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Supply Chain by the Numbers

- Nov. 11, 2021

  Supply Chain by the Numbers for Nov. 11, 2021

Inflation and Meatflation Soaring; Maersk Line Acquires US Fulfillment 3PL; Where is the Infrastructure Bill Money Going; Apparel Brands moving Away from China and Asia Sourcing



That is by how much beef prices at US grocery stores rose in October versus 2020 levels, according to the Consumer Price Index report this week from the Labor Department. Rising cost for steak and more has spawned a new term – “meatflation.” But there is plenty of regular inflation too, according to the report, with the level of price hikes hitting a three-decade high. The overall CPI increased in October by 6.2% from a year ago. That was the fastest 12-month pace since 1990 and the fifth straight month of inflation above 5%. On a monthly basis, the CPI increased a seasonally adjusted 0.9% in October versus the prior month, a sharp acceleration from September’s 0.4% rise and the same as June’s high 0.9% pace. Overall food prices for both groceries and dining out rose by the most in decades..


That is the percentage of US consumers that container shipping giant Maersk Line says it can now each within two days for deliveries. How's that? Well, for several years the carrier has been signaling its plans to become an end-to-end logistics provider. Towards that goal, Maersk recently purchased Visible, a logistics company with nine US ecommerce fulfillment centers. Maersk’s plan: combine its fleet of 700 container ships with a fulfillment network for retailers and brand companies, offering port-to-door service. Doing so, Maersk says, will lower costs for both retailers and customers by minimizing package handoffs to outside contractors, a common practice in the industry. The plan is to attract customers who sell from their own ecommerce platforms and need help fulfilling orders – and are looking for an alternative to selling mostly through Amazon and Walmart.




That is the percent of its manufacturing that US shoe maker Steve Madden has moved from China to Brazil and Mexico, the company said this week, as continued shiping delays and supply troubles are causing a number of apparel companies to move production back closer to home. Spanish fashion retailer Mango told Reuters last week that it has "accelerated" its process of increasing local production in countries such as Turkey, Morocco and Portugal from China and Vietnam. Meanwhile, shoe make Crocs said last month it was moving production to countries including Indonesia and Bosnia. Bulgaria, Ukraine, Romania, the Czech Republic, Morocco and Turkey were some of the countries drawing new interest from clothing and shoe producers. Closer to the US, retailer Nordstrom significantly shifted its private-label production to Guatemala from Asia in 2020. So apparel sourcing is changing – but still to mostly low cost countries, not the US or fully developed European countries.



$550 Billion

That is the level of actual net increase in “infrastructure” spending over a number of years versus what was already planned, as will soon be called for under the new nominally $1 trillion plan now soon to be signed into law by President Biden. So where’s the money going? Lots of places: Roads, bridges, and major projects: $110 billion; Passenger and freight rail: $66 billion; Public transit: $39 billion; Airports: $25 billion; Port infrastructure: $17 billion; Transportation safety programs: $11 billion; Electric vehicles: $7.5 billion; Modernizing the Electric Grid: $65 billion; Internet Access: $65 billion; Water and Wastewater: $55 billion; among other places. How will it all be paid for? That is the $550 billion question.

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