Today’s Pickup: The Hazelwood sentencing, Delta’s grounded


Good day,

After an 18-month trial period, Walmart (NASDAQ: WMT) has announced its push to implement blockchain technology in its leafy green supply chain in 2019. FreightWaves reported the August 1 announcement that Nestlé (NASDAQ: NSRGF) partnered with Dole Food Co., Driscoll’s, Golden State Foods, Kroger Co. (NASDAQ: KR), McCormick (NASDAQ: MKC), McLane Co., Tyson Foods (NASDAQ: TSN) and Unilever (NASDAQ: UL).

Supported by IBM (NASDAQ: IBM), the companies belong to Food Trust, IBM’s “collaborative network of growers, processors, wholesalers, distributors, manufacturers, retailers and others enhancing visibility and accountability in each step of the food supply.” Thus far, Food Trust has helped to process 350,000 food data transactions, bringing traceback test timing from seven days to a remarkable 2.2 seconds.

Now, according to an open letter from Walmart to its leafy green suppliers, the company will forge ahead in blockchain development as part of the Food Trust. Direct suppliers are required to conform to one-step back traceability on the blockchain network by Jan 31, 2019, and thereafter, suppliers are expected to work within their vertical systems or with their suppliers to enable end-to-end traceability back to farm by September 30, 2019.

Did you know?

The migration of mainstream truck traffic to TOFC service (trailer on flat car)—BNSF trailer volume increased +23% in 2Q—strong domestic container growth and deteriorating velocity has consumed excess network capacity. 


“When it comes to safety, this is not a competitive issue. We all win or lose together.”

—Frank Yiannas, vice president of food safety for Walmart

In other news:

Former Pilot chief Mark Hazelwood faces sentencing Wednesday

Former president of Pilot Flying J will be sentenced today in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He faces the following felony charges: conspiring to commit wire or mail fraud; wire fraud; and witness tampering. Hazelwood is one of fourteen former employees of Pilot Flying J that await their sentencing (10 News).

Delta lifts U.S. groundstop after restoring computer systems

Passengers flying Delta Airlines (NASDAQ: DAL) last night found themselves grounded due to technological issues that have since been resolved. “If you want to know what hell is like, it’s sitting on a plane during a world-wide airline system crash,” one customer wrote on Twitter (Reuters).

Shipping’s New Arctic Routes Won’t Thaw Cold Economic Reality

The proposed Northern Sea Route from Dalian, China to Rotterdam, Netherlands has been tested by a Ventra Maersk ship, which caused the company to announce that “it doesn’t see it as an alternative to our usual routes” (Wall Street Journal).

Under a new law, retailers share liability for misclassified truck drivers at California ports

Starting in January 2019, retailers will take the blame for the labor violations of cargo carriers in the ports of Long Beach, Los Angeles, and Oakland (LA Times).

Blockchain Hype May Finally Turn Into Reality in Pharmaceuticals

By 2020, pharmaceutical supply chains will have a total makeover. Could the key ingredient be blockchain? (Bloomberg).  

Final thoughts:

Cleaning up from Hurricane Florence’s wrath may not be easy this week, mainly because of the moon’s gravitational pull. High tides will combine with the flood wave coming downstream to create more flooding on the lower Cape Fear River for the next several days.

The National Weather Service (NWS) office in Wilmington has issued a Coastal Flood Warning, in effect until 2 a.m. EDT on Thursday, September 27. However, Warnings Coordination Meteorologist Steve Pfaff tells FreightWaves the Warning will be extended past Thursday if necessary. The main area of interest is downtown Wilmington and portions of River Road southwest of the city.

On Monday North Carolina governor Roy Cooper said the state’s work on Hurricane Florence is changing focus. “Florence is gone, but the storm’s devastation is still with us,” Cooper said. “As we’re shifting from emergency response to full-time recovery from the storm, please remain careful in hard-hit areas and please, please stay away from flooded roads.”

However, The North Carolina Department of Public Safety, which includes the state’s Emergency Management office, tells FreightWaves that crews are aware of the potential for more flooding and that it might slow down recovery operations at times 

Hammer down, everyone!

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Maria Baker, Staff Writer

Maria is a staff writer who has covered everything from the environment to sign-on bonuses and women in the industry. She is a recent graduate of Sewanee: The University of the South, where she majored in English literature and minored in environmental studies. Maria loves writing about freight almost as much as she loves Emily Dickinson and the self-imposed challenge of finding the best iced mocha in Chattanooga.