New Mount Juliet campus for CEVA
Leading supply-chain management company CEVA Logistics has announced the construction of its new facility in Tennessee’s Mount Juliet, which will consolidate several facilities into a single location.
The campus, to be known as Beckwith II, is located on the outskirts of Nashville and based in the Mt. Juliet Industrial Park. It will comprise an area of 700,000 sq ft, and is anticipated to employ 1100 workers.
CEVA said the new facility will provide a more efficient, productive and technologically sophisticated environment which will benefit both their employees and customers. The company will combine its two pre-existing Nashville properties into the new site, as well as a network distribution site previously based on Chicago.
The new facility will provide fulfilment, storage, value added services and Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) for upward of 100 suppliers of CEVA’s customer. It will join the existing 480,000 sq ft Beckwith III CEVA facility on the same campus, and Beckwith I, which is currently used for storage (also at this location).
CEVA Senior Vice President of Logistics in the Americas, Les Grubbs, labelled the campus “significant on many levels”, and said: “This marks an extension of a longstanding relationship with this strategic customer and, thus, a continuation of quality jobs in the Nashville market. Additionally, the facility enables us to provide our customer with a new level of fulfilment technology which will drive efficiencies and help enable their future success.”
The company already has a strong presence in Tennessee, running a regional cross-dock operation for a leading automative customer in Mt. Juliet, and operating a freight management facility in Nashville.
CEVA will occupy the new facility from mid-September.
FedEx is Reshaping Last Mile with Autonomous Vehicles
FedEx is embarking on an expanded test of autonomous, driver-less delivery vehicles to develop its last-mile logistics.
The US logistics firm piloted autonomous vehicles from Nuro in April this year, and the pair will now explore that further in a multi-year partnership. Cosimo Leipold, Nuro’s head of partnerships, said the collaboration "will enable innovative, industry-first product offerings that will better everyday life and help make communities safer and greener".
FedEx will explore a variety of on-road use cases for the autonomous fleet, including multi-stop and appointment-based deliveries, going beyond more traditional applications of the technology in single-route movement of goods from A-B. Exponential growth in ecommerce is spurring its broader experimentation in new autonomy solutions, Fed-Ex says, both in-warehouse and on-road.
“FedEx was built on innovation, and it continues to be an integral part of our culture and business strategy,” said Rebecca Yeung, Vice President, Advanced Technology and Innovation, FedEx Corporation. “We are excited to collaborate with an industry leader like Nuro as we continue to explore the use of autonomous technologies within our operations.”
The changing role of couriers
Unlike structured delivery networks, operating under long-term partnerships and contracts, agility is where couriers deliver true value - and their ability to deftly solve last-mile fulfilment has most acutely been felt during the pandemic. For the billions of people around the world forced to stay at home to protect themselves and their communities from the spreading COVID-19 virus, couriers have been a constant. They may have been the only knock at the door some people experienced for weeks or months at a time.
But the last-mile has been uprooted by a boom in ecommerce, a shift that has been most apparent in the UK, US, China and Japan, according to the Global Parcel Delivery Market Insight Report 2021 by Apex Insight. These are markets with dominant economies and populations used to running their lives with a tap of a screen or double-click of a mouse.
“Getting last mile delivery right has long been a challenge for retailers,” says Kees Jacobs, Vice President, Consumer Goods and Retail at Capgemini. “In 2019, 97% of retail organisations felt their last-mile delivery models were not sustainable for full-scale implementation across all locations. Despite increasing demand from customers, companies were struggling to make the last mile profitable and efficient.”
Jacobs says that the pandemic alleviated some of these stresses in the short term. With no other option, consumers were understanding and tolerant, if not entirely happy, with longer delivery times and less transparent tracking. “But, as extremely high delivery demand continues to be normal, customers will expect brands to contract their delivery times,” he adds.
Last mile's role in ESG
Demand and volume weren’t the only things that have changed during the pandemic - businesses looked closer to home and as a result became more sustainable. Bricks and mortar stores were transformed from mini-showrooms to quasi-fulfilment centres. Online retailers and other businesses sought local solutions to ship more faster. In densely populated London, UK alone, Accenture found that delivery van emissions dropped by 17%, while Chicago, USA and Sydney, Australia saw similar emissions savings.