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IAMC News Briefs—Week of May 15, 2023

By John Salustri

Walmart, Union Pacific Add Their Names to DOT’s Data Exchange

SUPPLY CHAIN DIVE—IAMC members Walmart and Union Pacific are joining some 53 end-to-end supply chain firms in the Freight Logistics Optimization Works initiative (FLOW) being launched by the Department of Transportation. Costco is also a recent addition to the program, which is designed to aggregate data such as terminal slots, chassis numbers, warehouse space and shipper purchase orders, all to increase visibility and efficiency in the flow of goods. The hope, in part, is to avoid the sort of catastrophic supply-chain disruptions of the pandemic years in advance of any further havoc.


IAMC Members Explore Mexican Opportunities, Stresses

IAMC CORNERSTONE—A deep dive into Mexico’s supply chain viability was in full view during IAMC’s recent meeting in Monterrey. As just one example from the presentations offered there, Cushman & Wakefield reported that, much like in the US, new construction is destined to soften as the economy continues to struggle. Of course, this also means that the cost of construction materials is starting to slip as well, with lumber dropping 38%; cement by 15%; and steel by 13%. Meanwhile, Hickey & Associates pointed to the expected growth in appeal our neighbor to the south will enjoy as “an alternative service, financial and manufacturing base,” leveraging the record it gained during the pandemic. The firm pointed to the country’s “world class infrastructure,” and cited economic, demographic, labor, investment and business conditions as further incentives. For more on Mexico, click the link.


Werner, NTI Track Moderation in Driver Pay Hikes

TRANSPORT DIVE—The growth of driver pay seems to be moderating, at least a bit. This according to Werner Enterprises CEO, Chairman and President Derek Leathers in a recent earnings call. His stance was reinforced by numbers from the National Transportation Research Institute (NTI), which reported a 6% Q1 increase, which Transport Dive labeled a “subdued increase” when compared to COVID-era hikes. But turnover is still a challenge, and steps to combat this, such as elevated sign-on and referral bonuses, are still part of the remuneration picture.


Wonderful Real Estate Breaks Ground on 1.1M SF

REBUSINESS ONLINE—A new spec industrial development, pacing out to 1.1 million square feet, is breaking ground in Shafter, CA. Wonderful Industrial Park, named after developer Wonderful Real Estate (WRE), is the fifth spec project the firm has mounted in as many years. Simultaneously, WRE is also putting the wraps on a 415,000 spec building in the park, to be delivered in the first half of next year.


Specialized Freight Carriers Takes 134,400 SF in FL

COMMERCIAL OBSERVER—Third-party logistics firm Specialized Freight Carriers has inked a deal for 134,400 square feet—a full-building lease—in Weston Commerce Park in Fort Lauderdale. Asking rates in the area hover around $14.88 per foot, a year-over-year increase of 1.3%. The class A asset features 30-foot ceilings and both dock-height and drive-in loading. Cushman & Wakefield spoke for owner EastGroup Properties, while Synergy Industrial represented Specialized.

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