Distribution, a logistics and supply chain management book revolutionizes how logistics professionals perceive warehouses. By delving into captivating case study examples, this book unveils the intricacies of different warehouse configurations, showcasing how cutting-edge equipment and technologies empower diverse order fulfilment strategies. It challenges conventional wisdom by emphasizing that warehouses are no longer mere storage spaces; they have transformed into dynamic hubs that efficiently cater to a wide range of order types, from bulk shipments to individual products. With its ground-breaking insights and practical applications, this volume is a game-changer for industry experts seeking to elevate their warehousing and distribution management skills. 5. Warehouse Distribution and Operations Handbook Author Name: David Mulcahy Optimize warehouse operations with this warehouse and distribution management book, Warehouse Distribution and Operations Handbook. With a focus on improving inventory management, reducing costs and enhancing customer experiences, this handbook offers best practices, methods, equipment applications and technologies to utilize in different warehouse and distribution centres. Whether it's industrial, mail-order, or retail facilities, this comprehensive logistics and distribution management book provides the knowledge and strategies to drive profitability and control assets. It is an essential resource for anyone in the logistics industry looking to master distribution management and excel in warehouse operations. 6. Warehouse and Distribution Centre Author and Editor Name: Robert Mulder & Michiel Kobussen The warehouse and Distribution Centre is a valuable resource for logistics professionals and architects navigating the evolving landscape of warehouse design. This distribution management book addresses designers' pressing challenges, including cost control, technical requirements, and safety considerations. It offers a comprehensive system of theories, guidelines, and design standards, accompanied by a diverse collection of global warehouse and distribution centre projects. Balancing both the ends of practical reference and inspirational examples, this best book for distribution management equips readers with the knowledge and insights needed to create efficient, innovative, and sustainable warehouse and distribution solutions. It is a must-read for anyone involved in warehousing and distribution management. 7. Warehousing and Distribution Operation Practice Author Name: peng jian cheng Rooted in practical vocational education, Warehousing and Distribution Operation Practice is a book that emphasizes integrating theoretical knowledge with functional operations. It provides a hands-on approach to learning, enabling readers to apply their knowledge directly in real-world scenarios. This warehousing and distribution book will give you the required skills and expertise to optimize operational efficiency. With the help of practices shared by peng jian in the warehouse management book, readers will get insights into supply chain management and logistics operations. In addition, it will not only help in improving the processes in the warehouse and distribution but also enhance the overall business. 8. Operations and Supply Chain Management Essentials You Always Wanted to Know Author Name: Vibrant Publishers & Ashley McDonough Overcome the complexities of supply chain management and warehouse operations with Operations and Supply Chain Management Essentials You Always Wanted to Know. This engaging book takes you on a captivating journey through the interconnected world of logistics, unveiling the significance of every step in the process. Through a compelling narrative centred around a fictional company and its consumer product, you'll explore the challenges, decisions, and adaptations supply chain professionals face. Gain a deep understanding of supply chain operations, from disruptive forces to practical applications, and discover the importance of interactive business domains. 9. Start your Own Wholesale Distribution Business Author Name: The Staff of Entrepreneur Media & Christopher Matthew Spencer Embark on a lucrative journey in the distribution industry with 'Start Your Own Wholesale Distribution Business.' This comprehensive guide, crafted by the experts at Entrepreneur Media, equips you with the essential steps to establish a thriving wholesale operation from the comfort of your home. Discover the art of being an intermediary, connecting manufacturers and retailers to reap profits. Uncover industry-specific strategies, secure funding, identify profitable niches, forge valuable partnerships, and effectively market your business. With insights from experienced wholesale distributors, sample forms, checklists, and worksheets, this warehousing and distribution book is your roadmap to mastering the world of distribution and logistics. 10. Warehouse Management: The Definitive Guide to Improving Efficiency and Minimizing Costs in the Morden Warehouse Author Name: Gwynne Richards Discover one of the best books for logistics management in the modern era with 'Warehouse Management: The Definitive Guide to Improving Efficiency and Minimizing Costs in the Modern Warehouse.' This extensively updated fourth edition delves into the latest technologies, such as robotics, cobots, and AI, revolutionizing warehouse operations. Author Gwynne Richards offers expert insights and realistic solutions to optimize warehouse performance and improve efficiency. This effective distribution management book provides strategies and environmental initiatives to ensure a sustainable supply chain. Packed with real case studies and online resources, this book is an essential resource for distribution and logistics professionals. Conclusion Warehousing and distribution books have been a valuable resource for reference in the logistics field. While this compilation is not exhaustive, it offers a robust selection of warehouse management books that can effectively address various related challenges. Whether seeking insights into warehouse and transportation management or exploring other facets of supply chain management, logistics management, and procurement, the knowledge gained will be a worthwhile investment for future decision-making.

