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Supply Chain by the Numbers

- Sept. 14, 2023


Supply Chain by the Numbers for September 14, 2023


Walmart Making Late Evening Deliveries; Auto Workers Want Big Raise, Threaten Strike; Ocean Container Volumes Remain Weak; Diesel Prices Spiking Again


10 PM

That’s how late in the evening Walmart now says it can now deliver to, with order cut off times as late as 9:30 PM. That as part of what it is calling Express Delivery that is available for fulfillment from more than 4000 store locations. How Walmart can process the order, pick it in store and get it the customer’s dwelling in as little as 30 minutes at the time of the day remains to be seen. The announcement did not mention anything about costs, but SCDigest is pretty sure a delivery fee – perhaps a hefty one – will be part of the picture to get this kind of evening service to deliver perhaps a needed school supply, over the counter medicine, or other emergency purchase.



That is the expected drop in ocean container freight volumes for the remainder of 2023, according to ship owner association Bimco in its third-quarter overview and outlook publication for the industry. Bimco had previously forecast positive growth of 0.5%. Compare that slight drop in volumes to Bimco’s revised 2023 fleet growth forecast of 7.9%, as a result of record new-build deliveries of 2.3 million TEU of tonnage, and ocean carriers are again in a world of hurt. web site notes that “This toxic mix of soft demand and a chronic oversupply of tonnage has forced ocean carriers to slam on the brakes and blank [cancel] a massive amount of capacity before, during and well beyond, the Chinese Golden Week holiday in the first week of October. Many of these voided sailing have come at the last minute.





That is the level of wage increase over four years that the United Autoworkers Union is demanding in negotiations for a new contract, with the threat of a strike looming when the current contract expires at midnight on Thursday. “We are preparing to strike these companies in a way they’ve never seen before,” UAW National President Shawn Fain said Wednesday during a Facebook Live address that attracted nearly 30,000 viewers. In an effort to create confusion, union locals will be called to strike with little notice, and could be asked to go back to work to keep the automakers engaged in contract negotiations, Fain said. The UAW is also seeking restored pensions, the end of a two-tier wage system and job security from plant closures. Automakers initially offered a 10% wage hike.




That was the average on the road cost per gallon of diesel fuel in the US last week, according to Energy Information Administration data released Sept. 11. That makes it eight straight weeks of rising diesel costs. That hefty price, however, is actually still 49.3 cents less than it did at this time in 2022, when prices were really spiking. In this new eight week period, the average cost per gallon is now up 73.4 centers. Diesel also remains much more expensive than gasoline, which averaged $3.82 last week. The IEA warned of significant oil supply shortfall through the fourth quarter in a report Sept. 13, as Saudi Arabia and Russia announced production cuts last week. So expect diesel prices to head still higher.

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