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Supply Chain by the Numbers

- Oct. 19, 2012

  Supply Chain by the Numbers for Week of Oct. 19, 2012

Target Ties Stores to E-fullfillment; Union Pacific Keeps Working on the Railroad (Profits); Yuan Value Headed Up; To Russia with Love



Number of hot selling toys for which Target is executing a special Christmas season shipping deal. If a customer goes to a physical store and scans a special QR bar code Target will put on the select toys, they can purchase the item using their smart phones and have the item shipped for free. The move of course is designed to drive consumers to brink and mortar stores while leveraging the web. Fulfillment presumably will come from Target’s e-fulfillment centers, not the stores.




Rise in profits for rail carrier Union Pacific in Q3, as announced in its earnings call this week. That coming in what was generally considered a fairly weak economic quarter. Financial results for the quarter were the best ever for the railroad, UP CEO Jack Koraleski said, as the good news for rail carriers just continue on quarter after quarter even as coal shipment volumes drop rapidly. Core pricing even in this weakened economic environment was once again up 5%, the company said.

$1.2 Billion

What International Paper is spending to upgrade manufacturing plants in Russia, as the country’s entry into the World Trade Organization in August plus rising wealth there are creating a boon for US manufacturers. US exports to Russia were up about 29 percent in the first eight months this year from a year ago, and are forecast to top $10 billion in 2012, up five-fold from a decade ago. "Basically, we can sell all we can make in Russia," said John Faraci, International Paper's CEO.


Recent level of the dollar to Chinese Yuan ratio - the second-highest level ever since the country de-pegged the Chinese currency from the dollar in 2005. The higher that ratio, the greater the value of the Yuan versus the dollar. That will surely lead China to call for an end to rhetoric in Western governments saying China is keeping its currency artificially low to boost exports. The Chinese government still tightly controls the Yuan's relative value, however, and the rise comes after Chinese exports rose 9.9% in September, much higher than August's 2.7% increase.

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