Supply Chain by the Numbers

- May 16, 2013

  Supply Chain by the Numbers for Week of May 16, 2013

US Oil Production will Continue to Gusher; Gap Inc. has Big Loan Fund for Bangladesh; RFID Really is Penetrating Retail; Amazon Growth Coming Down to Earth?


8.5 Million

Number of barrels of oil per day that the US Energy Information Administration expects the US to be producing by the end of 2014, the agency said in a report this week. That versus the 5.7 million it expects the US to be importing that year, as the US energy boom continues. Currently, the US imports slightly more than it produces, but that scenario is changing rapidly. As US production expands, the imports will fall, down to that 5.7 million barrels/day next year from 7.4 million in 2012, a switch that will boost US GDP growth - and jobs.




Number of the top 30 US retailers (at minimum) that are doing something with RFID currently, according to Dr. Bill Hardgrave, dean of the business school at Auburn University, during a recent presentation at the RFID Journal Live conference. Most, he said, are engaged in phased deployment or are at almost full deployment. Much of that activity, of course, is for item-level soft goods (apparel and shoes) tagging and tracking. Hardgrave, who made a name for himself in RFID at the University of Arkansas and its RFID research center, believes RFID will in fact be a truly disruptive technology, despite the early stumbles and later failure with Walmart's case tagging program in the mid-2000s.


Rate of sales growth at in Q1, according to company’s recent quarterly earnings call. That is an impressive number for most companies for sure, taking it to just over $16 billion in revenue for the quarter, but still down from the high twenty percent levels in growth seen in recent quarters, and the 40+% increases achieved not much more than a year ago quarter after quarter. The law of large numbers is clearly taking hold, but we'll note the Census Bureau recently said overall US ecommerce growth was just over 15% in Q1 - not that far behind Amazon’s Q1 number for the first time in a long time, if not ever.


$22 Million

The amount of money that specialty clothing retail Gap said this week it is going to make available in loans to improve factory conditions in Bangladesh, a few weeks after a building collapse housing five apparel operations killed more than 1200 there. The move might be seen as a bit of a "peace offering" after the company declined to sign the rather rushed, legally-binding "Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh," pushed by H&M and other European retailers, over fears of future litigation. It is not clear if that is a one-time time amount or a long-term commitment or other details.