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Supply Chain by the Numbers
   
 

- Nov. 6, 2014 -

   
  Supply Chain by the Numbers for Week of Nov. 6, 2014
   
 

Carriers Like 3PL Services a Lot More than Straight Truckload Carriage; Amazon Testing Taxi Deliveries; Troubles and Costs Crossing Mexican Border May be Changing; FedEx Battling Unionization Efforts

   
 
 
 

9.9%

That was the lowest growth in Q3 among any of the seven publicly traded truckload carriers we follow in the area of 3PL-like services - brokerage, dedicated carriage, value added services, etc. - as the clear trend is a focus on non-straight truckload carriage in favor of these other services and intermodal. The revenue growth in these other service areas in Q3, excluding intermodal, were: Werner - 10.4%; JB Hunt - 19.7%; Knight - 55.3%; Swift - 28.9%; Marten - 9.9%; Celadon - 25.2% (Heartland does not break out separate results in this area). Contrast that to a growth in traditional truckload carriage revenue in Q3 of just 8%, and that is distorted by a big jump at Heartland after its acquisition of Gordon Trucking, without which the growth would have been more like 4%. The truckload carrier landscape is changing.

 
 


 
 
 

5

Number of additional locations where union votes are scheduled to take place in the next few weeks at FedEx Freight terminals, after sites in New Jersey and Philadelphia voted to join the Teamsters over the past two weeks. FedEx has said it would challenge that latter result and maybe the former as well. However, FedEx also won a recent victory when the union withdrew a second vote scheduled at the company's Middletown, Pa., facility, something FedEx attributed to a lack of employee support. FexEx enjoys an advantage in its Freight group, largely a provider of LTL services, by being non-union while its competitors such as UPS and YRC Worldwide are all unionized. The drivers in these locations are seeking job security and improved benefits, according to the Teamsters. After organizing started in New Jersey, FedEx increased wages by 80 cents an hour and scrapped a driver scorecard, the union added.

 
 
 
 
 
$2 Billion

That's about how much US shippers spend each year due to archaic rules getting goods into and out of Mexico, which must go through a powerful group of Mexican customers brokers that charge high fees in a process that delays shipments. That according to two-part series of columns published in SCDigest over the past couple of weeks by Jim Giermanski of Powers International. But that terrible status quo may soon change, based on reform laws passed by Mexico and set to go into effect in 2015. Will the Mexican customs brokers be able to somehow beat this important reform back? We'll see next year. See Mexico Facilitates Trade Across Its U.S. Border Part 2.)

 
 
 
 

$5

What Amazon is said to be paying regular taxi cab drivers to deliver orders from its fulfillment center to local customers, in a test in - where else? - the San Francisco area plus Los Angeles. Amazon is using the using the taxi-hailing mobile app Flywheel, according to people familiar with the matter, an article in the Wall Street Journal said this week. Amazon is studying the broader use of taxis as delivery vehicles, the sources also said. In the test, Amazon summoned cabs through the Flywheel app to mini-distribution centers before loading them with as many as 10 packages bound for a single 5-digit zip Code, paying about $5 a package for delivery within one hour, the sources said.

 
 
 
 
 
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