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Software and Technology, Logistics

Oracle’s Advice for Modern Supply Chain Chiefs

Article | July 8, 2022

Oracle, a leading provider of computer technology, published a paper analyzing how supply chain managers should use change as a catalyst in "inspiring and engaging employees." In the report, Oracle highlights how organizations across the world are going through radical shifts in the way they operate. Customers need quick, convenient, and customized solutions today. Employees also have higher expectations, looking for companies that are a match for their values, provide flexible working arrangements, and offer cutting-edge tools. Shareholders and investors also want more, which forces businesses to focus on making money in ways that are sustainable and diverse. See Change as an Opportunity The companies that are most successful, according to Oracle, are those who see change as just another opportunity to reinvent, and the company lists four ways supply chain leaders might find such an opportunity: Boost employee engagement Aim for sustainability and responsibility in management Be quick to respond to disruptions in the supply chain Exceed consumer expectations In the paper, Oracle reports that instead of adapting to the change, organizations must be able to stay on top of challenges and prepare well in advance. Align with an Employee-Centred Culture Leaders must be able to attract well-matched talent, with the skills to not just fulfil job roles but also drive innovation. Today, people value a work-life balance where they have time to pursue their non-work interests, spend time with their families, and create a diverse, and inclusive world. According to Oracle, this is a significant consideration, and organizations that meet the demands of this new workforce will have a competitive edge in hiring the top talent. Looking Forward The Great Resignation has been a hot topic in HR, but the truth is it affects all aspects of business, and importantly, the supply chain, and in the end, the ability to provide smooth customer experiences. HR, customer experience, and supply chain leaders must synergize to become an employer destination to reckon with in order to succeed.

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Schneider Electric for suppliers

Article | June 27, 2020

At Schneider Electric, meeting our customers’ expectations is a key priority. As concern over COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) grows, we are monitoring developments to this situation globally, as well as following local health and government regulations, continually assessing and responding to changes. Our Business Continuity Plan (BCP) has been tested and implemented in geographies impacted. This plan includes health and safety, supply chain, lifecycle management services, and IT infrastructure. Schneider Electric operations meet the criteria of an essential critical infrastructure as defined by most governments. While we do not anticipate interruptions to our operations, local governments may require temporary containment measures. In these cases, we comply with local laws, and in most cases seek support from local authorities to maintain critical business operations as an essential business for our communities.

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Sony DADC

"Sony DADC is a full-service technology and solution provider for optical media, offering services from the traditional replication business to advanced solutions. Our services are: web-based business solutions, audio and video postproduction, DVD, UMD and Blu-ray Disc authoring, digital rights management, graphic design, mastering, replication, label printing, packaging, distribution and fulfillment. Therefore, Sony DADC is the partner for complete solutions for the music, video, games, software and information industries. Through the worldwide network of production facilities, Sony DADC has the capability of providing solutions on a global scale."

