US shippers turn up the heat on government over 'punitive' D&D fees

The Load Star | April 07, 2020

US agricultural shippers have appealed to the US government to act to stop the “unconscionable imposition of millions of dollars of unfair … fees” placed on the industry by ports and shipping lines. The letter, sent by the Agriculture Transportation Coalition on behalf of 80 organisations, said it sought “government engagement” with the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), which has developed a Proposed Interpretive Rule, but which has yet to be adopted. “Ocean carriers and terminal operators impose detention and demurrage charges on US agriculture businesses when ocean freight containers cannot be timely returned to, or picked up from, marine terminals within a short ‘free time’ window, even when the delay is caused by the ocean carriers or terminals themselves (such as when the terminal is closed, or the ship is late),” noted the letter.

Spotlight

In the past, scattershot, broad-based attacks were often more about causing mischief than stealing confidential or financial data. But today, the landscape has changed. Threats are targeted, malicious, persistent and are designed to acquire valuable information. They have the potential to cause millions of dollars worth of damage due to compromised records.

Spotlight

In the past, scattershot, broad-based attacks were often more about causing mischief than stealing confidential or financial data. But today, the landscape has changed. Threats are targeted, malicious, persistent and are designed to acquire valuable information. They have the potential to cause millions of dollars worth of damage due to compromised records.

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GOVERNMENT FINANCE

Canvass AI Accelerates Expansion with Completion of US $14.23 Million Series A Funding

FedDev Ontario | August 10, 2022

Canvass Analytics Inc. ("Canvass AI"), a leader in industrial AI software, today announced the completion of its previously reported Series A financing with an extension of US $7.73 million, led by Yamaha Motors Ventures and a CDN $5.7 million (US $4.43 million) repayable loan from the Government of Canada, through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario). The Series A extension will fuel the company's mission to empower industrial workforces to drive impact across their operations with the power of Industrial AI. "The completion of our Series A endorses our go-to-market strategy and the acceptance of our solution in market. Today, leading industrials and manufacturers are using our patented Canvass AI platform to solve challenges that have plagued their operations for decades. This, in turn, is providing a positive impact to their productivity, profitability, and sustainability goals, This additional financing places us in a solid position to achieve our growth plans and accelerate AI adoption in large and mid-cap industrial companies." -Humera Malik, CEO of Canvass AI. As previously announced, the FedDev loan will enable the company to expand its diverse and inclusive workforce in Ontario as the company accelerates its growth with industrial companies who are rapidly adopting and scaling AI across their operations. "Our government believes that protecting our environment and fighting climate change is not only the right thing to do for the planet but also for our economy. The Government of Canada is proud to support tech companies like Canvass AI in the important work they are doing to reduce the environmental impact of major industries as we move toward net-zero emissions." -Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. Canvass AI's laser focus on enabling industrial companies to achieve their performance goals faster with the power of AI is filling a gap in the market that industrial companies have been searching for. We are excited by Canvass AI's strategy to empower industrial engineers as the change makers of Industry 4.0 so that the industrials can extend their competitive advantage, reduce costs, and advance their sustainability initiatives, commented Anish Patel, COO and Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Ventures. Canvass AI's customers span the oil and gas, chemical and petrochemical, metals and mining, and energy sectors, all of which contribute significantly to the global economy and will play key roles in combating climate change. The Canvass AI platform provides industrial engineers with easy-to-use AI solutions to apply and scale across their operations that address their operational challenges, without requiring coding or data science expertise. Today, leading companies use Canvass AI to reduce carbon emissions and waste, improve yields, optimize facility operations, improve asset reliability and integrity, and optimize energy consumption. About Canvass AI: Canvass AI is a leading industrial AI software provider that puts the power of AI in the hands of industrial workforces to solve day-to-day operational problems. Some of the world's largest companies use Canvass AI's patented Industrial AI Platform to reduce carbon emissions and waste, improve yields, and optimize facility operations. Backed by Alphabet and Yamaha Motor Ventures, the Company is recognized by CB Insights as one of the world's top 50 technology companies that is advancing manufacturing. About FedDev Ontario: For 13 years, the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, has worked to advance and diversify the southern Ontario economy through funding opportunities and business services that support innovation, growth and job creation in Canada's most populous region. The Agency has delivered impressive results, which can be seen in southern Ontario businesses that are creating innovative technologies, improving productivity, growing revenues, creating jobs, and in the economic advancement of communities across the region.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY,GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Convergint Acquires MVP Tech, Expanding Service Offerings in the Middle East

