Borderlands: Solar panel maker to build $1B factory in New Mexico

Borderlands is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of United States-Mexico cross-border trucking and trade. This week: Solar panel maker building $1B factory in New Mexico; McMaster-Carr to open $360M distribution center in Fort Worth; Startup Aircon raises $3.3M in seed funding; and Texas-based Ever.Ag acquires logistics platform.

Solar panel maker building $1B factory in New Mexico

Singapore-based Maxeon Solar Technologies recently announced an investment of $1 billion to build a solar panel and cell factory in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The Maxeon plant set for the municipality of Mesa del Sol just south of Albuquerque will create 1,800 jobs when it opens in 2025.

Company officials said the new factory was spurred by incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act, aimed at boosting domestic supplies of renewable energy components to compete with China.

“Thanks to the support of the Biden administration, the U.S. is now poised to reshore and scale up a domestic solar supply chain,” Bill Mulligan, Maxeon CEO, said in a news release. “We see tremendous opportunity to help the country advance its clean energy agenda while generating strong local economic impact.”

The Maxeon plant is expected to be the first large-scale photovoltaic cell and panel manufacturing site in the state. The company currently has plants in Mexico, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Maxeon Solar Technologies is headquartered in Singapore, and designs and manufactures solar panels, with sales operations in more than 100 countries. The company has 5,000 employees in 14 countries.

McMaster-Carr to open $360M distribution center in Fort Worth

McMaster-Carr, an e-commerce industrial distribution company, announced plans to invest $360 million in a new headquarters and distribution center in Fort Worth, Texas.

McMaster-Carr’s 117-acre site will be in the AllianceTexas industrial park, a 9,600-acre location that includes the Perot Field Fort Worth Alliance Airport and BNSF Railway’s Alliance intermodal facility.

The company’s expansion into Texas will create 250 jobs. McMaster-Carr, founded in 1901, is based in Elmhurst, Illinois.

The company is a supplier to industrial and commercial facilities worldwide, specializing in same- and next-day delivery of tools as well as industrial and operations supplies. The privately held company has operations in Los Angeles, New Jersey, Atlanta and Cleveland.

Startup Aircon raises $3.3M in seed funding

Air cargo platform Aircon recently raised $3.3M in seed funding.

The funding round was led by Underscore VC. Company officials intend to use the funds for investing in partnerships across the air cargo and freight markets, global gateway expansion, growing its AI tech infrastructure, and hiring talent.

Aircon consolidates small and midsize freight forwarders’ volumes from various gateways and uses AI technology to find the best transit times and contract rates for air cargo shipments.

“This milestone speaks volumes about our team’s commitment to leveraging AI infrastructure for unparalleled efficiency and excellence in the air cargo sector,” Irl Wakefield, co-founder and vice president of operations, said in a LinkedIn post.

The Dallas-based company was founded in 2021 by Wakefield, Vice President of Sales Reed Rivers and CEO Chris Condon.

Texas-based Ever.Ag acquires logistics platform

Lewisville, Texas-based Ever.Ag recently acquired Roger, an industry leader in bulk agriculture commodity trucking technology and logistics. 

The acquisition expands Ever.Ag’s portfolio of software, risk management resources and market intelligence offerings.

“Roger provides a robust solution for bulk ag trucking and logistics that is traceable, efficient, and reliable,” Scott Sexton, Ever.Ag CEO, said in a news release. “Combining Roger with Ever.Ag’s data analytics tools will provide customers with the near-real-time logistics information they need to make better business decisions.”

Roger is based in Lincoln, Nebraska, and uses technology to streamline dry bulk truck freight shipping. Ever.Ag is focused on the agricultural sector and provides software and services that aim at creating efficiencies in supply chains.

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Click for more FreightWaves articles by Noi Mahoney.

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The second annual F3: Future of Freight Festival will be held in Chattanooga, “The Scenic City,” this November. F3 combines innovation and entertainment — featuring live demos, industry experts discussing freight market trends for 2024, afternoon networking events, and Grammy Award-winning musicians performing in the evenings amidst the cool Appalachian fall weather.

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