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UPS Communicates Perceived Disappointing News to Wall Street

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As we have often noted in our commentaries, when businesses need to communicate bad news, it is often done late in the Friday new cycle.  Thus, we often check our news feeds on a Saturday morning for any meaningful supply chain focused news. Yesterday, UPS pre-announced expected fourth quarter 2014 results which communicated added unforeseen expenses related to its support of the all-important holiday surge shipping quarter. Noted in the release: “While package volume and revenue results were in line with expectations, operating profit was negatively impacted by higher than expected peak-related expenses.” Of further note was this statement from UPS CEO David Abney: “Clearly, our financial performance during the quarter was disappointing,” said David Abney, UPS chief executive officer.  “UPS invested heavily to ensure we would provide excellent service during peak when deliveries more than double.  Though customers enjoyed high quality service, it came at a cost to UPS.  […]


Supply Chain Matters Q4-2014 Newsletter Has Published

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This posting is to alert our readers that the Supply Chain Matters Q4-2014 Newsletter has published and should be in the email in-boxes of our hundreds of registered subscribers. If you did not receive your copy, check your Junk Box and insure that newsletter <at> theferrarigroup <dot> com is added to your address book. Our newsletter is a more insightful look at global supply chain and B2B/B2C business process, technology and other important trends and is offered to both readers of this blog and clients of our consulting and industry analyst advisory services. Please check your inbox to insure you received a copy. The Q4-2014 Newsletter includes the following: Our quarterly and summary 2014 quantitative and qualitative update summaries of global PMI supply chain activity A look back summary of 2014 supply chain events and developments Allianz recent risk barometer survey’s high ranking of supply chain risk Announced availability of […]


SCMR Interview with Drewry- Continued Turbulent Waters for Ocean Container Interests

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Within our 2015 Predictions for Industry and Global Supply Chains (now available in complimentary research report- see note below), Prediction Five indicates a turbulent upcoming year in global transportation.   Supply Chain Management Review recently featured highlights from an interview with the Research Manager of Drewry Supply Chain Advisors regarding the state of the ocean cargo industry. We call attention to this interview because portions point to what can be expected in ocean shipping this year. For readers unfamiliar with Drewry, the firm is globally recognized in sea freight market intelligence and benchmarking and a specialist advisor in international sea freight procurement. In the interview, Drewry Research Manager Marin Dixon indicates another year of freight rate market volatility and that supply-demand equilibrium will not return until 2017 at the earliest. Ocean container carriers will continue to be challenged by overcapacity. Regarding the ongoing disruption involving U.S. west coast ports, Drewry […]


Yet Another Concerning Commentary of Supply Chain Bullying

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In our Supply Chain Matters commentaries focused on the challenges that are currently impacting consumer goods industry supply chains, we have called attention to the damaging effects that certain investor activism efforts have inflicted through mandates to either dramatically reduce costs, shed underperforming brands or consolidate CPG companies. To clarify, an objective investor voice demanding excellence is and should be expected. Insuring shareholder return is always an important business outcome objective for supply chain initiatives and transformational activities. However, when that voice comes in the context of demands for short-term results regardless of consequences that is far different challenge. Years of transformational efforts can literally be destroyed by the effects of wholesale cost cutting mandates. In our Twitter stream, we came across a re-tweet link from Huffington Post blogger David Weaver, referencing United Kingdom’s Daily Mail.com posting: The supply chain bullies: The giant household names that stand accused of hurting […]


What’s Behind the Reported Volume Numbers from U.S. West Coast Ports?

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Two of the busiest ports, estimated to represent upwards of 40 percent of container volume in the United States, are the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Both have recently announced their highly anticipated annual operational volume statistics for 2014.    By now, most industry supply chains are aware of the significant disruption and gridlock conditions that occurred at these ports in the latter-half of 2014 that have cascaded to other supply chain dimensions. Our community remains rather concerned that conditions will worsen or the ports will themselves temporarily shutdown because of the ongoing gridlock. The open question is what the 2014 numbers provide for insights relative to addressing operational gridlock, whether the latter-half disruption was one-time or a far broader set of challenges at play. In this Supply Chain Matters posting, we share some initial observations. The Port of Los Angeles announced that overall container volumes increased 6 […]


“Extended Supply Chain” is the New Supply Chain

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The following Supply Chain Matters guest commentary is contributed by Prashant Mendki, Director Alliances and Business Development for supply chain systems integrator Bristlecone. Prashant is a 15 year experienced industry principal, blogger and social media enthusiast.   In a conventional supply chain process, the focus was always around 5 aspects – Plan, Develop, Make, Deliver and Return. All the applications developed and solutions designed to optimize supply chain processes were expected to run on top of the core ERP systems. You develop a strong demand & supply planning strategy (Plan), Identify the right set of suppliers and source (Develop), Manufacture goods (Make), Transport & store finished goods (Deliver) and accept any returns from customers.   Functional units in an organization such as finance, procurement, HR, customers & infrastructure management operated as independent business units, and processes and data flow was integrated between different applications as needed.  This meant applications for Procurement, […]


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