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IAMC News Briefs—Week of October 2, 2023

By John Salustri

FedEx Tests Trailer Loading Via Robotics

SUPPLY CHAIN DIVE—FedEx is experimenting with automating the truck-loading process via robots controlled by AI. Dexterity AI provides the equipment, DexR, in a system that calls for the bots to move to the back of the trailer and connect to a conveyor. DexR has two arms, increasing throughput. The move is counter-cyclical, reports Supply Chain Dive, since the sale of robots has been declining after record 2021 and 2023 purchases.


Union Pacific Cuts Transit Time

SUPPLY CHAIN DIVE--Union Pacific has reduced transit time on another of its service routes by more than 24 hours. The reduction came on its intermodal service with Canadian National and Ferrromex owner Grupo México, stretching from Eagle Pass, TX to Chicago. This isn’t the first such time reduction for the firm. For instance, service from Monterrey, Mexico to Brampton, Ontario has been cut from 8.1 to 5.1 days since May. Reportedly, the cuts were possible through a redesign of San Antonio connections, increased locomotive power and other applications.


JV Has Sights Set on 3.4M SF in KY

REBUSINESS ONLINE—A JV between Hunt Midwest and Marshall Planning Mill has its eyes on a major, 300-acre project in Simpsonville, KY, a Louisville suburb. The JV will break ground soon on a 3.4-million-square-foot plan, dubbed Simpsonville 64 Logistics Park, on 300 acres. The first phase of the project, two buildings of 207,400 and 486,720 square feet, are set to break ground before the end of the year. CBRE shoulders the leasing chores.


New Project Volume to Temper in ’24 ’25

COMMERCIAL PROPERTY EXECUTIVE—Expect the volume of new industrial builds to slow in the next two years, says CommercialEdge. It’s a natural function of the normalization of the industrial market post-pandemic as well as the ongoing escalation of construction financing costs in an inflationary market. Whatever the driver, new projects “plummeted” this year, to 204.3 million square feet from 614.1 million last year. Buoying the construction outlook, however, is reshoring and onshoring by manufacturers. “Construction spending on manufacturing facilities surged by over 70 percent year-over-year to $202 million in July, driven by government incentives and geopolitical trends,” says CommercialEdge.


Industrial Post-Pandemic, Still a Favored Asset Class

IAMC CORNERSTONE---As the above report shows, the industrial market post-pandemic is cooling, simply a return to more normal conditions rather than a slump. But whether it’s an overhang from the days of COVID or a new awareness on the part of investors, the sector remains tops among investment asset classes. As Colliers reports in its recent study, “Even though demand is cooling off overall, industrial buildings are outperforming other asset classes in terms of investment sales. . . . The share of industrial buildings acquired is notably above average, making up 53% of all sales rather than the 10-year average of 41%.” In fact, sales volume in the first half of 2023 outpaced that of the 2015-2019 average, says Colliers.

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