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Supply Chain by the Numbers

- Nov. 17, 2022


Supply Chain by the Numbers for Nov. 17, 2022


Amazon Increasing Online Lead over Walmart; Bid Drop in West Coast Port Volumes; US Manufacturing Stays Positive in October; Microfulfillment System Vendor Raises a Lot more Money




That was the share of US ecommerce business held by Amazon, up about eight times number Walmart’s share of 5.4%. That according to new analysis from the web site. “As inflation descended, the battle moved to nonessentials, at which Amazon has proved unbeatable,” PYMNTS says. In Q2, Amazon had a slight rise in share, while Walmart saw about an equal decline. The report also provided some data on the market shares of each retailer by different product categories. For example, Amazon captured 21.3% of appliance and electronics on-line sales, versus 4.4% for Walmart. Amazon held a smaller advantage in apparel, with 9.2% share of on-lines sales compared to 5.3% at Walmart. In 2019, Amazon was behind Walmart in the furniture and home furnishings category, holding 6.2% of this market on-line versus 8.5% for Walmart. But in Q2 2022, Amazon comes in at 10%, versus 7.3% for Walmart.





That was the huge drop in import containers arriving at the sister ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in October versus the same month a year ago, the ports reported this week. It was also the lowest volume of goods coming into the ports since May 2020. What’s going on? It’s the threat of a work stoppage of some type at the ports, says at least one port official, with the dock union working off a contract that expired June 30th, and negotiations with the ports and terminals seeming to be going nowhere. Gene Seroka, the executive director of the Port of LA, said that the biggest factor in the cargo declines, which began in August, is that importers are moving more of their goods to East Coast and Gulf Coast ports “due to protracted labor negotiations.” Seroka said cargo volumes are also falling because of a decline in consumer spending on household goods such as furniture and appliances. Overall US container volumes fell 13% in October.




That was the drop in prices charged by Chinese companies at the factory gate in October, according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics this week. That made it China’s first year-over-year decline in producer price inflation since December 2020. While this may be good news on the inflation front, it is also a symptom of a slowing global economy. The news of a fall in prices comes right after China released data showing its exports to the rest of the world shrank unexpectedly in October, a sign that global trade is contracting. The Chinese data showed also showed exports to the US fell 13% year-over-year in last month. Economists say high retail inventory levels, worried consumers and high inflation in the West have reduced demand for Chinese imports. Many economists expect a recession in the US within the next 12 months.




That’s how much so-called microfulfillment system developer Attabotics raised in a new round of funding, its third, according the company this week, as money continues to pour into warehouse automation. That brings Attabotics’ total funding up to $165.1 million. The company makes densely packed vertical storage structures that utilize internal shuttle-like robots and AI to find and deliver items for customers, with deployments in modified back storage areas of big box retailers. The company says it’s able to accomplish this in 15% of the standard warehouse space by building up, ideal for urban locations with smaller store footprints. “Attabot 2022” is equipped with a flexible payload to accommodate larger bins up to 16” tall at up to 100 pounds – an increase of 25% from Attabotics’ previous system release.

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