subscribe: Posts | Comments | Email

Severe Congestion at U.S. West Coast Ports- Supply Chain Matters Update Three

0 comments

We are a mere two weeks before the Black Friday holiday shopping kick-off, and a mere six weeks before the actual Christmas holiday and the severe congestion that is crippling U.S. west coast ports essentially remains the same. In last week’s Supply Chain Matters commentary we described what many are calling the “perfect storm” of supply chain disruption. Another week later, the crisis is cascading across industry and transportation channels, affecting both imports as well as time-sensitive exports.  An NBC News broadcast  in the U.S. notes that as of yesterday, 13 ships are anchored off the coast waiting to be unloaded and describes container shipping at “full stop”. While that may be a bit of journalistic sensationalism, it is descriptive. The on-the-ground realities seem little changed from last week’s situation. Public finger-pointing among the ILWU labor union and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) has become a public spectacle vs. any […]


Maersk Reports Stronger Earnings but Continued Industry Warnings

0 comments

This week, AP Moller-Maersk, parent of global leading ocean container shipping line Maersk reported rather positive Q3 financial results. For the third quarter, the shipping concern reported an overall net earnings increase of 25 percent on flat revenues. However, Maersk did take the opportunity to once again warn its investors of a continuing slowdown in global trade. Financial highlights for the Maersk Line unit included revenues of $7.1B and profits of $554M. Return on invested capital was 13.5 percent compared with 10.9 percent a year earlier. Volumes increased by 3.7 percent, average rate increased by 0.9 percent while unit costs decreased by 0.9 percent. Fuel costs decreased 2.4 percent from the year earlier period. According to reporting from the Financial Times (paid subscription or free metered view), aggressive cost cutting and lower use of fuel has made Maersk Line the most profitable in the industry. The publication notes that current […]


Bombardier Features Video Status Update on C-Series Program

0 comments

In our coverage of challenges and learning among aerospace supply chains, we have featured commentaries related to industry dominants Airbus and Boeing, as well as those attempting new innovation such as Bombardier.  Our Supply Chain Matters coverage of the C-series program dates back to 2010 as the company’s Aerospace Group cranked-up efforts to introduce a technologically advanced single-aisle aircraft, termed the C-Series that could compete with industry dominants Airbus and Boeing in the smaller single-aisle aircraft segment. Bombardier embarked on a huge strategic gamble with the supply chain deployment and market launch of the new and innovative C-Series aircraft which was originally slated for market introduction in 2013. Earlier this year, the program experienced a noteworthy setback resulting in a nine-month delay for the program due to a malfunction concerning the aircraft’s technologically advanced power plant. Since that time, program management and global supply chain teams have been working to […]


Revelation That GM Ordered Replacement Ignition Switches Weeks Before Formal Product Recall

0 comments

In our ongoing observations of global business developments and the linkages to the areas where supply chains do matter, this editor has been amused as to how equity analysts and business media now hone-in on a company’s supply chain information leaks to uncover information on a particular firm.  To cite an example, Apple’s supply chain across Asia has had numerous information leaks regarding potential new products or supply chain glitches related to Apple. Supply Chain Matters readers have most likely been following our ongoing commentaries relative to the current crisis that has impacted aftermarket service supply chains within the automotive industry. An explosion of various automotive model recalls has cascaded to unprecedented levels. Beyond the current air bag deflator issues surrounding supplier Takada, lest we forget the incidents of faulty ignition switches leading to a multitude of product recalls involving multiple models of General Motors vehicles. In what we can […]


Alibaba’s Enormous Online Commerce Potential

0 comments

Supply Chain Matters provides a brief contrast to our prior posted commentary regarding Wal-Mart’s efforts to spread out holiday promotions in the coming holiday surge. The Wall Street Journal reports that yesterday, which was China’s celebration of Singles’ Day, online provider Alibaba set a record for China’s largest online shopping day.  The online provider’s various online properties processed a reported $9.3 billion in sales, most likely the equivalent to the Black Friday or Cyber Monday shopping holidays in the United States. The WSJ notes that last year, Alibaba processed $5.9 billion in Singles’ Day sales. China’s premiere online provider also offered a number of pre-holiday promotions which allowed consumers to order ahead of time and complete their sales transaction on the holiday.  Keep in mind that for the most part, Chinese consumers shun the use of credit cards in favor of cash or mobile based payments. In its fiscal year ending in […]


Wal-Mart Diffuses Black Friday in Favor of Extended Period of Holiday Promotions

0 comments

In our ongoing coverage of the current holiday buying surge among online and brick-and-mortar retail supply chains, Supply Chain Matters shares what we believe is some good news.   Global retailer Wal-Mart indicates that it will abandon its prior emphasis on the singular one-day Black Friday buying holiday and will instead spread promotional incentives over an extended five day period beginning in the last week of November.  By our lens, this is good news for consumers but not so for certain retail competitors. Wal-Mart’s efforts at spreading out online and in-store buyer incentives allows shoppers greater flexibility to shop for bargains and avoid the craziness and frenzy of Black Friday mobs in stores and online. The retailer’s employees hopefully get some brief time to celebrate the Thanksgiving Holiday with family and friends. Reports indicate that Wal-Mart will extend promotions thru the entire Black Friday weekend, with an additional flurry of bargains […]


« Previous Entries Next Entries »