| Follow Us:

Logistics : Innovation + Job News

14 Logistics Articles | Page:

Canton B2B online food marketplace hiring

Foodem, a B2B online marketplace for food distributors, is growing. Located in the Emerging Technology Center in Canton, the company has hired 11 employees since March and will hire four more sales people by the end of the year, Founder Kash Rehman says.
Foodem supplies goods to any business with a commercial kitchen, including restaurants, hotels, schools, daycares and nonprofit organizations. For the moment, however, Rehman is focused on capturing the restaurant vertical. "We help restaurants lower their food cost [by offering tools] to comparison shop," he explains. Foodem's online platform gives buyers a choice of distributor, and, by extension, price. "[Restaurants] don't have to call multiple places to find prices."
The platform also tracks what a restaurant orders from week to week, allowing owners to see the exact cost of their purchases. "Foodem give analytics in every category, every vendor, month over month, day over day," Rehman explains. And since all orders are submitted online, "[the system] eliminates errors during the procurement process."
On the distribution side, Rehman explains, Foodem eliminates the need and associated fee of a large sales force. "There are 21,000 restaurants in this market," he says. Servicing them all creates "enormous overhead" for suppliers.
Rehman is working with 25 different suppliers, including the Capital Meat CompanyBelair ProduceBowie Produce and S. Freedman and Sons, among others. Although he is open to working with other suppliers, Rehman is not concerned about the number he currently has. "It's not how many," Rehman explains, "it's the quality that matters."
Foodem secured $600,000 in angel funding in May and is planning a Series A fund raise in early 2014. "We have a lot of interest from prominent VCs nationwide," Rehman says.

Writer: Allyson Jacob
Source: Kash Rehman

Towson startup builds a better bridge inspection system

Towson engineering startup Sustainable Infrastructure of North America LLC is going after its first round of angel funding of $115,000 by the middle of this year. The startup will seek to close on its second funding round of $500,000 by the end of the year. The company's goal is to have raised $1.3 million by early next year, primarily from investors and loans and, possibly, its first product. 
Founder and Owner Tom Greene, says the money will be used to produce aesir, a computer system intended to replace existing bridge inspection equipment. By 2015, he plans to produce another four aesirs.
The aesir system will contain three-dimensional, ground-penetrating radar, laser profiling and digital imaging. The system will be mounted on top of a van that is driven on or under a bridge. Scanning the bridge in a 3-D format allows the inspector to find defects below the surface, where deterioration typically starts.
The system’s data will then be analyzed to pinpoint where and what the problems are, and to compare it with previous bridge inspections for rate of deterioration.
Greene says technology like 3-D and lasers already exists, and aesir will integrate it into a single system. A Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPs) grant for more than $400,000 is funding development of the system Greene says.
There are more than 600,000 bridges in the US, of which about 159,000 are in urban locations. The bridges must be inspected annually or every two years depending under whose jurisdiction – local, state or federal – they fall.
Greene expects to price the aesir, which can be used multiple times, at about $400,000. He will initially market it to government agencies and, subsequently, to engineering firms that are often hired to inspect bridges.
“The infrastructure is aging while the traffic is increasing. You have the same number of bridges from the 1970s but traffic volume is six times greater and trucks are much bigger,” he says.
Greene founded Sustainable Infrastructure in 2011. A year later, the company moved into the TowsonGlobal Business Incubator at Towson University. The company has a staff of three.
“Aesir has potential use in tunnels but right now we’re focusing on bridges,” he says.
Source: Tom Greene, Sustainable Infrastructure of North America LLC
Writer: Barbara Pash

TowsonGlobal kicks off business plan competition

The incubator at Towson University, TowsonGlobal Business Incubation, recently kicked off its third annual business competition, open to anyone in the Baltimore-Washington area who has an innovative business idea. Winners get cash prizes and free incubator membership.
“The goal is to promote and engage people in the region in entrepreneurship and innovation, and in taking the route of starting a small business,” says Darlene Ugwa, the incubator’s program coordinator. “It doesn’t have to be a product. It could be a service.”
The competition has two rounds. In the first round, participants submit a three-to-five page executive summary of their idea. A panel of judges winnows the participants to five finalists. In the second round, the finalists submit a detailed business plan, including research, marketing and financials. A panel of judges determines first and second place winners.
The deadline for round one, the executive summary, is Feb. 11. Finalists in round two have until the end of April to submit their business plans. Winners will be announced May 1.
Although prizes for this year’s competition are still being determined, last year’s first prize winner received $4,000 and free incubator membership for a period of time; the second prize winner received $1,000 and an associate membership.
The competition has grown since it started. There were 12 submissions the first year; 24 submissions the second year. Entrants ranged from a video gaming company to a medical diagnostic application and a website to rent power tools.
Besides presenting their business plans to the panel of judges, all the finalists give a presentation at a Towson University reception open to the public. Over 100 people attended last year’s event.
Source: Darlene Ugwa, TowsonGlobal Business Incubation
Writer: Barbara Pash

