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Supply Chain Snapshots - News of the Week (June 20, 2023)

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

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For ILWU, West Coast Port Deal To Be Union-Ratified, Here’s What Has To Happen Next

(Read more at CNBC)

Representatives of the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) and Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), who represent port operators on the U.S. west coast, announced on Wednesday that a tentative agreement had been reached. The ILWU representative added that while this is excellent news and thanked interim labor secretary Julie Su for stepping in to help steer the negotiations across the line—the final process includes the full membership voting on the agreement—a process which may take several months.

Air Cargo’s Busy Season Looking More Like Molehill Than Mountain Peak

(Read more on FreightWaves)

With a deep dive into the numbers, pulled from multiple sources for comparison, the overall consensus on peak season ‘23 is that—if it materializes at all—it’s going to be a muted one, potentially on par with last year. Includes a quote to that effect from Flexport’s own Neel Jones Shah, EVP of Air Strategy & Carrier Development.

Import Prices Sink Again To Help Ease U.S. Inflation

(Read more on MarketWatch)

The cost of imports in the U.S. has dropped for the fourth time in the last five months, leading to a 6% drop over the last year, the largest drop since the pandemic began in early 2020. While it’s true that imports play a relatively small role, experts do see the drop as a positive sign in controlling inflation through this year. A major factor in the recent drop is that the cost of foreign-produced fuel has come down.

Bullwhip Effect Cracking US Imports’ Peak Season (Again)

(Read more on FreightWaves)

Containerized imports continue to track closely to the 2019 numbers, for now. The latest SONAR research, however, continues to forecast a “new low” being reached sometime in late Q3-early Q4, citing the global macroeconomic situation and other downside risks as factors in sustaining the bullwhip effect on this year's peak season.

Retailers Are Trying To Fix Their Supply-Chain Forecasts

(Read more on The Wall Street Journal)

In an ongoing effort to increase agility, flexibility, and resiliency in their supply chains—sparked by the volatility experienced during the pandemic—many retailers are increasing their technology spend. By improving the data and analytics behind their forecasts, these organizations are learning more about their customers overall, which is in turn further aiding in developing more accurate forecasts and helping them avoid stockouts and overstocks that plagued so many over the last few years.

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