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Today’s Pickup: Testing The Last-Mile Waters; Avoiding The Arctic

delivery network

Good day,

Last-mile delivery of big, bulky goods has high-growth potential but is costly and difficult to pull off. That’s why so few carriers have entered the field despite all the talk of operational synergies. Those who have taken the plunge integrated last-mile deliveries into their core LTL and expedited services in the year prior to expanding their service offerings, according to a research paper from Michigan State University and Miami University of Ohio. By first testing the market, they had an idea as to its sustainability, as well as insight into whether their rivals would move in, the researchers said.

Did you know?:

The Kansas City metro area has the highest number of highway miles per capita, making it a region of drivers. In an effort to elevate other mobility alternatives, the metro area is expected to roll out free bus service in 2020, becoming the first in the nation to do so.


“This would be a role for trains that would make them part of the solution to the current problem, which is our reliance on fossil fuels instead of their current purpose, which is to transport fossil fuels.”

— Mary Paterson, an environmentalist who is leading an effort to electrify the U.S. railroad system, told the Bellevue (Washington) Reporter.

In other news:

More firms agree not to ship through Arctic

Eight more companies have agreed not to ship goods through the Arctic Ocean by signing the Arctic Corporate Shipping Pledge, according to the environmental NGO Ocean Conservancy. The new signatories include Ralph Lauren, top freight forwarder Kuehne + Nagel, PUMA, International Direct Packaging, Allbirds, Aritzia, Hudson Shipping Lines and Bureo. Global warming has been thinning arctic ice for years, making it more navigable for ocean shipping but also raising environmental concerns. (The Maritime Executive)

Auto parts growth overseas

The Middle East and African auto parts aftermarket will grow by 7% a year through 2022, reaching a value of $31 billion by 2022, according to TechSci Research. The demand will come from the addition of 4.3 million vehicles to the 92 million vehicles already in the region. Most of those vehicles will eventually require replacement parts. (Automotive Logistics)

Moving across state lines

Waukegan, Illinois-based Trifinity Specialized Distribution will move later this month to Kenosha, Wisconsin, 16 miles away, where it is leasing a 250,000-square-foot facility from Zilber Property Group. (Milwaukee Business Times)

Not in my backyard

East Allen Township in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley will face off with the Rockefeller Group later this month to determine if a 155-acre parcel should be rezoned to allow for a logistics center. (The Morning Call)

Joint cold chain investment in South Korea

Goldman Sachs & Co. and the holding company of South Korean investment firm SK Group will invest $43 million in Belstar Superfreeze, a developer and operator of cold chain logistics centers. (Korea Herald)

Final thoughts:

The 2010s were marked by, Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) remarkable transformation from book and music seller to full fledged e-tailer and logistics powerhouse. The 2020s will be marked by a massive and collective pushback against Amazon’s encroachment. Guy Bloch, founder of Bringg, an Israeli-based delivery technology platform, is working to assemble a coalition of retailers that will offer an alternative to Amazon.

Bloch said the initiative was not borne out of resentment toward Amazon but admiration. Amazon, he said, has become so formidable that no one company can hope to succeed against it. Rather, it will take a collection of firms to execute what Amazon has accomplished on its own, he said.


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