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Logistics, Supply Chain, Transportation

AIT Worldwide Logistics Acquires Global Transport Solutions Group

Business Wire | February 05, 2024

AIT Worldwide Logistics, one of the world’s leaders in global supply chain solutions, has acquired Global Transport Solutions Group (GTS), a prominent international freight forwarder specializing in time-critical marine spare parts logistics. Headquartered in the Netherlands, GTS and its more than 600 teammates across 16 locations in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America, serve over 2,000 ports around the world. The GTS network also includes nine consolidation hubs totaling more than 45,000 square meters of warehouse space. AIT Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Vaughn Moore, said, “I’d like to welcome our new GTS teammates to the global AIT network. This is the largest acquisition in our company’s history and GTS’ marine spare parts business is an excellent complement to AIT’s time-critical supply chain solutions.” The company’s business is divided into two sub-brands: Marinetrans (founded in 1991), excelling in “door-to-deck” spare parts logistics for ship owners and managers, and Best Global Logistics (founded in 2007), providing time-critical solutions and general forwarding for other industries, including life sciences shippers. According to AIT’s Chief Business Officer, Greg Weigel, the acquisition provides the company with new geographic presence in Greece, Japan and the Nordic region while adding significant capacity and subject matter expertise to existing AIT networks in China, the Netherlands and Singapore. The deal also provides a strong foundation to expand GTS’ world-class marine spare parts solutions via AIT’s expansive global freight network. “The acquisition of GTS creates an incredible portfolio of solutions serving the maritime industry with delivery of time-critical spare parts across all geographies. This is a perfect complement to AIT’s vertical strategies focused on expedited mission-critical services like our Critical Solutions Group, government and AOG team, and Life Sciences Division,” Weigel said. “We plan to rapidly invest and expand GTS’ North American operations by capitalizing on AIT’s robust salesforce in the United States and offering maritime customers a world-class spare parts logistics solution in every port.” AIT President and Chief Operating Officer, Keith Tholan, noted that the GTS core values – customer first, operational excellence, and partnership and collaboration – closely mirror AIT’s core values. “We are delighted to welcome GTS teammates to AIT,” Tholan said. “Their deep marine logistics expertise and three decades of proven on-time performance in a very demanding segment will complement the diverse solutions we offer across our vertical sector strategy. We also expect our best-in-class global air freight procurement will instantly benefit their time-critical operations.” According to GTS co-CEO John Burgstra, the acquisition is an opportunity for GTS to further expand their worldwide operations. “We aim to provide our clients an unrivaled experience when it comes to global visibility, transparency and on-time performance, fully unburdening them of the required logistical handling of their vessels’ spare parts,” he said. “We are excited about becoming part of a larger group and the global development opportunities this acquisition will provide for our teammates.” “Because of the highly fragmented and international nature of our clients’ requirements, they need a trusted partner with a vetted and effective global network,” added GTS co-CEO Vegard Prytz. “GTS will gain enormous benefits from leveraging the global AIT infrastructure, creating an even more integrated and seamless solution for clients around the world.”

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Operations, Supply Chain, Transportation

