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Supply Chain by the Numbers

- Feb. 26, 2020 -

  Supply Chain by the Numbers for Feb. 26, 2020

Innovative MultiStory DC; New Amazon  Go Store Model; Container Volumes Tanking Due to Corona; Business Group Calls for Major Fuel Tax Hike     


1.24 Million

That is the planned total square footage of a coming new four story, multi-level distribution center that will be built in New York City. That after news last week that real estate investment firm Turnbridge Equities has pulled together a 14.2-acre property in the South Bronx. The Bronx Logistics Center will target shippers interested in a last-mile distribution facility, largely for efulfillment. It will offering direct tractor-trailer ramp access to three levels and van access to the fourth level. It will also have rail spur, giving tenants an option to use CSX inbound service from the Oak Point Rail Yard not far away. That means the Bronx Logistics Center will be one of the very few DCs in the US to provide separate, dedicated truck ramps to multiple DC levels. The building will include 17 dock doors per floor, plus 14 drive-in ramps for vans and automobiles on the fourth level. Multi-story DCs, common in Asia, are starting to see activity in the US as companies look for urban warehouse space, with come with very high costs for land compared to normal facilities located in the suburbs or even further out. The Bronx project is the largest of six new multi-story warehouses in New York City either under construction or in the planning stages



That is the size in square feet of a brand new cashier-free Amazon Go Grocery store in Seattle, about five times the size of its small number of Go convenience stores that pioneered the technologies that make cashier-less possible. That includes an array of cameras, shelf sensors and software that enable consumers to pick up items and walk out without stopping to pay or scan merchandise. (Contrary to initial Go store reports, RFID is not part of the technology mix). "We've learned a lot," Dilip Kumar, Amazon's vice president of physical retail and technology, said about the new store opening. "There's no real upper bound. It could be five times as big. It could be 10 times as big." Interestingly, it appears Amazon is planning to market the Go technology to other retailers. It is said to be targeting convenience stores and shops in airports and sports arenas.


25 Cents

That's by how much the US Chamber of Commerce is recommending Federal fuel taxes be increased for both gasoline and diesel over five years – with a five cent hike per year. The recommendation came as part of an address by Ed Mortimer, transportation director at the Chamber, to a Senate committee on Feb. 25. "The time is now for elected officials in Washington to take charge and tackle the [infrastructure] problem with both adequate funding and a long-term plan," said Mortimer. As most may know, Federal Fuel taxes have not been increased since 1993 – though there have been increases in a number of state taxes on gas and diesel fuels. The Federal taxes for now remain at 18.4 cents-per-gallon on gas and 24.4 cents-per-gallon on diesel. The new tax receipts would go right into the Highway Trust Fund, an account projected to approach insolvency in less than two years. Under the Chamber's plan, the 25-cent hike would also be indexed for inflation after those first five years, meaning it would automatically rise a few percentage points or so annually.



That is the expected drop in container volumes coming through the Port of Los Angeles in February versus a year ago, representing about 175,000 fewer containers. Most of that decline naturally is blamed on the impact of the coronavirus. That according to port Executive Director Gene Seroka in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. Container ship operators have canceled 40 sailings at the Port of Los Angeles between Feb. 11 and April 1, mostly for vessels coming from China. Giant ocean container carrier Maersk Line alone has canceled more than 50 sailings from China to the rest of the world since late January. Now, that falloff is having other ramifications. For example, empty containers are piling up at the Port of LA and elsewhere, as a backlog of exports is building. However, Seroka is projecting volumes in Q1 will fall just 15% - SCDigest thinks that's a very optimistic view, given current conditions.

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