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Supply Chain by the Numbers

- April 26, 2013

  Supply Chain by the Numbers for Week of April 26, 2013

Another Deadly Apparel Factory Disaster in Bangladesh; Pilot Flying J Diesel Rebate Scandal; FedEx Tightens Delivery Windows - for a Fee; The Internet Sales Tax Cometh




Number of confirmed dead as we went to press from the collapse of a building housing numerous apparel factories in Bangladesh earlier this week. The disaster comes less than six months after a fire at an apparel factory there killed some 112, and less than four months since another apparel factory fire killed seven women In January. After seeing deep cracks in the walls of the building on Tuesday, police had ordered it evacuated. But officials at the garment factories operating inside ignored the order and kept more than 2,000 people working, authorities said. After the November fire, at a factory making products for Walmart and others, Walmart issued much tougher new rules about vendors sub-contracting apparel suppliers and requiring factory inspections.




Number of corporate customers (carriers and companies with private fleets) that the Pilot Flying J truck stop chain has - a number especially pertinent after recent government allegations that for a number of years, the company has been cheating some customers on their contractual rebate levels. An affidavit from an FBI agent that triggered raids on Pilot's headquarters and private homes of some employees alleged that Pilot juiced profits by shorting unsophisticated customers that couldn't detect they were being cheated. A class action suit seems certain - many may get a big check.

$1 Million

Threshold sales revenue above which internet retailers would have to start collecting state and local sales taxes, under a proposed new bill that seems likely to be approved in the US Senate. The potential law's prospects in the House are less certain. If approved, the change would certainly close the price advantage on-line retailers (which grew another 14.5% in Q1) have by not charging sales taxes over brick and mortar rivals., after years of fighting such a change, now largely supports the legislation, as its growing DC presence in numerous states (and with it the requirement to collect sales taxes) means it doesn't much benefit from the exception any more.



Fee FedEx will charge to promise e-commerce deliveries within a two-hour window, the company announced this week. For $5, you can reschedule the delivery day or location, with detailed instructions for the driver. And for free, customers can sign up on the FedEx website to be notified of pending deliveries by email, text or phone. The e-fulfillment wars continue on.

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