Kenco Logistics announces 10,000 sq ft expansion of supply chain innovation lab
This week, Kenco Logistics, a third party supply chain management and logistics company headquartered in Chattanooga, Tennessee, announced its plans to dramatically expand the company’s Supply Chain Innovation Lab. The lab, originally opened in 2015, has been an invaluable asset to Kenco as a forum for collaboration with its customers to identify, research, and prototype leading-edge ideas and processes.
The new dedicated warehouse facility will cover 10,000 sq ft and serve as a test facility for potential supply chain management solutions and technological advances, giving Kenco supply chain professionals a controlled environment to enhance accuracy, sustainability and improve implementation speeds.
“We are dedicated to leading the digital transformation of the supply chain,” said Denis Reilly, President and CEO, Kenco Logistic Services. “The Innovation Lab is one example of our commitment to providing well-vetted cutting-edge technologies to our customers, allowing them to achieve improved performance and enhanced supply chain value.”
The space will be occupied by a range of technology and supply chain experts, and is reportedly large enough that multiple new solutions can be tested at once.
The first technologies that will be brought into the space include NextShift Robotics, a fundamentally unique autonomous mobile robotics solution; Stocked Robotics, a provider of a cloud-based AI platform and software suite that transforms existing manual fleets of material handling vehicles into autonomous swarms; and LogistiVIEW, an AI and vision-driven picking software for smart glasses.
“In the logistics industry, experience is the new differentiator and the opening of the Kenco Innovation Lab facility will only heighten our industry experience and insight,” said Kristi Montgomery, Vice President of Innovation at Kenco. “Our work in the Innovation Lab has already brought value to our customers. This lab facility will provide a formal space to review, research and promote technology to only further assist in our goal to provide the greatest insight to our customers.”
Uber Freight to Acquire Transplace in $2.2bn Deal
Uber Freight is to acquire logistics technology and solutions provider Transplace in a deal worth $2.25bn.
The company will pay up to $750m in common stock and the remainder in cash to TPG Capital, Transplace’s private equity owner, pending regulatory approval and closing conditions.
“This is a significant step forward, not just for Uber Freight but for the entire logistics ecosystem,” said Lior Ron, Head of Uber Freight, and former founder of the Uber-owned trucking start-up Otto.
Uber’s Big Play for Supply Chain
Transplace is one of the world's largest managed transportation and logistics networks, with 62,000 unique users on its platform and $11bn in freight under management. It offers truck brokerage and other capacity solutions, end-to-end visibility on cross border shipments, and a suite of digital solutions and consultancy services.
The purchase is the latest move by parent company Uber, which launched as a San Francisco cab-hailing app in 2011, to diversify its offering and create new revenue streams in all transport segments.
Transplace said the takeover comes amid a period of “accelerated transformation in logistics”, where globalisation, shipping and transport disruption, and widespread volatility are colliding.
Uber Freight plans to integrate the Transplace network into its own platform, which connects shippers and carriers in a dashboard that mirroring the intuitive experience found in its consumer vehicle booking and food ordering services.
“This is an opportunity to bring together complementary best-in-class technology solutions and operational excellence from two premier companies to create an industry-first shipper-to-carrier platform that will transform shippers’ entire supply chains, delivering operational resilience and reducing costs at a time when it matters most,” said Ron.
Frank McGuigan, CEO of Transplace, said the resulting merger will offer enhanced efficiency and transparency for shippers, and benefits of scale for carriers. “All in all, we expect to significantly reduce shipper and carrier empty miles to the benefit of highway and road infrastructures and the environment,” he added.
History of Uber Freight
Uber Freight was established in 2017 and separated into its own business unit the following year. In 2019 the company had expanded across the entire continental US, established a headquarters in Chicago. Later that year it launched its first international division in Europe, initially from a regional foothold in the Nertherlands, and later moving into Germany.
The logistics spinoff attracted a $500m investment from New York-based Greenbriar Equity Group in October 2020, and launched a new shipping platform for companies of all sizes in May, partly in response to a driver shortage in Canada.