or Search by TOPIC
Search Supply Chain Videocasts
  Sign-Up Free Newsletter
Supply Chain by the Numbers

- Oct. 7, 2021

  Supply Chain by the Numbers for Oct. 7, 2021

Different Forecasts for 2021 Holiday Season Sales; Unions Sue Rail Carrier to Stop PSR; US Manufacturing Sector Shows Strength; Teamsters have Hopes for Amazon Canada



That is the predicted year-over-year growth in retail sales in November and December, according to a forecast this week from investment firm Bain. But that’s just one of several varying forecasts for this year’s Holiday sales. Deloitte sees holiday retail sales climbing 7% to 9%, better than the 5.8% increase it says was seen in 2020. A forecast by Mastercard SpendingPulse said holiday retail sales should rise 7.4% versus 2020, fueled by a rebound in in-store shopping and strong consumer demand. A key issue in all these forecasts: will retail inventories be on the shelf to support the potential sales, given the sourcing and shipping backlogs? For example, the CEO of toy brand company MGA Entertainment had anticipated 50% sales growth this year but now expects an increase of 18% to 20% due to lower inventories.


That’s the share of operating crew workers for rail carrier Norfolk Southern that have lost their jobs since December 2018, according to two union presidents whose organizations are suing the company to stop it from further adopting so called “precision scheduled railroading” (PSR), which they blame for the job losses. As the name suggests, PSR is a technique designed to take a lot of waste and dwell time out of rail freight movement. The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) and the Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART-TD) are taking legal action, they say, to force NS to follow their labor contracts. And the union bosses didn’t have anything good to say about PSR either, calling it an "operational scheme that makes irrational cuts to employment, maintenance and service levels" in order to generate higher profits for shareholders." It also says the cutbacks in workers at NS are forcing locomotive engineers to work conductor positions, which is prohibited by their labor agreements with the railroad.




That was the level of the US Purchasing Managers Index for September, according to the report issued on last Friday from the Institute for Supply Management. That was an increase of 1.2 percentage points from the August reading of 59.9, and well above the 50 mark that separates US manufacturing expansion from contraction. It also means the overall economy notched a 16th consecutive month of growth since a contraction in April 2020. The New Orders Index registered 66.7, unchanged from the August reading but at a high level, in a good sign for future manufacturing activity. But the report also confirms inflation worries, with the Prices Index registered 81.2, up 1.8 percentage points compared to the August figure. That means 81.2% of companies are seeing higher prices for materials and components, and indicating continued supplier pricing power and scarcity of supply chain goods.




That’s how many Amazon Fulfillment Centers in Canada out of 14 total in the country the Teamsters union is targeting for organizing, according to a report on the left-wing Jacobin magazine web site this week. To date, no attempt to unionize an Amazon FC has been successful in Canada or the United States. According to Jacobin, the Teamsters are organizing FCs in Alberta, British Columbia, and across Ontario, from Kitchener and Cambridge to Milton and the greater Toronto Area. So far, the most successful drive has been at the YEG 1 fulfillment center in Nisku, Alberta. There, Local 362 filed for a vote to certify union membership on September 14, confident it has the support of at least 40% of the facility’s nearly eight hundred workers. Of course, labor had great hopes for a union vote last March at a FC in Bessemer, AL, but instead lost badly.

No Feedback on this article yet.

Supply Chain Digest Home | Contact Us | Advertise With Us | Sitemap | Privacy Policy
© 2006-2019 Supply Chain Digest - All Rights Reserved
s C