Amazon to Become Major Produce Shipper With Purchase of Whole Foods

Jonathan S. Reiskin | Associate News Editor - Transport Topics

With its pending purchase of the Whole Foods grocery chain, Amazon.com Inc. will become a major shipper of fresh produce, a transport market that has always been difficult and is now getting even more challenging.

The mandate for electronic logging devices, highway congestion and federal food safety regulation are combining to make longhaul trucking of produce ever more difficult, said veteran intermodal executives Tom Finkbiner and Ted Prince, who offered a briefing on food transport on June 27, organized by investment firm Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. 

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$13.7 Billion Amazon Deal for Whole Foods Expected to Benefit Trucking

Laurie Wiegler | Staff Reporter - Transport Topics

Amazon.com Inc. said that it will buy Whole Foods Market Inc. for $13.7 billion, and the deal is expected to benefit trucking.

The online powerhouse announced its plans on June 16, offering to pay $42 per share for the natural foods grocer.

The deal follows Whole Foods’ announcement a month ago of a board shake-up and cost-cutting plan amid falling sales. The grocery store operator was also under pressure from activist investor Jana Partners.

While the purchase could prove disruptive for other industries, trucking should be OK and may even stand to profit, according to industry observer Russell Leo, CEO of RLS Logistics.

“The overall impact is positive for the transportation industry — from the grocery side it’s a different answer, and even with that I don’t know how negative it would be,” Leo said. “For trucking and logistics, I see it as neutral if not a positive impact because Amazon is still showing brick and mortar is still key.”

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