CPKC Joins RailPulse Coalition Driving Innovation in Railcar Telematics

PR Newswire | February 02, 2024

Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) today announced its membership in the RailPulse Coalition. RailPulse, founded by a dynamic consortium of forward-thinking railcar owners, is working to develop, broaden and accelerate the use of GPS and other telematics technologies on railcars that increase safety, efficiency, and visibility across North America's freight rail industry. CPKC becomes the third Class I railroad and 10th member of the coalition, joining Bunge North America, GATX, Genesee & Wyoming Inc., Norfolk Southern Corporation, Railroad Development Corporation, The Greenbrier Companies, TrinityRail, Union Pacific Railroad, and Watco Companies LLC. "We are pleased to be a part of RailPulse and to contribute to accelerating adoption of railcar telemetry in North America," said John Brooks, CPKC Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. "This collaboration aligns with our commitment to innovation and will play an important role in modernizing our customer experience and provide benefits to the entire supply chain by advancing safety and improving operations." The key objectives of RailPulse include: Industry Wide Telematics Infrastructure: The initiative facilitates collaboration among industry players by creating a secure, trusted, standardized, and vendor neutral railcar telematics infrastructure that spans the entire North American freight rail industry. Data-Driven Transformation: By building an information infrastructure that harnesses data from GPS and railcar-mounted sensors and prioritizing data standardization and storage in the cloud, RailPulse focuses on delivering actionable insights enabling enhance service levels, visibility, safety, sustainability, and productivity. Enhanced Service through Visibility: Through RailPulse, the integration of telematic sensors on railcars enables the generation of valuable data, empowering shippers with real-time visibility of railcar and goods movements to make informed decisions and optimize their operations. "We welcome CPKC to the RailPulse Coalition. Together, we will drive transformative change in the rail sector by combining our strengths and fostering a culture of innovation," said David Shannon, General Manager of RailPulse. "This partnership underscores our commitment to shaping the future of rail transportation." Response from RailPulse Members: "The Board of RailPulse is very excited to welcome CPKC," said Mike McClellan, RailPulse Board Chair and Sr. VP &Chief Strategy Officer at Norfolk Southern. "CPKC brings a breadth of railroading knowledge to the table, and the insights that CPKC will be able to contribute from operating in 3 countries will be invaluable as we drive RailPulse to serve all of North America." Forward looking information This news release contains certain forward-looking information and forward-looking statements (collectively, "forward-looking information") within the meaning of applicable securities laws in both the U.S. and Canada. Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to, statements concerning expectations, beliefs, plans, goals, objectives, assumptions and statements about possible future events, conditions, and results of operations or performance. Forward-looking information may contain statements with words or headings such as "financial expectations", "key assumptions", "will", "anticipate", "believe", "expect", "plan", "should", "commit", "outlook", "guidance" or similar words suggesting future outcomes. This news release contains forward-looking information relating, but not limited, to statements about future technology and the potential for telematics technologies to increase safety, efficiency, and visibility across North America's freight rail industry and CPKC's expected benefits from such future technology. The forward-looking information contained in this news release is based on current expectations, estimates, projections, and assumptions, having regard to CPKC's experience and its perception of historical trends. Forward-looking information involves many inherent risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information, including but not limited to the factors that are detailed from time to time in reports filed by CPKC with securities regulators in Canada and with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the United States. Reference should be made to "Item 1A - Risk Factors" and "Item 7 - Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Forward-Looking Statements" in CPKC's annual and interim reports on Form 10-K and 10-Q. Any forward-looking information contained in this news release is made as of the date hereof. Except as required by law, CPKC undertakes no obligation to update publicly or otherwise revise any forward-looking information, or the foregoing assumptions and risks affecting such forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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Operations, Warehousing and Distribution

LA Kings Partner with Lexani Performance Tires

PR Newswire | January 26, 2024

Turbo Wholesale Tires, and two-time Stanley Cup Champions, the LA Kings have announced a powerful brand partnership. As part of the multi-year agreement, brokered by AEG Global Partnerships, Lexani Performance Tires will become an official partner of the LA Kings, reaching millions of passionate sports fans. As an official partner of the LA Kings, Lexani Performance Tires will have the unique opportunity to engage fans each week during the season as a presenting sponsor of the LA Kings "Game Preview," which will appear on the team's official social channels. Lexani Performance Tire will also benefit from in-arena signage via dasher boards and scoreboard branding during all LA Kings home games at Crypto.com Arena. "We are proud to partner with the LA Kings and their global fanbase," said Phillip Kane, CEO of Turbo Wholesale Tires. "The Kings have a strong international brand and passionate following, we look forward to introducing their supporters to Lexani Performance Tire products." Turbo Wholesale Tires has been a trusted tire supplier, leading the industry with a strong emphasis and understanding of the independent tire dealer. Turbo Wholesale Tires has evolved into a national and international supplier of its proprietary brands, Lexani Performance Tire, RBP Tires and Lionhart Tires. With nearly a million square feet of warehouse space nationwide, Turbo Wholesale Tires continues to exceed the needs of its tire customers. "We are honored to be teaming up with Lexani Performance Tires," said Josh Veilleux, senior vice president, AEG Global Partnerships. "This collaboration not only brings a renowned tire supplier into our Kings family, but also introduces new ways for our fans to interact with its brand. We look forward to the positive impact this new partnership will bring to the team, Lexani Performance Tires and our incredible community of fans."

