December at-a-glance … supply chain

Improvements reported; investigations continue

U.S. retailers Target and Walmart report higher inventories than last year, with Walmart reporting U.S. inventories up 11.5%. Additionally, FedEx is forecasting delivery of 100 million more shipments this holiday season than in 2019. This progress is driven, in part, by the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) waiving some fees for weekend pickup of shipping containers. Some freight carriers also are offering discounts for moving their containers.

To better understand the impact of the supply chain bottleneck, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requested nine retailers, wholesalers and consumer goods companies provide information on their supply chains and the relationship of current challenges to consumer prices. Also, the Senate Subcommittee on Surface Transportation, Maritime, Freight and Ports held a hearing Dec. 7 titled, “Uncharted Waters: Challenges Posed by Ocean Shipping Supply Chains.” The hearing looked at the business and operational practices around ocean shipping that contributed to these challenges.

According to Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, supply chain issues will persist “likely well into next year.”

NAFEM to launch Q4 2021 supply chain study in January

Watch your email in January for NAFEM’s latest supply chain survey. This assessment of how supply chain issues are impacting members is a valuable tool when NAFEM discusses current challenges and advocates for change with elected and appointed officials. This year’s survey results were released in April and September.