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IAMC News Briefs—Week of June 12, 2023

By John Salustri

Prologis Among Advocates of Mass Wood

URBAN LAND INSTITUTE—Prologis is constructing a 250,000-square foot warehouse in Brampton, Ont., no surprise there for the world’s largest industrial owner/developer. What’s unique is its construction of mass wood, which is growing in popularity as a steel/concrete substitute in industrial buildings. Those traditional materials are carbon intensive in their manufacture. Mass wood, by comparison, actually absorbs carbon. Mass timber will supply the building’s columns and beams while carbon-friendly Nexxite will form the walls for a total embedded-carbon savings of 79%. It’s all part of the REIT’s plan to hit net zero emissions by 2040. And Prologis is not alone. Affinius Capital and Seefried Industrial Properties are also mass timber pioneers, completing the country’s first mass-wood warehouse outside Dallas late last year.


GM, Samsung Plan $3B EV Plant in N. Indiana

REBUSINESS ONLINE—General Motors Co. and Samsung SDI are pooling their resources on a new EV battery plant to go up in Olive Township, IN. The $3-billion plant will produce prismatic and cylindrical batteries and support some 1,700 jobs when it comes online in 2026. That’s in addition to the 1,000 construction jobs needed to reach completion. GM, which already operates five facilities in Indiana, also plans a $491-million upgrade/expansion of its Marion, IN, facility to support its growing EV business. In addition, the vehicle manufacturer will invest $632 million to upgrade its Fort Wayne assembly plant to support its full-size truck business. For its part, Samsung SDI has committed to sourcing 100% of its renewable energy across all of its worldwide operations by 2050.


Union Pacific, BNSF to Launch New Intermodal Services

TRANSPORT DIVE—In separate moves, Union Pacific and BNSF are crafting plans to increase intermodal services to speed throughput at the Port of Houston. On June 1, Union Pacific launched its strategy, offloading from ships directly to railcars for delivery to Denver, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles and Oakland, CA, and El Paso, TX. The move eliminates a 30-mile trucking route to a Houston rail facility. The next day, BNSF’s strategy came online, connecting to hubs in Denver and Dallas-Fort Worth. Port Houston was the fifth busiest port in the US last year, based on container volume.


DHL Relocates to KC and Doubles Volume, Ups Automation

SUPPLY CHAIN DIVE—A move from St. Louis to Kansas City, MO is opening new doors for DHL e-Commerce Solutions. At 124,700 square feet, the KC asset doubles DHL’s former space and will provide greater domestic volume and broader reach throughout the Midwest. Two automated parcel sorters now process 28,000 parcels per hour to tubs, carts and gaylords. The $18-million move is part of a larger plan to invest $300 million in the US over the next five years.


NAM Lobbies for Responsible AI

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MANUIFACTURERS—Julia Bogue, director of Human Resources and Innovation Policy for NAM, is advocating for responsible application of artificial intelligence (AI). In a recent letter to National Telecommunications and Information Administration Chief Travis Hall, Bogue responded to requests for comment on the NTIA’s efforts to “advance trustworthy AI applications.”  The upshot: federal policies shouldn’t get in the way. Artificial intelligence is transforming manufacturing,” she noted, sighting its growing use for such varied needs as safety, training, efficiency and product design and development.

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