Baltimore Helicopter Services Adds To Fleet

Baltimore Helicopter Services this month added a second helicopter to its two-helicopter fleet. The executive charter service bought a twin-engine Bell 430 with a seating capacity of six, compared with its single-engine Bell 407s that hold five passengers.
Jessie Bowling, director of sales and marketing, says the $4 million Bell 430 was acquired in response to customer demand. From 2010 to 2011, sales increased by almost 65 percent, according to Bowling, who says that its Fortune 500 companies and other clients prefer twin-engine aircraft because they are faster and hold more passengers than single-engine aircraft.
Founded in 2004 by Dan Naor, the privately-financed Baltimore company has a “sister” company in Israel, Lahak Aviation, which runs a fleet of 10 helicopters and operates medevac, offshore and private helicopter transportation. In the U.S., only the latter is offered.
Baltimore Helicopter Services is located at Pier 7 Heliport in Canton, Maryland’s only public-use heliport. To charter the Bell 430 costs $3,500 per flight hour, all passengers included, plus an additional landing fee and pilot wait fee. The Bell 407 costs $1,800 per flight hour, plus additional fees. 
Bowling says the most popular executive charter is to New York City, slightly over an hour in flying time, where the company can make arrangements to land at three different heliports in Manhattan or at public airports. Other popular destinations are Atlantic City, N.J., universities (for meetings/conferences) and private residences.

Source: Jessie Bowling, Baltimore Helicopter Services
Writer: Barbara Pash

Parking Panda Drives Into Philly, San Fran, With New Funding

Parking Panda, the Baltimore startup that finds a spot to put your car, is cruising into new cities and attracting new funding.

Within a few months, it will begin marketing in Philadelphia, its third site. San Francisco, Chicago and Boston are next on the list. Last month, it expanded to Washington, D.C. The company recently received $250,000 from investors, with another $250,000 in the works, CEO Nick Miller says. Miller founded the firm in 2001 with Adam Zilberbaum, chief technology officer. 

The company doesn't have exact dates for the expansions after Washington, D.C., says Miller. In part, it depends on demand and how many parking spaces can be arranged. 
Parking Panda locates available parking spots in private driveways and garages that drivers can reserve in advance on the web or via mobile phones. In Baltimore and Washington, D.C., it is working with two garage companies, PMI and Central Parking.
In addition, Parking Panda works with private home-owners and small business to rent their driveways, parking lots and garages. “We have quite a few private driveways that are rented for Ravens [football] games,” says Miller, who tries to line up parking for other events like festivals and farmers markets.
Also, he adds, “we work with certain neighborhoods, like Federal Hill,” where on-street parking is scarce and there are no parking garages.
Miller says the price the driver pays is set by the parking garage or driveway owner. Parking Panda takes a 20 percent fee on whatever is charged.  “If they charge $10, we get $2,” he says.
Parking Panda has a few, small parking competitors in the area, says Miller.

”But no one is doing what we do, with parking garages and private parking.”
Source: Nick Miller, Parking Panda
Writer: Barbara Pash

Port of Baltimore Company Installs Solar Trackers

Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics’ mid-Atlantic terminal facility at the Port of Baltimore uses two Global Electric Motorcars to transport employees and materials around the marine terminal facility. The company is installing three new solar trackers manufactured by Advanced Technology & Research Corp. of Columbia.

“We hope the energy produced by the solar trackers can offset completely the power needed to operate the electric vehicles,” says Michael Derby, WWL’s general manager for North Atlantic Operations.

The electric vehicles stay charged for three to five days. The dual-panel solar units that are providing the new source of power for the electric vehicle chargers employ a GPS-enabled mechanism to follow the sun and produce 25 to 45 percent more electricity per day than conventional fixed-solar panels.

Since they are being used specifically for the maintenance of electric vehicles instead of powering other systems, these trackers can incorporate car-charging units in each post on which the solar panels are mounted. Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics will consider deploying more trackers at its other facilities if the initial batch proves successful.

Writer: Amy McNeal
Source: Alan Cohen, Advanced Technology & Research Corporation; Michael Derby, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics

AVF Consulting Signs Deal With American Psychological Association

AVF Consulting has just picked up a new client, the American Psychological Association. AVF's new relationship with the APA means new jobs and a big new project for the 25-year-old accounting and supply chain software company.

The association started looking for a company that could find the business solutions that they needed more than a year ago. AVF completed several days of product demonstrations, and approximately 300 hours of requirements analysis before the contract was signed.

The association will install Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Serenic Navigator. AVF expects implementation to take about 12 months, and plans to begin the process in March, President Jeremy Fass says. The process will start with the association's back office accounting and move into the organization's supply chain in later stages.