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Logistics, Supply Chain, Transportation

AIT Worldwide Logistics Acquires Global Transport Solutions Group

Business Wire | February 05, 2024

AIT Worldwide Logistics, one of the world’s leaders in global supply chain solutions, has acquired Global Transport Solutions Group (GTS), a prominent international freight forwarder specializing in time-critical marine spare parts logistics. Headquartered in the Netherlands, GTS and its more than 600 teammates across 16 locations in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America, serve over 2,000 ports around the world. The GTS network also includes nine consolidation hubs totaling more than 45,000 square meters of warehouse space. AIT Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Vaughn Moore, said, “I’d like to welcome our new GTS teammates to the global AIT network. This is the largest acquisition in our company’s history and GTS’ marine spare parts business is an excellent complement to AIT’s time-critical supply chain solutions.” The company’s business is divided into two sub-brands: Marinetrans (founded in 1991), excelling in “door-to-deck” spare parts logistics for ship owners and managers, and Best Global Logistics (founded in 2007), providing time-critical solutions and general forwarding for other industries, including life sciences shippers. According to AIT’s Chief Business Officer, Greg Weigel, the acquisition provides the company with new geographic presence in Greece, Japan and the Nordic region while adding significant capacity and subject matter expertise to existing AIT networks in China, the Netherlands and Singapore. The deal also provides a strong foundation to expand GTS’ world-class marine spare parts solutions via AIT’s expansive global freight network. “The acquisition of GTS creates an incredible portfolio of solutions serving the maritime industry with delivery of time-critical spare parts across all geographies. This is a perfect complement to AIT’s vertical strategies focused on expedited mission-critical services like our Critical Solutions Group, government and AOG team, and Life Sciences Division,” Weigel said. “We plan to rapidly invest and expand GTS’ North American operations by capitalizing on AIT’s robust salesforce in the United States and offering maritime customers a world-class spare parts logistics solution in every port.” AIT President and Chief Operating Officer, Keith Tholan, noted that the GTS core values – customer first, operational excellence, and partnership and collaboration – closely mirror AIT’s core values. “We are delighted to welcome GTS teammates to AIT,” Tholan said. “Their deep marine logistics expertise and three decades of proven on-time performance in a very demanding segment will complement the diverse solutions we offer across our vertical sector strategy. We also expect our best-in-class global air freight procurement will instantly benefit their time-critical operations.” According to GTS co-CEO John Burgstra, the acquisition is an opportunity for GTS to further expand their worldwide operations. “We aim to provide our clients an unrivaled experience when it comes to global visibility, transparency and on-time performance, fully unburdening them of the required logistical handling of their vessels’ spare parts,” he said. “We are excited about becoming part of a larger group and the global development opportunities this acquisition will provide for our teammates.” “Because of the highly fragmented and international nature of our clients’ requirements, they need a trusted partner with a vetted and effective global network,” added GTS co-CEO Vegard Prytz. “GTS will gain enormous benefits from leveraging the global AIT infrastructure, creating an even more integrated and seamless solution for clients around the world.”

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Operations, Supply Chain, Transportation

