sc digest
April 23, 2021
Supply Chain Digest Flagship Newsletter


This Week in SCDigest

bullet Amazon is Eating the Fulfillment World bullet SCDigest On-Target e-Magazine
bullet Supply Chain Graphic & by the Numbers for the Week bullet New Stock Index

New Supply Chain Cartoon Caption Contest

bullet Trivia      bullet Feedback
bullet New Expert Column bullet On Demand Videocasts



first thought


Supply Chain Graphic
of the Week
US Truckoad Rates Keep Heading Higher

This Week's Supply Chain

by the Numbers

Suez Canal Holding Beached Cargo Until Ship Owner Pays Up
Big Rival Bid for Kansas City Southern
Prices for New and Used Shipping Containers Surging
Dollar General Bets on Brick and Mortar Sales



March 17, 2021 Contest

Show Us Your Supply Chain Wit!

It's Back! SCDigest's Weekly

Supply Chain Stock Index



Weekly On-Target Newsletter:
April 21, 2021 Edition

Cartoon, Top SCDigest Stories of the Week

The Cold, Hard Facts - What to Consider When Replacing HCFC and HFC Refrigerants

Opteon™ refrigerants from Chemours

Read the Press Release

Dan Gilmore

Revisiting SCDigest's Framework on RFID Process Change


What company is the top US third-party logistics-related firm by 2020 revenue?

Answer Found at the
Bottom of the Page


Amazon is Eating the Fulfillment World

We all know about Amazon's incredible growth in its fulfillment network, right?

Or do we?

A few months ago, I wrote in this column a piece called "eCommerce Eats the World." That in itself was thematically borrowed from a column written by well-known Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Netscape, one of the first web browsers, that coined the famous phrase "Software is eating the world." In that Wall Street Journal op-ed, his point was basically that every physical thing that could be replaced by a digital solution is or would be.



As can be seen, on top of the current 824, an additional 325 of all types are already planned by Amazon. That is a 40% increase.

Send us your
Feedback here

I said in my column that it is now ecommerce that is "eating the world," with a hugely transformative impact on business, supply chain and society.

Well within ecommerce itself, it's Amazon that is eating the world. I follow such matters for a living, but even I was taken aback from a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer early this week that Amazon has built or plans to build an almost hard to believe 57 logistics facilities of all types in the greater Philadelphia, PA area alone.

To be clear, this is an expansive view of the Philadelphia metro region, including South New Jersey, the Lehigh Valley and Northern Delaware.

And also to be clear, Amazon has more than 10 types of logistics related facilities, including of course its giant standard fulfillment centers, but also sortation centers to sequence parcels by zip code for truck movement, delivery stations where Amazon Delivery Partners pick up their parcels for the day, returns centers, Prime Now hubs and more.

Amazon does not have large 57 fulfillment centers in greater Philadelphia. But it is an awfully big number for that geography nonetheless.

Walmart and Target plans were to use fulfillment from and pick-up at their many stores as a key weapon against Amazon. But does Walmart even have 57 stores in that extended Phillie region? A quick Google maps review appears to show nowhere close to that number. Target would be much less.

Amazon is eating the fulfillment world indeed.

I was simply not aware of how much Amazon expanded it fulfillment capacity during 2020 and the pandemic.

In that Philadelphia area, Amazon added 14 sites of all types last year. Across the US, the company grew its real estate footprint by an incredible 50% year-over-year in 2020 - that's 50% growth over what was already a giant number. How was that even possible?

"They've been gobbling up distribution space for more than five years in a big way, but the pandemic really accelerated that growth," Adrian Ponsen, director of analytics at real estate firm CoStar Group in Philadelphia, told the Inquirer.

That, it appears, is putting it mildly. Amazon also added about 500,000 new jobs last year, many white color workers for sure but the majority in logistics. 175,000 new jobs were created in Q4 alone.

The Inquirer notes that Amazon's regional strategy is heavily focused on the I-95 highway that runs right through the heart of the Phillie on its way North and South, a route to move parcels to the New York and Baltimore/Washington DC markets.

Amazon now has more than 800 total US logistics facilities. It plans to open at least nine more in the Philadelphia to get to that 57 total built or planned.

It is planning similar expansion in other markets.

Below, from our friends at MWPVL International and founder Marc Wulfraat, who has made quite a name for himself tracking the networks of Amazon and Walmart, is a graphic that shows the total count and active square footage by Amazon US facility type:



Source: MWPVL International

As can be seen, on top of the current 824 facilities, an additional 325 of all types are already planned by Amazon. That is a 40% increase.


In the end, the Inquirer piece notes, Amazon is focused on getting to 30-minute deliveries in much of the country.

What would not long ago have seemed impossible appears to me to be quite possible.

When Amazon eventually announces teleportation capabilities, no one should be surprised.

What is your reaction to Amazon's Philadelphia specific and US general fulfillment expansion? What are competitors to do?
Let us know your thoughs at the Feedback section below.



On Demand Videocast:

Understanding Distributed Order Management

Highlights from the New "Little Book of Distributed Order Management"

In this outstanding Videocast, we'll discuss DOM, based on the new Little Book of Distributed Order Management, written by our two Videocast presenters.

Featuring Dan Gilmore, Editor along with Satish Kumar, VP Client Services, Softeon

Now Available On Demand

On Demand Videocast:

The Grain Drain: Large-Scale Grain Port Terminal Optimization

The Constraints and Challenges of Planning and Implementing Port Operations

This videocast will provide a walkthrough of two ways to formulate a MIP, present an example port, and discuss port operations.

Featuring Dan Gilmore, Editor along with Dr. Evan Shellshear, Head of Analytics, Biarri.

Now Available On Demand

On Demand Videocast:

A Blueprint for WMS Implementation Success

If You Want a Successful WMS Project, You will Find the Blueprint in this Excellent Broadcast

This videocast lays out the keys to ensuring your WMS implementation goes smoothly, involves minimal pain, and accelerates time to value.

Featuring Dan Gilmore, Editor along with Todd Kovi of Radix Consulting and Dinesh Dongre of Softeon.

Now Available On Demand


Feedback will return next week.


Q: What company is the top US third-party logistics-related firm by 2020 revenue?


A: Freight forwarder and broker CH Robinson, with $15.4 billion in sales

Copyright SupplyChainDigest 2003-2020. All Rights Reserved.
To Unsubscribe from Supply Chain Digest emails: Click Here

This email was sent by SupplyChainDigest
PO Box 714, Springboro, Ohio 45066