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Today’s pickup: beef in South Dakota left to roast, Narvar raises $30 million in funding

Good day,

Exactly three months after truck drivers in Brazil shut down highways for across the country in protest, its impact continues to be felt. Although the strike was only ten days long, Reuters called the strike “slow to unwind even after the government agreed to subsidize diesel prices in a bid to end protests.”

The strike originally protested the price of diesel fuel, but has morphed into overarching complaint about freight prices for loads going in and out of Brazil. The country is already suffering from bumper harvests this season, as well as currency that continues to weaken. Exporters have no trouble booking shipping, but they’ve struggled to find trucks, Financial Times reports.

“What we see right now is the situation is completely out of control, and getting worse,” said Antonio Dominguez, Maersk Line managing director for east coast South America.

Did you know?

The 2018 Annual Fleet Fuel Study found that the 20 participating fleets achieved an average fuel economy of 7.28 mpg in 2017, up about 2% from 2016’s numbers, compared to the national fleet average of 5.91 mpg.


“What we see right now is the situation is completely out of control, and getting worse.”

 Antonio Dominguez, Maersk Line managing director for east coast South America.

In other news:

Move over delivery drones, warehouse drones are ready for the spotlight

Testing for warehouse drones continues to fly under the radar, but former Walmart logistics executive Chris Sultemeier has joined the board of PINC Solutions to help push the new technology. (Supply Chain Dive)

31,000 pounds of beef roasts lost after two semis crash in far northeast South Dakota

A semi collision in South Dakota caused 16 tons of beef roasts to go to waste. One driver suffered minor injuries, the other walked away without a scratch, and, alas, the beef roasts were transported to the landfill. (Ag Week)

Retail Technology Provider Narvar Raises $30 Million in New Funding

Narvar, the retail technology provider for industry giants like Costco Wholesale Corp., Levi Strauss & Co., and Gap Inc., has raised $30 million in funding. Narvar reports that the funding will support the “aggressive expansion of a business that supports e-commerce platforms.” (Wall Street Journal)

GreyOrange expands its global footprint, opens U.S. headquarters in Atlanta

Singapore-based GreyOrange will establish their US headquarters in Atlanta. The multinational company has been recognized as a leader in AI-powered robotics systems focusing on flexible automation in distribution and fulfillment centers. (Supply Chain 24/7)

DP World’s ‘one-stop shop’ ambition via purchase of Unifeeder is ‘a risky strategy’

The announcement of DP World’s acquisition of Unifeeder may have taken the industry by surprise, and, according to maritime analyst Drewry consultant, DP World has embarked on a “risky strategy.” (The LoadStar)

Final Thoughts:

FreightWaves’ Managing Editor Brian Straight spoke with president & CEO of the Commercial Vehicle Training Association (CVTA), Don Lefeve at the Great American Trucking Show this week:

Lefeve knows all too well the problems carriers are facing today. The issue of too few drivers is compounded by states that are taking too long to get those who want to drive tested and simply not enough funding to help those who may make great truck drivers but can’t afford to pay the tuition.

“We are seeing schools with lines out the door of trucking companies looking to hire our students,” Lefeve says. “This is a big story and the problem is nobody understands what the issues are.” Lefeve says that getting financing for new students is among the biggest obstacles facing CVTA-member schools. That is made worse by states that refuse to allow third-party CDL testing and as a result, students can wait months before taking their CDL.

“The delays are such a problem because you have someone who spends 8 weeks training and then has another month or two to wait,” he points out. Twenty-four states allow third-party CDL testing.

Hammer down, everyone!