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February Freight News: Closures, A Comeback, An Intermodal Acquisition

February 23, 2024 Kevin Baxter


As February winds down, freight news is piling up. There are continued closures (also known as freight exits) in the logistics arena, a familiar name (or at least technology) relating to trucking making a comeback, and a major acquisition in the intermodal space involving two titans - one of the retail variety and the other in transportation.

Logistics Closures and Job Losses Continue

Layoffs and closures among freight and logistics companies continue early this year, after a notably rough stretch in 2023 that saw Yellow and Convoy (more on them in a moment) shut their doors and many other companies make cuts. Among the latest are two related to Amazon - one on the air cargo side and the other affecting a final mile provider.

First off, in Texas, 65 job losses are expected due to the shuttering of an Amazon Air cargo handling facility in San Antonio run by Worldwide Flight Services (also known as WFS Express). Workers' last day will be April 10, and no other WFS operations - it employs roughly 30,000 across more than 150 airports around the world - are expected to be affected. Amazon had previously indicated plans to cutback slightly on its air cargo arm due to softer demand. 

As for the final-mile business, Zena Logistics, an upstate New York-based truck service which handles Amazon deliveries, is shutting down in March. One hundred employees will lose their jobs, with the closure being blamed on vehicle insurance premiums increasing 420% over the last few months.

Outside of the Amazon sphere, there are other issues as well. Ryder Integrated Logistics is closing a Knoxville, Tennessee area location this summer, leading to 80 job losses. Also in Tennessee, APL Logistics is shuttering a Lebanon warehouse that employs 52 at the end of April. And Ohio-based ODW Logistics (a 3PL), is closing one of two Wisconsin warehouses, leading to layoffs of its 107 workers.

Don't Call It a Comeback

Convoy - a digital freight brokerage - closed its doors last October, taking 500 jobs with it. But the Convoy platform is back today, thanks to Flexport, which acquired its technology in November. The Convoy Platform app is now available on Apple's App Store and Google Play, with Flexport highlighting its "dependable, fast and efficient" FTL (full truckload) service offerings. The app will reportedly allow carriers to book loads from vetted shippers and brokers, and offer around the clock access to the Convoy load board. Convoy's website has been updated to reflect its relaunch, and its new home.

J.B. Hunt and Walmart Formalize Intermodal Team-Up

A top U.S. retailer and top U.S. intermodal provider are taking their partnership to the next level. Walmart and J.B. Hunt announced a new long-term intermodal deal this week that has the retailer turning over all its domestic intermodal containers and chassis to J.B. Hunt. Walmart reportedly has between 15,000 and 16,000 containers, and their addition to the J.B. Hunt fold further extends its already market-leading total past a reported 130,000.

For context, the next highest private box owner is Hub Group with about 50,000. Walmart has been a J.B. Hunt client for an extended period, so this hardly constitutes an industry shakeup. But officials say the agreement will increase the companies' volume and capacity commitments to one another moving forward. 

Looking for assistance with intermodal, truckload or other freight issues? Just reach out to us and we'll follow up with solutions to match your business needs. For more information about InTek, or the logistics and supply chain space in general, check out our Freight Guides.

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