Supply Chain by the Numbers

- Aug. 9, 2018 -

  Supply Chain by the Numbers for Week of Aug. 9, 2018

Autonomous Trucks Will Not Kill Driving Jobs; Apple Threatened by China over Trade War; US Logistics Sector Keeps Adding Jobs; Amazon Share of Total Retail Keeps Growing



That's about how many US truck driving jobs are likely to be lost from the impact of autonomous trucks over the next decade or more, when netting it all out. That is the conclusion of a new study from the American Center for Mobility, led by Michigan State University and supported by Texas A&M Transportation Institute. The study projects that significant numbers of automated vehicles will not be deployed until the latter half of the 2020s. At that point, there could be a loss in passenger car-based driving jobs such as taxicab drivers, according to researchers. But due to existing truck driver worker shortages, and the belief that automated technology will largely support truck drivers instead of replacing them, truck drivers are not likely to be displaced in large numbers and maybe at all, the report finds. The news comes right after the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a nonprofit funded by auto insurers, released the results of a study casting doubt on how ready advanced driver assistance systems are to take over driver functions. “The early results underscore the fact that today's systems aren't robust substitutes for human drivers,” that study concludes.


$9.2 Billion

That is apparently the revenue gained in Q2 from Apple's business in China. That figure was cited in a strange and worrisome editorial in the China state-backed publication Global Times last week – as the tariff wars took another strange turn.
Apple has benefited from cheap labor and a strong supply chain in China and needs to share more of its profit with the Chinese people or face "anger and nationalist sentiment" amid the on-going trade war, the editorial said. It later added that "China is by far the most important overseas market for the US-based Apple, leaving it exposed if Chinese people make it a target of anger and nationalist sentiment. China doesn't want to close its doors to Apple despite the trade conflict, but if the U.S. company wants to earn good money in China, its needs to share its development dividends with the Chinese people." It's unclear how the publication thinks Apple should share its profits with Chinese citizens.



That is now Amazon's share of the total US retail market, according to new analysis from Bloomberg. That figure is based on a Bloomberg Intelligence's estimate that Amazon sold about $300 billion in merchandise in 2017 and the company's report that two-thirds of its revenue comes from the US. As a comparison, SCDigest analysis finds Walmart share of relevant US retail sales was 11.1% in 2017, basically flat with 2016, but that is after subtracting out categories such as restaurant and fuel sales, from the total retail sales numbers compiled by the Commerce Dept. It appears Bloomberg also subtracted some of categories in its calculation of Amazon's retail share. Those worried about Amazon's growing marketshare could arm themselves with a different figure: 49%. That's the share of Americans' on-line spending Amazon is expected to grab this year, up from 43.5% in 2017, according to EMarketer. The research firm says the number 2 ecommerce company, EBay, will take just 6.6% of US on-line sales.



That's how many new job US warehouse operators, parcel firms and trucking companies added jobs in July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported earlier this week. These latest logistics employment figures suggest there could be strong competition for new hires in the fall peak hiring season. The job growth included 7,600 new hires at courier and messenger companies, a signal that transport operators are already trying to get workers in place for the peak season. Truckers have added 6,400 jobs over the past two months, and LTL giant Old Dominion Freight Line says its 16% growth in payrolls last quarter is built on confidence that shipment counts are going to keep growing. That's certainly the message from sectors providing the goods. Manufacturing and construction companies added jobs at a fast pace last month, signaling they're also confident of economic growth and that they're willing to compete for new workers. Wages are surely to head higher to attract new workers – or poach employees from others.