AVF Consulting is hiring to meet the increased workload. The company is searching for an experienced project manager, senior consultants and a customer support manager.

Writer: Amy McNeal
Source: Jeremy Fass, AVF Consulting

Landscaping Firm Uses New Software to Keep Track of Crews

Keeping track of what a work crew is doing is a challenge for landscaping and construction firms. Akehurst Landscaping Services, Inc. in Joppa is solving that problem by implementing iCREWtek tracking software.

The software helps the firm keep track of its crews and  empowers them to be more efficient and accountable in estimating, scheduling and business management duties, says Akehurst Landscaping Services Business Developer David Sheredy.
Using iCREWtek, Akehurst Landscaping is able to do real time monitoring of all of the company's work crews.

iCREWtek is an extension of Asset, a business management application for landscaping services produced by Annapolis-based software developer Include Software.

Customer invoices, job site photos, materials management and time sheets can be processed paperlessly and remotely, which allows for more accurate estimates and faster billing. The software also has English/Spanish communication capability to increase communications accuracy.

Writer: Amy McNeal
Source: David Sheredy, Akehurst Landscaping Services Inc.

Traffic Group to Develop New Rapid Transit System

The Traffic Group, a White Marsh transportation services and traffic engineering company, has been chosen by Montgomery County to develop a plan for a new rapid transit system.

Funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, the proposed new system would consist of 24 routes. The system would include dedicated lanes for rapid transit vehicles and vehicle stations that are wide, weather-protected and equipped with real-time data and maps.

The rapid transit system being considered for Montgomery County is an ambitious attempt to address the problems of traffic and congestion endemic in the area. If adopted as proposed, the rapid transit system would be the one of the largest of its kind in the US.

“We are thrilled to develop a plan for Montgomery County focused on a new rapid transit system,” Traffic Group President Wes Guckert says. “Unfortunately our region boasts the worst traffic in our country, which delays the average commuter 74 hours per year. When constructed, this new system would give back both time and money to commuters.”

The Traffic Group has offices in Arkansas, New York and Texas.

Writer: Amy McNeal
Source: Wes Guckert, The Traffic Group

Baltimore Named Top 10 Digital City

The Center for Digital Government and Government Technology recently named Baltimore as one of the top 10 digital cities in the country. Baltimore was ranked at number 9 on the list. The survey ranks cities based on a number of criteria to determine which are using technology to the greatest benefit of its citizens.
In its eleventh year, the Center for Digital Government Digital Cities Survey is conducted annually. The survey is the first and only survey model providing a sustained assessment of city governments’ use of information and communications technology. The Center for Digital Government’s Digital Cities Performance Institute identifies and promotes best practices and emerging trends in the public sector IT community.
The survey uses a number of criteria to determine which municipalities make the cut, and which aren't quite keeping up with technology. The top 10 cities are selected in four different population based categories. Municipalities are then judged on their commitment to technology use,  the impact of technology  across multiple municipal program areas, measurable progress on technology use and initiatives from the prior year, cost savings in hard and soft dollars across the municipality brought to city programs and departments as a result of technology use, innovation in adding new technology and using new technology tools and an attitude toward technology that demonstrates a spirit of  effective collaboration.
This is Baltimore's first appearance in the top 10.

Writer: Amy McNeal
Sources: Baltimore City, Government Technology

Sales Focus Launches New Group Travel Division

Sales Focus, Inc, a Marriottsville based sales outsourcing firm, is launching a new subsidiary of their Travel and Tourism division devoted to specialized business travel -- specifically meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions travel.

The new division, MICE Focus LLC, will be managed by Kevin Hichour, who previously ran the Travel and Tourism division. "Our focus into the MICE Travel sector is based on a real need that we see in the industry. At this time, no other company can offer our breadth of integrated Marketing & Advertising services to U.S. or international MICE Destinations & Suppliers," says Hichour.

The new division is intended to provided an integrated one stop shopping style platform for MICE industry suppliers and destinations to reach their targeted audience of business travelers and travel planners. The company's new MICE Travel Portal is designed to showcase the options that are available to MICE travelers, and highlight promotions and special offers.

"As we continue to expand our services in the Travel and Tourism industry, we launched a MICE travel industry-dedicated website catering to the needs of Destinations, Airlines, Hotels & Resorts, DMC's, Cruise Lines, Convention Centers and all other MICE travel suppliers who are looking to expand their strategic partner base and increase their revenues," says MICE Focus president and Co-Founder Anthony Horwath. The site will be devoted entirely to the group travel industry. MICE Focus has also formed a new travel partnership with Meeting Professionals International.

Writer: Amy McNeal
Source: Anthony Horwath, Sales Focus Inc.