CPKC Joins RailPulse Coalition Driving Innovation in Railcar Telematics

PR Newswire | February 02, 2024

Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) today announced its membership in the RailPulse Coalition. RailPulse, founded by a dynamic consortium of forward-thinking railcar owners, is working to develop, broaden and accelerate the use of GPS and other telematics technologies on railcars that increase safety, efficiency, and visibility across North America's freight rail industry. CPKC becomes the third Class I railroad and 10th member of the coalition, joining Bunge North America, GATX, Genesee & Wyoming Inc., Norfolk Southern Corporation, Railroad Development Corporation, The Greenbrier Companies, TrinityRail, Union Pacific Railroad, and Watco Companies LLC. "We are pleased to be a part of RailPulse and to contribute to accelerating adoption of railcar telemetry in North America," said John Brooks, CPKC Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. "This collaboration aligns with our commitment to innovation and will play an important role in modernizing our customer experience and provide benefits to the entire supply chain by advancing safety and improving operations." The key objectives of RailPulse include: Industry Wide Telematics Infrastructure: The initiative facilitates collaboration among industry players by creating a secure, trusted, standardized, and vendor neutral railcar telematics infrastructure that spans the entire North American freight rail industry. Data-Driven Transformation: By building an information infrastructure that harnesses data from GPS and railcar-mounted sensors and prioritizing data standardization and storage in the cloud, RailPulse focuses on delivering actionable insights enabling enhance service levels, visibility, safety, sustainability, and productivity. Enhanced Service through Visibility: Through RailPulse, the integration of telematic sensors on railcars enables the generation of valuable data, empowering shippers with real-time visibility of railcar and goods movements to make informed decisions and optimize their operations. "We welcome CPKC to the RailPulse Coalition. Together, we will drive transformative change in the rail sector by combining our strengths and fostering a culture of innovation," said David Shannon, General Manager of RailPulse. "This partnership underscores our commitment to shaping the future of rail transportation." Response from RailPulse Members: "The Board of RailPulse is very excited to welcome CPKC," said Mike McClellan, RailPulse Board Chair and Sr. VP &Chief Strategy Officer at Norfolk Southern. "CPKC brings a breadth of railroading knowledge to the table, and the insights that CPKC will be able to contribute from operating in 3 countries will be invaluable as we drive RailPulse to serve all of North America." Forward looking information This news release contains certain forward-looking information and forward-looking statements (collectively, "forward-looking information") within the meaning of applicable securities laws in both the U.S. and Canada. Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to, statements concerning expectations, beliefs, plans, goals, objectives, assumptions and statements about possible future events, conditions, and results of operations or performance. Forward-looking information may contain statements with words or headings such as "financial expectations", "key assumptions", "will", "anticipate", "believe", "expect", "plan", "should", "commit", "outlook", "guidance" or similar words suggesting future outcomes. This news release contains forward-looking information relating, but not limited, to statements about future technology and the potential for telematics technologies to increase safety, efficiency, and visibility across North America's freight rail industry and CPKC's expected benefits from such future technology. The forward-looking information contained in this news release is based on current expectations, estimates, projections, and assumptions, having regard to CPKC's experience and its perception of historical trends. Forward-looking information involves many inherent risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information, including but not limited to the factors that are detailed from time to time in reports filed by CPKC with securities regulators in Canada and with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the United States. Reference should be made to "Item 1A - Risk Factors" and "Item 7 - Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Forward-Looking Statements" in CPKC's annual and interim reports on Form 10-K and 10-Q. Any forward-looking information contained in this news release is made as of the date hereof. Except as required by law, CPKC undertakes no obligation to update publicly or otherwise revise any forward-looking information, or the foregoing assumptions and risks affecting such forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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Operations, Warehousing and Distribution

LA Kings Partner with Lexani Performance Tires

PR Newswire | January 26, 2024

Turbo Wholesale Tires, and two-time Stanley Cup Champions, the LA Kings have announced a powerful brand partnership. As part of the multi-year agreement, brokered by AEG Global Partnerships, Lexani Performance Tires will become an official partner of the LA Kings, reaching millions of passionate sports fans. As an official partner of the LA Kings, Lexani Performance Tires will have the unique opportunity to engage fans each week during the season as a presenting sponsor of the LA Kings "Game Preview," which will appear on the team's official social channels. Lexani Performance Tire will also benefit from in-arena signage via dasher boards and scoreboard branding during all LA Kings home games at Crypto.com Arena. "We are proud to partner with the LA Kings and their global fanbase," said Phillip Kane, CEO of Turbo Wholesale Tires. "The Kings have a strong international brand and passionate following, we look forward to introducing their supporters to Lexani Performance Tire products." Turbo Wholesale Tires has been a trusted tire supplier, leading the industry with a strong emphasis and understanding of the independent tire dealer. Turbo Wholesale Tires has evolved into a national and international supplier of its proprietary brands, Lexani Performance Tire, RBP Tires and Lionhart Tires. With nearly a million square feet of warehouse space nationwide, Turbo Wholesale Tires continues to exceed the needs of its tire customers. "We are honored to be teaming up with Lexani Performance Tires," said Josh Veilleux, senior vice president, AEG Global Partnerships. "This collaboration not only brings a renowned tire supplier into our Kings family, but also introduces new ways for our fans to interact with its brand. We look forward to the positive impact this new partnership will bring to the team, Lexani Performance Tires and our incredible community of fans."

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Events