Convergint | September 13, 2022

Convergint, a global leader in service-based systems integration, today announced it has acquired MVP Tech, a leading UAE-based security and IT systems contractor serving private enterprises and government clients for the past two decades. The acquisition will add more than 200 colleagues to Convergint and expand the company’s presence to countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Middle East. Founded in 2003 and headquartered in Dubai, MVP Tech has three offices across the United Arab Emirates and Iraq with near-future expansion plans into KSA. The company’s diverse and multinational colleagues are comprised of 80% technical individuals with a proven industry background, managing and delivering projects with one of the largest on-the-ground workforces in the market. MVP Tech’s mission is to deliver next-generation intelligence and interconnectivity across verticals such as critical infrastructure, hospitality, luxury retail and malls, and energy infrastructure. “MVP Tech’s strong, customer-focused culture and their expertise in emerging technologies provides an important competitive advantage and is well-aligned with our growth strategy, MVP will allow us to directly meet the needs of our global customers in this critical region. MVP’s robust technical capabilities and rapidly expanding artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data capabilities will complement and accelerate our investments in these key areas. We look forward to collaborating with MVP Tech’s colleagues and leadership, who will remain in place to deliver uninterrupted service excellence and the latest in technological innovation to their customers.” -Ken Lochiatto, CEO of Convergint. By joining forces with Convergint, we now have the opportunity to expand our engineering-driven philosophy and to further elevate our service capabilities, for both our local and multinational customers, said Charles Kiwan, CEO and owner, MVP Tech. Convergint’s culture and core Values and Beliefs are the perfect fit for MVP Tech. We greatly look forward to the new possibilities we can bring to our customers through Convergint’s resources. Convergint has a service-focused presence across North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and Oceania. The company continues to grow globally, with this acquisition following four others earlier this year that expanded Convergint’s capabilities across Canada, Australia, and the United States. About Convergint: Convergint is a $2.0 billion global, industry-leading systems integrator that designs, installs, and services electronic security, cybersecurity, fire and life safety, building automation, and audio-visual systems. Listed as the #1 systems integrator in SDM Magazine’s Top Systems Integrators Report for the past 5 years, Convergint leads with over 8,500 colleagues and more than 185 locations worldwide.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY,GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Bidscale: A Software Solution for Modernizing and Accelerating Government Procurement

Bidscale | August 17, 2022

Bidscale is announcing the public launch and refresh of their flagship software, Bidscale Select. Federal contracting is the backbone of America. From combat helicopters to scientific research, contracts underpin the operational effectiveness of our country. Contracting is big business, with $680B spent annually. Quick and smart government procurement leads to a stronger and more prosperous America. The current process is burdened by a lack of digitization resulting in a five-to-seven-year timetable from contract conceptualization to award. This stifles the Government's ability to obtain the latest and greatest innovation. For example, if it takes five years to buy a three-year-old combat system, by the time it is purchased and implemented, the technology would be at least eight years old. Bidscale has proven that the slowdown comes from a lack of tools necessary for Contracting Officers. These officers need to advance away from the usage of pens, highlighters, and post-it notes and move into the digital realm where collaboration, communication, and effective workflow tracking occur all in one place. Addressing this situation has garnered bipartisan support, illuminated by the AGILE Procurement Act, a reformation that enhances agile technology acquisition across the Federal Government. Bidscale is addressing the situation too, saving time by digitizing the source selection process. Through a secure environment, Bidscale supports the full lifecycle of source selection activities including proposal submission, evaluation, consensus, reporting, and artifact generation. It can take weeks for a Contracting Officer to compile and export source selection artifacts, but Bidscale does it in under ten seconds, and that is just one of the many features. "I'm very proud to have seen Bidscale already successfully implemented during several major Federal Government source selection processes, this company is committed to developing even more tools to continuously improve and digitize this contracting process. I believe Bidscale is a Govtech company to watch." -Tony Kwag, founder of Bidscale. Bidscale was made for Contracting Officers by Contracting Officers, so it addresses the most pressing needs through the following product modules: Evaluation – Allows users to virtually conduct proposal evaluations with supporting data on a single screen. Contracting Artifacts – Allows users to manage contracting artifacts and auto-generate comprehensive reports. Consensus – Users can run consolidated reviews to ensure quality control and adherence to source selection requirements. Contracting Workflow – A progress tracker where users can centrally manage and report on the source selection process by managing progress, schedule, risk, submissions, and reporting. This feature is especially useful when team members are not in the same room. Ultimately, Bidscale creates a source selection process that is repeatable, traceable, defendable, and scalable. About Bidscale: Founded in Arlington, Virginia, Bidscale is a software solution that is mission-focused on accelerating innovation across the Federal Government. Bidscale is a Small Disadvantaged Business pending 8(a) certification and has achieved SOC 2 compliance.

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