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Supply Chain by the Numbers

- March 15 , 2012


Supply Chain by the Numbers for Week of March 15, 2012


Sharp Displays for iPad 3 Still a Little Dull; Searching for Mexican Truckers; Wages on the March in All of Asia; Container Shippers Starting Some Idle Time



Months Sharp Electronics is behind in delivering displays to Apple for the new iPad 3 tablet computer, obviously meaning Sharp screens won't be in any of the new iPads when they hit store shelves today. According to news reports, Sharp has had trouble meeting demanding requirements from Apple. The first displays from Sharp were supposed to be delivered to Apple contract manufacturers in late December, and Sharp may finally start delivering screens by the end of the month. Another Apple supplier, LG Display, also had some initial troubles meeting the specs, but is now shipping. That leaves third supplier Samsung in a good position with Apple - even as they sue each other over other matters related to IP.




Effective impact on labor costs in some areas of Thailand by an aggressive increase in the minimum schedule to go into effect there in April. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal this week, rising wages in China are having a spillover effect in many other parts of Asia. Indonesian workers in some areas have also secured minimum-wage increases of more than 20% in recent months, for example.


Total number of Mexican trucking companies that have applied to be part of the three-year cross border trucking pilot that was approved in 2011, over much controversy. Prior to that, Mexico had imposed tariffs on a number of US agricultural goods as retort after the Obama administration had suspended the program in 2009, in part over strong protests from the Teamsters. Of the 21 firms that have applied, only two Mexican truckers so far have actually been approved to carry freight in the US. The US Dept. of Transportation started this week to actually recruit Mexican truckers due to the low response to the program thus far.



Amount of ocean container shipping capacity that has finally already been idled worldwide amidst the glut of capacity in the industry, according Maersk Line CEO Soren Skou this week. That adds up to about 800,000 TEU being taken off the market, and the amount idled may be well on its way to more than 1 million TEU soon, Skou said. That as the container shipping industry lost $5.2 billion last year, most of it in the second half. Maersk says as yet it has not idled any ships itself, but may do so soon as global trade volume growth continues to slow.

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