Supply Chain by the Numbers

- Dec. 19, 2014 -

  Supply Chain by the Numbers for Week of Dec. 19, 2014

Amazon Prime Now 1 Hour Delivery Handling Lots of SKUs; Russian Ruble Freefall has Consequences; Truckload Rate Continue to March Higher; Walmart Dominates Top Retail Supply Chain Rankings



Number of items says are going to be available for 1 hour delivery in areas of New York City (and soon  other markets), under its Prime Now program. Amazon formally announced the program this week, after reports surfaced last week of tests for such an "instant delivery" service using bike couriers. One hour delivery costs $7.99, but if you are willing to wait for 2 hour service, the delivery is free. It appears the inventory will come from a building it controls at 7 West 34th St., across from the Empire State Building in Midtown. It will function as a mini-warehouse, with limited inventory for same-day delivery within New York, product returns and exchanges, and pickups of online orders.




That's how much the Russian ruble has fallen against the US dollar this year, as the Russian currency continued its collapse this week, with each ruble now worth about two cents in a stunning freefall. What’s happening? The ruble collapse has been caused by dramatically falling oil prices and Western sanctions on Russia over its actions in Ukraine, which are combining to tank its economy. Unfortunately, this could have negative ramification for others, as a cornered Russia could lash out at its neighbors or cut off natural gas supplies to Europe, while demand for Western goods in Russia from German cars to IKEA furniture is certain to slump badly.


The level by which the Cass Linehaul Freight Index - which measures per mile truckload rates in the US - rose in November versus 2013, as the strong rate hikes continue on. Starting in March, the year over year increases have been 6.0%, 5.7%, 5.8%, 5.2%, 7.2%, 7.0%, 6.7%, and 7.3% through October, respectively, before the similarly high increase last month. Say the analysts at Avondale Partners, "We would point out that contract pricing (which applies to 95+% of the public carriers' freight) has been accelerating of late after a drawn out bid season," and "We continue to expect contract TL pricing to rise 4-6% in 2015, with the higher end looking increasingly likely."



Number of manufacturers which named Walmart as having one of the top three retail supply chains, in the annual Kantar Retail PowerRankings report. That puts Walmart just shy of 60 percentage points ahead of number 2 Kroger (32.5%), under Kantar's unique methodology. There was nowhere near that kind of dominance on the consumer packaged goods side, with General Mills and Procter & Gamble in a virtual tie for the top spot - but each only received recognition as a top 3 supply chain from 25.2% of retailers. See Annual Kantar Retail Ranking of the Top Retail Supply Chains for 2014.