Supply Chain by the Numbers for Week of Oct.14, 2011
Chinese Imports into US set Record; Manufacturing Activity Stays Strong; Terrible Toll of Cantalope Contamination; Many Companies Sent a 10-Pack to CSCMP
US Trade deficit with China for the month of August, as reported this week by the Commerce Department. That sets a new all-time monthly record, even as overall imports fell slightly, and represents an increase of 7.4%. Through the first eight months of this year, the US trade deficit with China is running 9% higher than the same period in 2010. Exports increased 2.9% to $8.41 billion, but imports rose 6.5% to $37.36 billion. That means the US imported more than four times the products from China than it imported there.
The number of companies that sent 10 or more people to the annual CSCMP conference last week in Philadelphia, as reported to us by CSCMP CEO Rick Blasgen, after SCDigest commented that it seemed fewer companies were sending lots of people to the event versus years past. Several dozen more sent at least 5 people. While many of these companies were either 3PL or technology vendors, a surprising number to us were regular companies. Blasgen says CSCMP's enterprise membership program is paying off.
Number of manufacturers currently operating at above 85% capacity, according to the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI based on new data in its quarterly survey on the US manufacturing outlook. While MAPI's composite manufacturing index for this quarter dropped just barely to 67 from its level of 68 in June, it was the eighth consecutive quarter the index has been above the 50 level that separates contraction from expansion. “Despite the fact that a number of indexes fell, taken together the results of this quarter’s survey contradict the view that manufacturing sector activity is sputtering," MAPI's chief economist said.
Number of deaths now linked to an outbreak of listeria in cantaloupes coming from Colorado, making it the deadliest known outbreak of food borne illness in the U.S. in more than 25 years. At least 93 more have been sickened, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the numbers may go higher. This situation is sure to increase pressure to improve food safety in the supply chain and food tracking systems.