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IAMC News Briefs—Week of October 30, 2023

By John Salustri

UPS to Facilitate Returns Through New Acquisition

SUPPLY CHAIN DIVE—UPS has plans to acquire Happy Returns from PayPal in a deal expected to close before the end of the year. The acquisition will facilitate frictionless returns for customers, a strategy that times well with the holiday rush. Through the acquired firm’s software and operations, UPS will provide an “easy, digital experience and established drop-off points with UPS’s small package network and footprint of close to 5,200 UPS store locations,” said UPS CEO Carol Tomé in a press release.


Tesla Signs for 115,000 SF Near Seattle

CONNECTCRE—Electric-car maker Tesla has taken up 115,000 square feet in the Seattle suburb of Renton. Featuring a service and collision center, the newly leased asset will be transformed from its prior use as a metal processing and distribution facility.


Biden Selects 31 Tech Hubs

SUPPLY CHAIN DIVE—Thirty-one US regions are slated for transformation into US “tech hubs,” a move by the Biden Administration to ramp up our competitive edge in global innovation. Those centers can now apply for funds ranging from $40 million to $70 million to “supercharge their respective technological industries,” states a news release. Located in 32 states and Puerto Rico, the hubs carry the goals of offering high-paying jobs, strengthening the US supply chain and boosting national economic security.


Lower Water Levels Impact Supply Chain

MAERSK NEWSROOM—“Extended and extreme water levels” are impacting the global flow of goods, reports A.P. Moller-Maersk. “In recent years,” the firm reports, “rivers have started to show signs of longer ‘low water’ periods.” The slowdown is evident, for instance, in the Mississippi River and even the Panama Canal, where “climate change impact, including shifting weather patterns,” have extended the low water-level conditions. The Rhine as well has suffered its own periods of drought, “hindering the sailing of fully loaded vessels.” There are workarounds, however, including rerouting by “skilled logistics service providers.”



$650M EV-Component Plant Coming to NC

COMMERICAL PROPERTY EXECUTIVE—Epsilon Advanced Materials is building a $650-million EV plant in Brunswick, NC, a Wilmington suburb. Spanning 1.5 million square feet, the facility is slated to come out of the ground next year and begin operations in 2026. Epsilon is an India-based firm, and this venture, geared to produce graphite anode at a rate of 50,000 tons a year, will provide for some 500 new jobs.

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