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Supply Chain by the Numbers

- May 22, 2014 -

  Supply Chain by the Numbers for Week of May 22, 2014

Target Canada's Case Quantity Disaster;  Oxfam Says Food Companies Need to Look at Extended Supply Chains for CO2; Schneider Writes Big Check to DC Workers; Truckload Rates are Headed Higher



Number of items that might actually in a carton arriving last year to any of Target's three new Canadian distribution centers - when the computer systems were expecting 24. It appears that somewhere along the way, the number of units defined in Target's system for a given case bar code were not what the number in the physical cases - a really, really big problem. All that according to a report this week from Reuters, which said this happened across dozens of products, and was a key factor in Target’s disastrous launch in in Canada last year, even as it sent up dozens of US workers to try to correct the problem. Merchandise wasn't getting to the stores. It isn't clear whether these errors were caused by Target's buyers entering bad data, vendors making mistakes, a problem in the systems of the 3PL running the Canadian DCs, or what.





Number of metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions that the extended supply chains of the world's top 10 food and beverage manufacturers is producing. That according to environmental and social responsibility focused organization Oxfam. The organization says that about half of that total comes from the production of agricultural commodities in those companies' supply chains, such as maize and soy. However, those indirect emissions are not covered by targets the firms have set to lower their emissions, which are restricted to their own operations and the energy they use, Oxfam says. It also claims that climate change will drive up the price of food dramatically over time.

$21 Million

Amount that trucking giant Schneider has agreed to pay to settle a class action lawsuit that includes as many 1,800 employees at a contract warehouse over alleged wage violations. The allegations first emerged several years ago, and we’ll be honest that we lost track of the issue (see New Allegations of Abusive DC Conditions in Import DCs in LA Area Run by Schneider Logistics for Walmart). Workers at three Schneider-owned DCs in the Inland Empire area not far from the Port of Los Angeles alleged in the suit that they were often not receiving pay for all the hours they had worked or the proper "piece rate" pay, were required to work in dangerously hot conditions, and were threatened with termination if they complain to superiors. This new settlement comes after Schneider agreed to pay $4.7 million related to another suit from the same facilities late last year.



Rise in year-over-year US linehaul truckload rates in April, according to the latest analysis from the Cass Truckload Index, as the supply-demand balance continues to shift in the truckers favor. And Cass ought to know - it audits and pays more than $23 billion in freight bills for shippers annually. At an index level of 121, that means linehaul rates are also up 21% over the baseline period of January 2005, and about the same since the recent low marks in 2009. Cass also says rates are up 4.6% just since February, while the analysts at Avondale Partners predict increases of 4-6% in contracted linehaul rates in 2014. Looks like that might even be low.

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