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Supply Chain by the Numbers

- May 26, 2022

  Supply Chain by the Numbers for June 3, 2022

Cargo Theft Value Soars in Q1; Delivery Drivers Snacking on Your Order; US Manufacturing Holds Steady; Contracts Ocean Container Shipping Rates Cannot be Stopped




That was the rise in total value of cargo thefts in the US and Canada in Q1 versus 2021, according to fresh analysis from freight security firm CargoNet. That despite the fact that the number of thefts reported in the quarter stayed at 319. That obviously indicates thieves were targeting more valuable cargo, such as electronics, automobiles, and auto parts, CargoNet says, adding that the increasing cost of many goods due to inflation also played role in the rise in value. The average value of a theft in Q1 was $232,000, a 68% increase over Q1 2021 and more than double the average theft value in the first quarter of 2020, which was just $106,000. CargoNet says the focus on higher value goods is in part the result of organized crime rings becoming increasingly involved in pilfering cargo. One area where organize crime is really having a major impact on cargo theft is in the dispersion of stolen freight very quickly. For example, in 2021 thieves heisted a truck in Texas full of more than $500,000 of chilled beef – all gone by the time the truck was discovered a few days later.



That is share of restaurant delivery workers who admit to eating some of the food in their customer’s orders. That according to new survey of more than 500 drivers sponsored by Circuit Route Planner, an app that helps find the best routes for delivery drivers who make multiple stops. Other disturbing news in the poll: Some drivers admit to damaging packages (23%), stealing packages (17%), and opening and then resealing packages (17%). There’s more. What ticks drivers off? Low tips generally, and more specifically something called “tip baiting.” When some customers use services like Instacart to order online, they type in how much they intend to tip - usually a generous amount - and then zero out the tip after the delivery. 30% of delivery drivers say this is an issue for them. Who knew?




That was the May score for the US Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), as released this week by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), solidly above the key 50 level that separates US manufacturing expansion from contraction. That represented an increase of 0.7 percentage point from the reading of 55.4 in April. That April score caused some worry about a slowdown in US manufacturing despite being in the mid-50s because it was the lowest level of the index since July 2020. But with this small increase in the index for May, it appears US manufacturing continues to defy headwinds such as of rampant inflation, the Ukraine war effect, sinking stock market, and other pressures.
This May figure also indicates expansion in the US overall economy for the 25th month in a row after the last contractions in April and May 2020.




Almost hard to believe, but that is the rise in contract ocean container shipping rates versus a year ago. That according to ocean and air freight benchmarking firm Xeneta this week. The company’s index is up 30% just in the past month alone. “This is a staggering development, just last month we were looking at an 11% rise and questioning how such continued gains were possible,” said Xeneta CEO Patrik Berglund. “Now we see a monthly increase of almost a third, blowing previous records out of the water." The rates in new contracts are also now increasingly above high spot market container rates, which now seem to be weakening. Berglund said shippers were being “bled dry”, while carriers reported record earnings and, with the prospect of more supply chain disruption after the lifting of the Shanghai lockdowns, they faced “paying through the nose for services.”

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