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July 28, 2023
Supply Chain Digest Flagship Newsletter


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This Week in SCDigest

bullet 1H 2023 in Numbers and Charts bullet SCDigest On-Target e-Magazine
bullet Supply Chain Graphic & by the Numbers for the Week bullet New Stock Index

New Chain Cartoon Caption Contest!

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


Supply Chain Graphic
of the Week


The Sad but True Tale of Yellow Freight's Stock


This Week's Supply Chain Numbers

Teamsters Get Most of what they Want in UPS Pact
US GDP Growth in Q2 Exceeds Estimates
New Warehouse as a Service Venture to Invest Big in Automation
eCar Makers Partnering to Build Out Stations


Show Us Your Supply Chain Wit

Expert Insight

Supply Chain Technology Is Changing The Way SMBs Compete

Real-Time Visibility Into Inventory Levels, Order Status, and Shipment Tracking Enables SMBs to Monitor and Manage Their Supply Chains More Effectively


Sam Polakoff
Founder and CEO


Read Now

Cloudy Outlook but With a Glimmer of Optimism

Expectations of Lower Import Demand for the Rest of the Year and Retailer Cautiousness Will not Bode Well for the Last Mile


Jay Kent
Managing Director
SLB Performance


Read Now

How can a WMS be used for your Micro-Fulfillment Center?


Its Purpose Consists of Bringing the Logistics arm of Your Operation Closer to the Customer and end Consumer


Victoria Cardenas
Strategic Account Executive


Read Now


 This Week's SCDigest OnTarget Newsletter

Cartoon, Top SCDigest Stories of the Week

Why is the number 24,346 significant?
Answer Found at the
Bottom of the Page


1H 2023 in Numbers and Charts

As part of our usual review of each half year in supply chain, I recently took a look at the top stories by month in 1H 2023) (see The Top Supply Chain Stories by Month 1H 2023) and how our Index of supply chain and logistics stock perform over the same period (see Supply Chain Stocks 1H 2023).

This week, we offer our popular look at the first six months of 2023 in niumbers and charts.




The growth of ecommerce reversed a recent flat trend in Q1, the most recent number we have. US ecommerce sales were up 3.0% versus 2022

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Feedback here

We always start with a check on the US and global economy, as that has such an impact in the end on supply chain practice.

Real US GDP was up 2.0% in Q1, and the Q2 number came in up 2.4% in numbers released yesterday, as the economy is lukewarm, but the long predicted recession never shows up.

But forecasts for the full year also are only so-so. In July, before this Q2 US growth number, the Internattional Monetary Fund forecast that global GDP growth is will fall from an estimated 3.5% in 2022 to 3.0% both 2023 and 2024, very weak numbers. The IMF predicted then that the US would grow just 1.8% this year and 1.0% in 2024 - numbers which I am sure they will revised upward soon.

China saw its gross domestic product grow just 0.8% in Q2.


One measure of the health of the US manufacturing sector is the US Purchasing Managers Index from the Institute of Supply Management. As shown below, the PMI has been below the key 50 mark that separates US manufacturing expansion from contraction for nine straight months.



Source: ISM


Another view of US manufacturing strength is the index on US factory output from th Federal Reserve.


The index for June came out at 99.66, flat with the 95.5 seeen in January. However, the June score is still well below the 105 level in February 2020 right before the COVID crisis.


In fact, at index level of 99.6, it means US manufacturing output is below baseline 2017 levels (index = 100) now six long years later.

It was a down six months for oil prices in the first half of the year. At the start of January crude was $80.26 per barrel, and it went up and it went mostly down from there, ending June at $70.64 for a fall of 13%. The high in the 1H was $83.26 in early April.



Similar story for US on-the-road diesel prices, which started the year at $4.57 per gallon, and ending in June at $3.80.


Freight volumes were mixed. The Freight Tonnage Index from ATA for June was down a slight 0.8% versus 2022. but that was the fourth straight year-over-year decrease. The index stands at 116.5, meaning it is up 16.5% versus baseline 2015 levels (index = 100).


The Cass Linehaul Index, which tracks per mile truckload contract rates in the US before any fuel surcharge or other accessorial fees, has been down year-over-year since mid-2022, as seen in the chart below. The index is now almost back to mid-2020 rate levels.



It was a not good first half for US railroads. Total US carload traffic for the first six months of 2023 was 5.8 millon, up 0.6% from the same period last year. Intermodal traffic was 6.1 million units, down 10.3% from last year. Total combined US. traffic for 1H2023 was 11.9 million carloads and intermodal units, a decrease of 5.3% compared to 1H 2022.


In terms of ocean container shipping rates, the China Containerized Freight Index started the year at about 1000 and ended at near 800 relative to the cost to ship a container on average out of China. The index was at 3250 at the beginning of 2022.

The growth of ecommerce reversed a recent flat trend in Q1, the most recent number we have. US ecommerce sales were up 3.0% versus 2022, above the overall US retail sales growth of just 0.9%. I also note that Amazon's on-line sales were down flat again in Q1. Amazon's Q2 numbers are coming soon.

I have lots more but am out of space. Hope you enjoyed all this.

What is your reaction of 1H supply chain 2023 in numbers and charts? What numbers would you add? Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback section below.

See as Web page/Printable Version

On Demand Videocast:

Understanding Distributen

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.

Why is the number 24,346 significant?

A: It's the number of TEU the current largest containership, the MSC Irina, can carry.