Supply Chain by the Numbers

- July 25, 2019 -

  Supply Chain by the Numbers for July 25, 2019

Another Worker Protest at an Amazon FC; More Provocative Move by China in the South China Sea; Lots of Ocean Contaiers to be Smart by 2023; Mobile Robot Maker Brings in Huge New Investment



That was about the number of Amazon workers at an FC in Chicago that came to management last weekend with demands for change in a variety of areas. That after about 75 Amazon FC workers in Minneapolis briefly engage in a "strike" on Amazon's Prime Day last week also demanding changes. The Chicago workers, organized under the name DCH1 Amazonians United, came to management with three demands — higher pay during peak delivery periods like Prime Day, health insurance for all workers, and air conditioning - and requested a meeting with the FC site leader. That meeting never came to pass, it appears. However, in an interesting twist, as Chicago temperatures soared to 95 degrees last weekend, around 10 p.m. that night, Amazon decided that conditions in the un-air-conditioned warehouse were dangerously hot and sent workers home with pay. All this is a very minor irritant for Amazon now – but will the actions grow?



That is the number of years on a new lease that gives China rights to territory that encompasses about 20% of Cambodia's coastline. Controlled by a state-owned Chinese company, the property involves phased plans for an international airport, a deep-water seaport and industrial park along with a luxury resort complete with power stations, water treatment plants and medical facilities. But skeptics fear worse – that China will also put significant military assets on Cambodia. And if it does that, it will give it even more capabilities to defend its ridiculous claims of waters in the South China Sea far from its coastline. And tensions between China and the US and some other Asian countries continue to rise. Just this week, the United States Coast Guard calld for an international pushback against China's actions in the hotly-contested South China Sea, amid the strong presence of Beijing's forces in the region. This is not going to end well.



That is the percentage of ocean shipping containers that will have "smart" IoT devices installed by 2023, according to a new forecast by the analysts at Drewry shipping. That would be up from about 2.5% in 2018, and would mean about 2 million boxes will have such devices. A container becomes "smart" when fitted with a telematics device that provides real-time tracking and monitoring, enabling operators to increase turn time of their container equipment and thus utilization. It also allows beneficial cargo owners (BCOs) to understand the location and status of their cargo so that they can better control their supply chains, Drewry says. However, take-up will vary considerably by equipment type, with penetration already strong in intermodal and reefer containers but much lower in the dry box sector. If Drewry is right, it will mean an average annual growth rate for smart containers of 26% through 2023.


$46 Million

That is the level of investment that autonomous mobile robot maker Fetch Robotics announced it had received this week to fuel its growth plans. Fetch has raised $94 million to date, from a wide number of venture capital and private equity firms. Founded in 2014, Fetch has more than 130 employees, and says its robots are used in some 100 logistics, manufacturing and distribution sites across 11 countries. It has a number of competitors, such as Locus Robotics and GrayOrange, as the market for mobile robots – which generally work together with humans – in distribution and manufacturing looks very promising. Fetch plans to use the funding to pursue more international business and to expand capabilities of its cloud robotics platform, which manages the robot deployment and integration into warehouse operations.

us t .