or Search by TOPIC
Search Supply Chain Videocasts
  Sign-Up Free Newsletter
Supply Chain by the Numbers

- July 29, 2021

  Supply Chain by the Numbers for July 29, 2021

Q2 US GDP Rises Sharply but Disappoints; Amazon Wants the Apartment Office Keys; UPS Profits Up but Parcel Volumes Surprisingly Fall in Q2; What Do Truck Drivers Really Want to See Improved?



That was the annualized growth in US GDP in the second quarter, according to the first estimate from the Commerce Department Thursday. That's pretty strong growth at one level - but is largely viewed as disappointing, as the consensus estimate was for 8.4% growth. That compares to 6.3% in Q1. The overall increase came thanks to increasing personal expenditures, which rose 11.8% as consumers accounted for 69% of all activity. The personal savings rate dropped sharply, tumbling to $1.97 trillion from $4.1 trillion in the previous period, as consumers at least now seem to be spending versus t hemassive savings seen during the pandemic. “The good news is that the economy has now surpassed its pre-pandemic level,” wrote Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics.


That is amount of one of its gift cards Amazon gives to office managers of apartment buildings that agree to allow Amazon delivery drives to enter the buildings with a special lock and mobile. While the program – called Key for Business – has been around since 2018, it was not well known until reports this week. The service is pitched as a way to cut down on stolen packages by making it easy to leave them in lobbies and not outside. Amazon benefits because it enables delivery workers to make their rounds faster. And fewer stolen packages reduce costs and could give Amazon an edge over competitors. Apartment managers like it because reduces the constant buzzing by delivery person and is a safer alternative to giving out codes to scores of delivery people. Amazon has already installed the device in thousands of US apartment buildings but has declined to give a specific number. The company has even partnered with local locksmiths to push it on building managers while they fix locks. Some security experts, however, are concerned the locks might be easily hacked.




In another surprise, that was the year-over-year drop in US parcel volumes that UPS saw in the second quarter, according to the company’s Q2 earnings call. It was the first time quarterly shipping volume fell versus the prior year since early 2011. It was still a strong quarter financially for Big Brown, with a 14.5% increase in second-quarter sales despite the volume drop, as UPS profited from much higher rates in the quarter. The volume drop simply appears to be the result of some consumers heading back to stores, versus the on-line surge in Q2 2020 as the pandemic took off. The results come as UPS continues its “better, not bigger” strategy, in which the company is being more selective about which customers it does business with and what items it ships to avoid profitless parcel freight. Business-to-business shipments at UPS actually rose 25.7% in the US in the second-quarter versus 2020, while shipments to homes fell 15.8%.




That, perhaps surprisingly, is the share of truck drivers who said the state of the equipment they use is their top issue, according to a new survey by Professional Driver Agency (PDA). That was well above the number 2 issue, wages earned. After that came operations (13%) and home time (9%). Equipment and compensation have been the top issues for six consecutive quarters. The most unexpected result was the low score for home time, as just last week American Trucking Associations chief economist Bob Costello said at a conference that getting home regularly and related issues were probably the top driver concern. So who is right? Well,  thePDA numbers are based on actual driver surveys. On the other hand, turnover of less-than-truckload drivers, who do regularly get home, is far below that of long haul full truckload drivers. Our guess: it will take both wage hikes and lifestyle improvements to address the driver shortage.

No Feedback on this article yet.
e i T

Supply Chain Digest Home | Contact Us | Advertise With Us | Sitemap | Privacy Policy
© 2006-2019 Supply Chain Digest - All Rights Reserved