18 DC VELOCITY SEPTEMBER 2017 www.dcvelocity.com
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) visited Marengo, Ill.-based UniCarriers
Americas (UCA) on Aug. 21. Durbin, the state’s senior senator,
toured the manufacturer’s facility, met with senior staff, and gave a
companywide address followed by a town hall-style Q&A.
“What we see here at UniCarriers is not only a quality product
that can compete on an international scale, but it’s being produced
right here in America by Americans who are up to the job and task
of competition,” Durbin said.
In his opening remarks, UniCarriers Americas President James J.
Radous III highlighted the forklift industry’s impact on U.S. gross
domestic product (GDP). “Today, forklift manufacturing’s annual
economic impact is over $25 billion in GDP—and I should point out
that $3.5 billion of it comes from the state of Illinois,” Radous said.
UniCarriers Americas caught Durbin’s attention in June, when
Radous visited legislators in Washington to discuss the importance
of workplace safety, the impact forklifts have on commerce, and the
creation of more Illinois jobs. Radous noted that the industrial truck
industry in Illinois generates a larger economic footprint than lift
truck businesses in any other state. He also pointed out that whereas
many manufacturers are replacing workers with robots, UCA is bringing in more people to work alongside the automated equipment.
Durbin said he views UniCarriers as a role model of a successful
manufacturer in terms of job creation, employee education initiatives, and creating a large local and national economic footprint.
Durbin visit to UniCarriers Americas
highlights job growth and economic impact
Volvo takes delivery of Kion forklifts for
U.S. factory operations
Volvo Car US Operations Inc. hosted an unveiling event Aug. 24 at its
Berkeley County, S.C., facility marking its first forklift delivery from
Kion North America. The event took place seven months after the
Kion Group unit signed a five-year agreement with Volvo to supply
material handling equipment for the company’s first U.S. factory.
Kion North America’s headquarters are located just five miles
from the new Volvo Car factory, which will be the global production
home of the new S60 sedan. The South Carolina plant, which will
have the capacity to produce up to 120,000 cars per year, is the fifth
of a number of Volvo facilities around the world being supplied by
Kion Group AG, Kion North America’s German parent, said Vincent
Halma, president and CEO of Kion North America.
The fleet includes forklifts, reach trucks, and tow tractors. It also
represents the first complete lithium-ion–powered forklift fleet to
support automotive manufacturing in North America, according to
Kion North America.
“Our goal is to have the least intrusive footprint possible,” said
Katarina Fjording, vice president of purchasing and manufacturing
for Volvo. “By 2025, we aspire to be carbon-neutral, and implementing lithium-ion–powered industrial trucks at our facility is a big step
APICS, JD.com to build
benchmarking model supporting omnichannel distribution
Supply chain research and education group
APICS and Chinese retailing giant JD.com
have expanded their relationship in order to
develop a benchmarking system for omni-channel distribution supporting the burgeoning flows of global and regional e-commerce.
By combining APICS’ SCOR operations
reference model and JD’s IT (information
technology) platform, the benchmarking system will provide JD’s major suppliers “with
real-time comparisons to their competitors
and their respective industries at both the
regional and global levels,” APICS and JD said
in a joint statement. In addition, APICS and
JD will establish an omnichannel benchmarking group to develop best practices from their
cooperation on global e-commerce supply
chains, they said.
“Supply chain management has become
increasingly complex as consumer demand has
shaped omnichannel retail experience expec-
tations,” said Abe Eshkenazi, APICS’ chief
executive officer, in the statement. “We have
a unique opportunity to work with the largest
retailer in China, JD.com, to set standards,
identify best practices, elevate supplier perfor-
mance, and then share the resulting knowledge
with supply chain organizations around the
“Smart supply chain is a strategic imperative
for JD’s growth, and our work with APICS is
an important step in that,” said Yongli Yu,
JD’s president of supply chain R&D, in the
same statement. “We are focusing on open-
ing our capabilities to suppliers and partners
to further the development of AI-powered,
technology-driven smart supply chains. This
strategic partnership will provide insights
derived from real-world surveys, allowing us
to deliver a performance-driven measurement
and improvement platform for real-world
APICS and JD said the agreement, which
builds on a partnership entered into last
March, can further both organizations’ roles
as leaders in omnichannel supply chain man-
agement and cultivate an international supply
chain community focused on performance