Chesapeake Capital Ventures Growing With The Economic Recovery

Chesapeake Capital Ventures is taking Maryland's products overseas. As the world economy begins to recover, the United States once again became the second largest exporter of goods in the world. Companies like Chesapeake Capital Ventures have responded to the demand for US made food and consumer products by ramping up their efforts to get  those goods into the hands of consumers in emerging markets overseas.

"We here in America make fine products, from consumer goods and foods and beverages to electronics and energy-related hardware. The quality control of US made goods surpasses that of almost all of our competitors. Quality control and American innovation go a long way with foreign merchants, and they typically understand that when they look to America for a product to market, they know they are getting high-quality and sustainable products," says Daniel Beach of Chesapeake Capital Ventures.

Located in Dunkirk, Chesapeake Capital Ventures is finding success taking products produced by small to medium sized manufacturers to market overseas. Food products, from wheat to prepared foods, are especially popular. The company takes a full-service approach to helping those smaller companies enter the export market.

"We don't simply act as intermediaries, do marketing, match-making, and advertise US goods on behalf of our clients. We represent our US clients and run the entire export gambit from start to finish. From proposing contract terms and agreements, to banking solutions and shipping quotes, and on to freight forwarding, securing payment and drafting a Letter of Credit," continues Beach.

Chesapeake Capital Ventures is currently looking for more manufacturers to market. The company is also accepting applications from students to work as part-time researchers.

Writer: Amy McNeal
Source: Daniel Beach, Chesapeake Capital Ventures

Localist Scores Sole Source Vendor Status in 4 States

Baltimore-based calendar management firm Localist has been designated the sole source vendor for online calendar projects run by public organizations in four states. Localist has won this designation from Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and Rhode Island.

"Several public run institutions have agreed that Localist is the only company that can adequately meet their needs when it comes to offering a unified events calendar to students," says Localist co-founder and CEO Mykel Nahorniak

The Localist platform gives schools and organizations that they work with the opportunity to upgrade their online calendar offerings from something static to something dynamic, including linking the calendar to Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare.

"We're going to use the great momentum that we're seeing to continue to establish a critical mass in the education space. We're also getting great feedback from our work with media organizations, like TBD in Washington, DC. We plan to pursue this space more thoroughly in 2012," Nahorniak continues.

Localist also recently announced that the company has been selected by 8 new universities -- including Georgetown University, Towson University, and Virginia Military Institute -- to provide an interactive calendar platform for student life on campus. Baltimore Collegetown, an organization of 14 area schools, has also chosen Localist for its online calendar.

The growing company is looking toward the future with a possible deal in the works with a major southern university. Localist is also monitoring what kind of technology students are using on campus, and developing new features to reflect those choices.

Writer: Amy McNeal
Source: Mykel Nahorniak, Localist

Ford Fiestas adding new jobs at Port of Baltimore

The number of cars passing through the Port of Baltimore is increasing with the arrival of new Ford Fiestas. The imported vehicles, which began arriving June 24 onboard a K Line roll on/roll off vessel, will continue arriving throughout the rest of this year at the Port's Dundalk Marine Terminal.

"We are happy to welcome more Ford products to the Port of Baltimore," says Gov. Martin O'Malley. Good-paying, family supporting auto jobs at the Port benefit greatly when more cars come through Baltimore. Ford's decision to bring more cars to Baltimore is another good sign for Maryland as we begin our recovery from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression."

The number of autos handled at the Port of Baltimore has risen about 16 percent over the same time last year. Earlier this year, BMW began shipping the first of 50,000 new vehicles that will make their way through the Port of Baltimore annually for the next five years. That contract has created about 200 new jobs.

The Port of Baltimore also serves as the primary port of entry for the Ford Transit Connect van. Baltimore also receives about 85 percent of the 35,000 vans that are imported into the U.S. annually.

Automobiles are one of the main commodities handled at the Port of Baltimore's public marine terminals. Approximately 1,150 direct jobs at the Port are generated by the Port's auto business.

In 2009, the Port of Baltimore handled about 375,000 cars total.

The Maryland Port Administration (MPA) recently announced that more cars, trucks, and vans passed through the Port of Baltimore in March than at any time in at least the last ten years. In March, 38,053 automobiles came through the Port's public terminals. The Port's previous record for most cars handled was 37,552 in July 2008. In January 2009, impacted by the global economic recession, auto volumes at the Port dropped to 13,558 cars.

The Port of Baltimore has created about 16,700 direct jobs. Of the roughly 360 U.S. ports, Baltimore is ranked number one for handling roll on/roll off cargo; trucks; imported forest products; and imported gypsum, sugar and iron ore. The Port is responsible for about $3.7 billion in personal wage and salary income. The Port of Baltimore generates nearly $400 million in state and local taxes.

Source: Department of Transportation
Writer: Walaika Haskins

14 Logistics Articles | Page:
Share this page
Signup for Email Alerts