November Supply Chain Issues Revisited

Amid concerns about rising prices and inflation, most voters agree that promoting competition is important to a strong economy, and an overwhelming bipartisan majority of registered voters (75%) believe President Biden’s recent executive order is important to address high transportation costs for American producers.

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Rail realists.

Amid concerns about rising prices and inflation, most voters agree that promoting competition is important to a strong economy, and an overwhelming bipartisan majority of registered voters (75%) believe President Biden’s recent executive order is important to address high transportation costs for American producers. Those are among the findings of a recent nationwide poll of registered voters, released last month by Morning Consult on behalf for the Rail Customer Coalition. The president’s executive order has been applauded by farmers, manufacturers, and energy producers for calling attention to the dramatic concentration of market power in the railroad industry and its negative impact on the cost and quality of freight rail service. The poll findings show strong support for revisiting policies that address anti-competitive and monopolistic practices as the Surface Transportation Board looks to move forward on policy reforms, including a new arbitration process for rate cases and greater access to competitive service options through reciprocal switching.

Port warning.

Speaking as President of the California Association of Port Authorities (CAPA), Port of Oakland Executive Director Danny Wan requested state help last month to ease a U.S. supply chain crisis. He called for increased collaboration and solutions from all levels of government as containerized cargo continues to back up at California ports. Inaction could result in freight migration – and job loss – to other states, CAPA President, Wan warned. “The current congestion that we see today is a result of decades of underinvestment in our ports and supply chain,” Wan said at the California Legislature’s Select Committee on Ports and Good Movement. “Notably there is an 11-to-1 imbalance in federal transportation and waterside spending on other port complexes around the country compared to those in our state,” he said. Wan recommended everything from a state-funded supply chain investment fund to land dedicated to cargo container storage.

Rent raise.

The U.S. industrial market set new records across multiple key performance indicators, according to Transwestern’s third quarter U.S. Industrial Market report. Over 540 million square feet of net absorption was reported over the last four quarters, making it the first time in history that occupancy has increased by more than 500 million square feet year over year. The third quarter saw net absorption of 158.8 million square feet, the largest quarterly growth since 2008. Asking rents increased to $7.11 per square foot in the third quarter, with more than one-third of the 44 tracked markets reporting double-digit percentage growth year over year. It marked the first time the average asking rent for industrial space in the U.S. surpassed $7.00 per square foot, increasing from $6.98 per square foot during the previous quarter. “We expect continued elevated net absorption as pre-leased construction projects are delivered to the market,” said Matthew Dolly, Research Director at Transwestern.

Healthy 25.

Gartner, Inc. released its 13th annual Gartner Healthcare Supply Chain Top 25 ranking last month, which reflected growing maturity across the healthcare and life sciences supply chain. As a consequence, the ranking now solely focuses on U.S. health systems. “We’re making the move to an all-healthcare-provider ranking because we recognize that the healthcare supply chain has made significant progress in size, scope and capabilities compared to when we started the ranking in 2009,” said Eric O’Daffer, vice president analyst with the Gartner Supply Chain practice. “This shift in methodology allows for more healthcare providers to be featured and for a better distinction from our ranking, which is global and covers all industries.” In this revamped version, Cleveland Clinic took the top spot with the highest overall peer and analyst opinion scores. Banner Health, Ochsner Health Systems, Baylor Scott & White Health and Mercy complete the Top Five.

Bargain hunters.

The logistics consultancy, Bright Data, released new research that reveals consumer sentiments around the 2021 holiday shopping season. The research, carried out by Vanson Bourne, found that getting the best deal is a top consideration for consumers. Its findings indicate that most U.S. and UK holiday shoppers – 69% and 56%, respectively – will be heavily using price comparison sites to find the best deal this year. This represents a year-on-year increase of 9% in the U.S. market. When it comes to online shopping, 53% of respondents who currently only shop online said they will do more shopping online this holiday season. For those that currently only shop in person, 14% said they will do more online shopping this year. This shows a clear demand for online shopping following a strong 2020 in which the majority of consumers moved online for their holiday shopping


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About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson

Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor specializing in international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He is based in San Francisco, where he provides a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. He may be reached at his downtown office: [email protected].

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