February 27, 2024

Family Dollar’s $41M warehouse mouse infestation


Welcome to the WHAT THE TRUCK?!? Newsletter brought to you by Dynamic Logistix. In this issue, Family Dollar’s mouse-infested warehouse; Walmart’s moves; layoffs continue.


1,270 dead mice — Move over Disney, we have a new house of mouse. Family Dollar Stores are out $41.6 million after being ordered to fork over the largest fine of its kind for using a rodent-infested warehouse in Arkansas.

Yahoo News reports, “The company pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of causing goods to be ‘adulterated while being held under insanitary conditions’ at a federal court hearing in Little Rock on Monday.”


According to the plea agreement, Family Dollar, which is owned by Dollar Tree, first learned of the mouse and pest issues back in August 2020. Reuters reports, “The company continued to ship FDA-regulated products from the warehouse until January 2022, when an FDA inspection revealed live rodents, dead and decaying rodents, rodent feces, urine, and odors, and evidence of gnawing and nesting throughout the facility.”

“Having reached full resolution with the DOJ, we are continuing to move forward on our business transformation, safety procedures and compliance initiatives.” — Dollar Tree Chairman and CEO Rick Dreiling

The Department of Justice said over 1,270 dead mice were found after exterminators fumigated the warehouse. Here’s some cheese to nibble on. The company claims they’ve built a better mouse trap and have since solved the problem

Sound off — What’s the grossest thing you’ve ever found in a warehouse? Email me.

Walmart’s big moves


J.B. Hunt acquires Walmart intermodal fleet — The Northwest Arkansas connection deepens as Walmart and J.B. Hunt have “entered a long-term intermodal deal with Walmart that includes volume and capacity commitments.”

“We think the investment by JBHT is significant, but it’s part of the company’s existing commitment to get to 150k containers … and we note this purchase would represent capacity that is already in the market and comes with incremental volume commitments.” — Deutsche Bank analyst Amit Mehrotra

While it’s unknown what the size of the fleet is or what the purchase price was, as part of the deal J.B. Hunt has picked up Walmart’s intermodal assets.

1 billion tons


Gigaton — In 2017 Walmart set some ambitious goals through its Project Gigaton program for its suppliers to reduce 1 billion tons (1 gigaton) of emissions from their value chain by 2030. Now the company has announced that Project Gigaton has hit that milestone six years early.

How’d they get there? The Bentonville big box behemoth says industrywide participation was key. Over 5,900 of its suppliers signed up since launching in 2017. In fiscal year 2023, 75% of U.S. sales came from suppliers enlisted in the project.

Walmart x Kodiak?

The Road To Autonomy

Autonomous deal on deck? — Last week I caught up with Grayson Brulte on his show “The Road To Autonomy” to discuss all things AV. One news item we dove deep on was Kodiak’s James Reed joining Walmart as vice president of transportation development. With Reed staying on Kodiak’s board of directors, does that mean a Walmart x Kodiak autonomous truck deal could be on tap? You can catch that show right here

Layoffs and bankruptcies continue


Boateng Logistics’ bankruptcy — Overcapacity issues in both brokerages and at carriers are still causing problems for firms as the freight bleedout continues. The latest victim is Boateng Logistics, headquartered in Carlsbad, California.

FreightWaves’ Clarissa Hawes reports, “Trucking, logistics and factoring companies are collectively owed millions of dollars after a California-based freight forwarder filed for bankruptcy liquidation.”

573 layoffs — Bad news continues to reverberate through the industry as this week sees another round of layoffs cull the supply chain worker population

DHL Supply Chain = 161 layoffs

Hillside Logistics LLC = 136 layoffs

Ceva Logistics = 80 layoffs

DSX Logistics = 80 layoffs and one closed Amazon facility

Quad Logistics Services = 74 layoffs and one closed printing facility
Universal Intermodal Services = 42 layoffs

Meme of the week


Stock footage — Whoever runs the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s social media account stepped in one Tuesday by using a stock photo of European trucks in a since-deleted post about detention time studies.

Some were concerned that they’d be conducting these in Poland as the photo depicts instead of the USA. Others were worried that the FMCSA doesn’t know what a U.S. truck looks like.

The rest of the noise

Freight Bandit gets fact-checked (Newsweek)

WTT Wednesday

How AI is changing how you log inventory, pick a couch and buy a truck — This Wednesday on WHAT THE TRUCK?!?, I’m talking to Gather AI’s Sean Mitchell about the applicability of warehouse drones, AI and software in optimizing operations. 

Couch.com founder and CEO Alex Beck is an e-commerce veteran and a direct-to-consumer expert. He’s built a new platform that helps users select a couch. He’s talking about the future of AI in the furniture industry and e-commerce in general.

It’s all about chassis when Consolidated Chassis Management LLC’s Mike Wilson joins the show. We’ll learn about the company’s South Atlantic Consolidated Chassis Pool. 

FreightWaves’ Alan Adler covers the electric and the eclectic. We’ll learn about Hyliion’s Karno generator; ideal use cases for electric vehicles; and renewable natural gas as a growing factor in Class 8 truck orders.

Plus, latest news, weirdness and trends.

Catch new shows live at noon EST Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on FreightWaves LinkedIn, Facebook, X or YouTube or on demand by looking up WHAT THE TRUCK?!? on your favorite podcast player.

Now on demand

Ryan Petersen: Relaunching Convoy; rebuilding Flexport

CEO spends week in semi to solve parking problem; Will’s Journey; Convoy returns

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