Supply Chain by the Numbers

-June 25, 2008


The Numbers Worth Knowing this Week in Supply Chain and Logistics


This Week: FedEx Reports Quarterly Loss; Toyota Truck Plant Utilization Expected to Fall; US Gasoline Consumption Peaks Out; US Cost of Logistics as Percent of GDP



The number of years FedEx had gone without reporting a quarterly loss – until this week, when it reported a loss of $241 million for the quarter ended May 31. However, that result was driven in part by a one time charge of $696 million for changing the name of its FedEx Kinko’s division to FedEx Office. The company still predicts good profitability for the next fiscal year, although total package volume is expected to grow just 1%.




The projected level of utilization this year at Toyota’s state-of-the-art truck plant in San Antonio, TX – well down from the 100% utilization at which Toyota factories typically operate, as even the world automotive leader suffers from a slow down in demand for fuel hungry vehicles. In response, the plant is slowing down production lines, planning 14 days of complete shutdowns from summer to early fall, and devoting one hour of each 8-hour shift to employee training.


The year Cambridge Energy Research Associates said this week will likely represent the peak in US gasoline consumption for the next many years, as sky high prices cause consumers and business to make changes that will be felt for some time. Gas consumption is down 1% for this year – a huge drop. It took many years after a similar scenario and result in the late 1970s for the country to return to peak consumption volumes.




The cost of logistics in the US as a percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to the annual State of Logistics report released last week, as rising transportation and inventory carrying costs pushed the level of logistics spend back to where it was 10 years ago.

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