Amid coronavirus chaos, Slync.io secured their Series A funding round of $11M this week. The San Francisco-based startup Slync.io, founded in 2017, already has several major freight forwarders leveraging their Logistics Orchestration™ platform which focuses primarily on automating core logistics processes, including pulling together data from internal systems and external data sources, to enable users to manage their identified pain points.
Chris Kirchner, Slync CEO, says it’s the first purpose-built logistics operating system of its kind. Current capabilities center around three types of RPA or BPA, business process automation-type exceptions: event trigger-based, user input, and time-based. If the data from certain event sources doesn’t match the established logic in Slync, it automatically notes a variance from expectation. If a person notes an issue, like a damaged shipment, Slync workflows automate the exceptions elsewhere in the system, cutting significant time and associated costs from manually managing those exceptions through email chains and excel documents.
FedEx will implement a temporary surcharge on all FedEx Express and TNT international parcel and freight shipments starting April 6, Memphis Business Journal reported. The delivery giant continues to operate in areas where state-of-emergency and shelter-in-place restrictions have been issued, and “this has disrupted the supply chain.”
FedEx Express International customers shipping from the U.S. will pay an extra 10 cents per pound. Those shipping from China and Asia-Pacific countries will see surcharges up to 45 cents per pound. TNT International Express customers will see the same.
TNT International Economy services, meanwhile, will see a 5-cent surcharge for deliveries to European countries.
Southwest Airlines will offer the first all-cargo flights in its 48-year history as passenger demand keeps sliding.
The flights will be offered on a charter basis, and only pilots and other needed crew members will be on board, Bloomberg reported. Southwest will confine freight to the bellies of its Boeing Co. 737 aircraft instead of converting planes for cargo.
Southwest is joining American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines in offering cargo-only operations to help offset the decline in travel.
Hardware wholesaler True Value Company has registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an over-the-counter drug manufacturer, so that it can produce hand sanitizer in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company said it will convert space at a paint-manufacturing plant in Cary, Illinois to provide "tens of thousands of gallons" of hand sanitizer. The first several thousand gallons will be donated to True Value hardware stores across the country, to protect employees from contracting COVID-19 while on the job. The product is scheduled to be shipped to stores in early to mid-April. True Value supplies more than 4,500 independent hardware retail stores in the U.S.
True Value said it is also manufacturing essential cleaning and sanitizing products such as hand soap, all-purpose cleansers with and without bleach, and degreasing cleanser.
Amazon.com said it has hired 80,000 people to help meet demand for online orders and has stepped up safety precautions at its U.S warehouses, Bloomberg reported.
Dave Clark, Amazon’s logistics chief, said in a blog on Thursday that Amazon would probably go “well beyond” its previous estimate of an additional $350 million in costs to support a growing workforce.
Stay safe out there! Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to check out last week’s news and stay tuned for our next Friday Five roundup!