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Supply Chain by the Numbers

- March 2, 2023


Supply Chain by the Numbers for March 2, 2023


Amazon Still Cutting Back FC Space; China Opening Coal Plants at Rapid Pace; US PMI Falls again in February; Sam's Club Expanding eFulfillment DCs




That’s how logistics facilities that Amazon has canceled, closed or delayed in the fairly recent past, impacting nearly 32.3 million square feet of active or planned ground-level space. That according to our friend Marc Wulfraat, president of MWPVL International, in a Feb. 24 email. MWPVL has been following changes in distribution space for Amazon and Walmart for many years. Those numbers are a jump from September, when Amazon had closed or cancelled 66 facilities totaling 24.6 million square feet of space. Amazon spokesperson Steve Kelly disputed MWPVL’s figures in a statement, claiming MWPVL“says we’re selling or abandoning land or buildings that we’re keeping, or buildings that we never had in our possession to begin with.” So who knows.



That’s how many new coal-powered electric plants China authorized in 2022, according to a study released Monday by the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) and the Global Energy Monitor (GEM). That was highest number of new coal-fired power plants approved in China since 2015, quadruple the capacity approved in 2021. China’s CO2 emissions are more than double those of the United States, and though the country’s leaders have previously vowed to cut back on carbon, its reliance on coal poses a significant challenge for climate change. “China continues to be the glaring exception to the ongoing global decline in coal plant development,” said Flora Champenois, a research analyst at GEM. “The speed at which projects progressed through permitting to construction in 2022 was extraordinary, with many projects sprouting up, gaining permits, obtaining financing and breaking ground apparently in a matter of months,” she added. That push doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon, with the report authors warning that even China’s simultaneous expansion in renewable energy won’t be enough to offset the impact of all the new coal-based plants.




That was the level the US Purchasing Managers Index for January, as was announced Wednesday by the Institute for Supply Management, and it indicated a deepening slump for US manufacturing. With that score of 47.7, it means US manufacturing has fallen below the key 50 mark that separates expansion from contraction for the fourth consecutive month. While the index was 0.3 percentage point higher than the 47.4 recorded in January, the data show a weakening US economy. In the last two months, the Manufacturing Index has been at its lowest levels since May, 2020, when it registered just 43. The average score over the last 12 months is now just 51.8, barely above the key 50 mark.




That is how many efulfillment centers Walmart’s Sam’s Club warehouse store chain may open over the next five years, with 5 of them this year, according to a report this week in the Wall Street Journal. The investment is part of a drive to accelerate delivery as Sam’s looks to build on recent ecommerce sales growth. Sam’s Club saw net ecommerce sales grow 21% for the latest quarter compared with the year-ago period, driven by curbside pickup and orders shipped to customers’ homes. Some of the company’s new warehouses will focus on shipping goods directly to customers, while others will also replenish stores - the number of which is planned to grow by 30 over the next several years, and feature additional space for curbside pickup and delivery orders.

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