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Supply Chain by the Numbers

- Nov. 2, 2023


Supply Chain by the Numbers for November 2, 2023


Panama Canel Running Dry; US Manufacturing Down Yet again; Litttle Known Carrier Makes Offer to Buy Yellow Freight Assets; Amazon more Services than Product



That is now the maximum number of ships that can traverse the Panama Canal each day. That a reduction, the Canal Authority says, is due to a long running drought that has significantly reduced water levels in the fresh water reservoir system. The reservoirs not only supply the canal’s locks but also provide drinking water for almost half the country’s population. The Canal said if the situation doesn’t improve it will gradually reduce the number of crossings until they reach just 18 in February of next year. Before the drought the Canal averaged about 36 crossings per day. Some operators, especially those operating container ships, are now more likely to book slots to cross the Canal in advance. Those without reservations are waiting about 2.7 days to cross, data show. More than 3% of world trade passes through


$61.1 Billion

That is the revenue number for “product” sales at Amazon in Q3, as detailed in its earnings report released late last week. That is a big number – but well below the $79.9 billion in “services” revenue it delivered in the quarter. Those services include commissions from its third-party marketplace sales, its Fulfillment by Amazon 3PL offering, advertising fees and more. Overall, Amazon had a strong quarter, but to just understand the company, of its $11.2 billion in operating income in the third quarter, its AWS web services carried most of the load, contributing $7 billion, or 62.5% of the total. On-line sales were up a decent 7% in Q3, better than the flat numbers seen for many quarters over the past could of years.





That is how many consecutive months that the US Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) has now been below 50, with the October reading coming in at 46.7, as released from ISM earlier this week. That’s important because 50 is the line of demarcation. A score above 50 means US manufacturing is expanding, while below 50 signals contraction. What’s more, the New Orders Index remained in contraction territory at 45.5, 3.7 percentage points lower than the September score, in bad news for future US manufacturing activity. The PMI has below that key 50 mark since November 2022, and it is now averaging just 47.4 over the past year.



$2 Billion

That is the offer carrier Jack Cooper Transport is reportedly (Reuters) making to acquire all the assets of Yellow Freight, the less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier that collapsed in late July and filed for bankruptcy soon after. Yellow is thought to have hauled a significant 7% to 10% of the LTL market, with annual revenue of about $5 billion. Cooper, based in Kennesaw, GA, is mostly focused on auto transport and logistics, so this would take it in a very different direction. Its current largest customers are automobile OEM’s. LTL carriers Old Dominion and Estes had previously made bids for just Yellow’s extensive terminal network. As part of the deal, Cooper is reported to be asking for a delay in a large loan payment due to the federal government next September to 2026.

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