Supply Chain by the Numbers for Week of Nov. 11, 2011
Distribution Space Starts Getting Filled Again; Walmart E-Commerce Stores; Fed Highways Won't Toll for Thee; Cap and Trade in California to Hit Fuel in 2015
The amount of industrial space in the US that went vacant in the recession that has now been absorbed, according to a new analysis by the real estate experts at Grubb & Ellis, and the remaining 14% may be taken in the next quarter. Of course, that comes as construction of new space came to a near halt during the severe downturn, especially in terms of "spec" projects, but the report says developers may start to finally begin some spec again building in 2012.
The level tolls will stay at on federal interstate highways in the new transportation bill passed this week by the US Senate. There were some arguing for such tolls to be added for the first time to increase revenue to support highway infrastructure projects, but it now appears that is not going to happen (though the House has not yet approved its version of a bill). The ATA hailed the move, and says it would prefer an increase in federal gas/diesel taxes, which are unchanged since the 1990s.
Number of small footprint "dot com" stores Walmart has opened in the California market that feature products from its ecommerce channel. The stores are just 1000 square feet - one each near downtown Los Angeles and San Diego - and are focused on the types of products that can be given as holiday gifts: toys, big-screen TVs, computer tablets and home theater products. Some products can be purchased in store, though most are for order and shipment. Shipping fees are waived from products ordered in the stores.
The year when major fuel distributors in California, such as refiners, will fall under requirements for California's recently finalized Cap and Trade program for carbon emissions. Since there is no real operational way for these companies to reduce carbon emissions, they will need to keep buying "allowances" as their caps decline over time. The inevitable - and intended - result? Gas and diesel prices will soar.