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Supply Chain by the Numbers

- Oct. 8, 2020

  Supply Chain by the Numbers for Oct. 8, 2020

Demand for US Warehouse Workers Continues On; Q2 GDP Tanked, but Hope for Q3; Hyundai Shipping Fuel Cell Trucks; Darkstore Emerges from Fulfillment Shadows



That's how many new warehouse jobs were created in the US September, according to a report this week from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Companies are adding tens of thousands of warehousing jobs as they scale up ecommerce fulfillment and distribution capacity ahead of the fourth quarter. That was after an increase of 34,000 new jobs in August, as current ecommerce growth and what some are expecting to be an unprecedented holiday shopping season on-line means lots of companies are bulking up distribution staff. "It's just been one big spike. I think we saw maybe a 500% uptick in ecommerce business since March," Jeff Kaiden, CEO of Capacity LLC, a third-party logistics provider, told the Wall Street Journal. The company is bringing on 30% more warehouse workers for the peak season than it did last year, he said. XPO Logistics said it will hire 10,000 temp workers for peak, while efulfillment focused 3PL Radial plans to bring on 25,000 seasonal workers, up 19% from 2019.



That is how many hydrogen fuel cell-powered electric trucks that Hyundai will deliver to customers in Switzerland by the end of the year, the company announced this week. Hyundai says seven Xcient Fuel Cell electric trucks have already been delivered to Swiss customers, with 43 more targeted for delivery by the end of 2020. The Korean company plans to deliver 2,000 fuel-cell trucks into customers' hands around the world by the end of 2021, including the US. That in turn will make the Xcient is the world's first mass-produced fuel-cell electric heavy-duty truck, Hyundai claims. It also says it will make another $1.3 billion investment in the program, in addition to a previously announced $6.4 billion spend on  establishing a hydrogen ecosystem to support creation of what is calls a "hydrogen society" that dramatically reduces CO2 emissions.





That was the drop in Q2 US GDP, according to the final estimate from the Commerce Dept. late last week. That amazingly was more than three times larger than the previous record, a fall of 10% in the first quarter of 1958. The good news: Economists on average believe the economy will expand at an annual rate of 30% in the just ended third quarter, as businesses have re-opened and millions of people have gone back to work. If that forecast is right, it would shatter the old record for a quarterly GDP increase, a 16.7% jump in the first quarter of 1950. The consensus forecast is for 4% growth in Q4, but economists note that will be highly dependent on how the pandemic plays out.




That's how many hours in which a previously low profile home delivery provider called Darkstore says it can deliver in its urban markets. The company made news when it announced this week its first direct consumer app. Before, all of Darkstore's business was from its brand clients, which include Nike, Adidas and Levis, fulfilling orders those companies have received. Now, consumers can order directly from Darkstores for same-day delivery. The new consumer-facing app called is called FastAF. FastAF currently offers 1,200 items from 170 brands. Anything sold on FastAF comes from a Darkstore fulfillment center, but not every Darkstore client is available on the app. And it turns out there are 550 Darkstores across 238 urban markets. Currently, the service is only available in Los Angeles, with plans to service New York by the end of 2020. It also turns out Darkstores has partnered with DoorDash to handle the deliveries from its urban warehouses - which will cost a steep $9.99 after a free promotional period.

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