Playing in the sandbox: U.S Silica to acquire Sandbox Enterprises
The company provides innovative logistics solutions and technology for the transportation of proppant used in hydraulic fracturing in the oil and gas industry.
The acquisition is valued around $218.3million and is expected to close later this month once regulatory approvals have been obtained.
''This transformative acquisition enables us to offer customers significantly improved transportation and operating efficiencies, a safer work environment and significant cost savings relative to current proppant delivery systems,'' said Bryan Shinn, U.S. Silica president and chief executive officer.
"Sandbox's proprietary delivery solution is critical to addressing the growing logistical challenges our customers face as E&P operators continue to increase the amount of proppant they use per well.''
U.S. Silica Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer Brad Casper said, ''The acquisition of Sandbox aligns with our strategy of managing the entire supply chain of frac sand from the mine to the well site. Containerized delivery increases transportation efficiency and lowers delivered costs through faster truck turns and reduced jobsite congestion.''
Casper added, "We believe Sandbox has significant runway to grow its existing markets through partnerships with leading service companies, while at the same time making U.S. Silica's logistics network even more efficient with capabilities for mobile transloading and in-basin proppant staging."
Follow @SupplyChainD on Twitter.
Elon Musk's Boring Co. planning wider tunnels for freight
Elon Musk’s drilling outfit The Boring Company could be shifting its focus towards subterranean freight and logistics solutions, according to reports.
A Boring Co. pitch deck seen and shared by Bloomberg depicts plans to construct wider tunnels designed to accommodate shipping containers.
Founded by Tesla CEO Musk in 2016, the company initially stated its mission was to offer safer, faster point-to-point transport for people, particularly in cities plagued by traffic congestion. It also planned longer tunnels to ferry passengers between popular destinations across the US.
The Boring Co. completed its first commercial project earlier this year in April. The 1.7m tunnel system is designed to move professionals between convention centres in Las Vegas using Tesla EVs. It says the Las Vegas Convention Centre Loop can cut travel time between venues from 45 minutes to just two.
Boring Co.'s new freight tunnels
The Boring Co.'s new tunnel designs would allow freight to be transported on purpose built platforms, labelled as “battery-powered freight carriers”. The document shows that, though the containers could technically fit within its current 12-foot tunnels, wider tunnels would be more efficient. Designs for a new tunnel, 21 feet in diameter, show that they can comfortably accommodate two containers side-by-side, with a one-foot gap between them.
The Boring Co.’s new drilling machine, dubbed Prufrock, can tunnel at a rate of one mile per week, which is six times faster than its previous machine, and is designed to ‘porpoise’ - mimicking the marine animal by ‘diving’ below ground and reemerging once the tunnel is complete.
Tesla’s supply chain woes
Tesla is facing its own supply chain and logistic issues. The EV manufacturer has raised the price of its vehicles, with CEO Musk confirming the incremental hike was a result of “major supply chain pressure”. Musk replied to a disgruntled Twitter user, confused as to why prices were rising while features were being removed from the cars, saying the “raw materials especially” were a big issue.
Car manufacturing continues to be one of the industries hit hardest by a global shortage in semiconductor chips. While China’s chip manufacturing levels hit an all-time high in May, and the US is proposing a 25% tax credit for chip manufacturers, demand still outstrips supply. Automakers including Volkswagen and Audi have again said they expect reduced vehicle output in the next quarter due to a lack of semiconductors, with more factory downtime likely.
Top Image credit: The Boring Company / @boringcompany