Supply Chain by the Numbers

- May 18 , 2012


Supply Chain by the Numbers for Week of May 18, 2012


Macy's Bulking Up Distribution from Stores; Cargo Scanning Finally Almost Here; Leading Factors for a 3PL Divorce; Is Walmart Losing US Share?



Number of its more than 800 retail stores that department store chain Macy’s says it plans to modify to support fulfillment for on-line and other order types, making major changes to those stores in the process. An article in the Wall Street Journal this week said that as part of the changes, Macy’s will add expanded back office storerooms and new technology that dynamically updates the status of every item in every store, while allocating merchandise between channels based on sales data.




Percent of shipper respondents that said “cost creep” was the main factor that leads them to decide to look for a new 3PL to replace an existing one, according to a new report this week from eyefortransport. Poor service from the incumbent 3PL and finding a new new 3PL offering better service were tied for the second most important factor, at 38% each (respondents could choose more than one). Interestingly, elsewhere in the report it finds 3PLs think low price is a much more important factor for 3PL selection that shippers do… wonder which side is right?


The level of screening for international cargo coming into the US on passengers planes that will finally be achieved, based on legislation passed in 2007, by Dec. 3 of this year. That’s a few months after the initial legislation called for, but it's also about a year later than TSA promised after the 2010 discovery of explosives in printer cartridges coming from Yemen. What the impact will be on logistics processes and flows is not yet clear, but the TSA said it will use smart screening for trusted shippers to speed the process.


Walmart’s share of the US retail market, as of the end of Q1, down from its peak of a 13. 89% share in 2010, according to research by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW). We must note that the UFCW IS not exactly a friend of Walmart, as it has been trying to unionize the retail giant’s workforce for years. Still, with that caveat, the research looks legit, comparing, for example, Walmart’s same store growth in recent years versus that of rival Target, based on publicly reported numbers, which shows Target has been growing same store sales faster than Walmart.