A Supply Chain Dive account at https://www.supplychaindive.com/news/amazon-walmart-kraft-pg-ftc-supply-chain-data/610669/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Issue:%202021-11-30%20Supply%20Chain%20Dive%20%5Bissue:38283%5D&utm_term=Supply%20Chain%20Dive written by lead editor Shefali Kapadial looked at a story out of Washington, D.C. in which the Federal Trade Commission has indicated it will order “nine major retailers, wholesalers and CPGs to hand over data on supply chain challenges to ‘shed light on the causes behind ongoing supply chain disruptions,’” the FTC said in a release on Nov. 30.
Amazon, Associated Wholesale Grocers, C&S Wholesale Grocers, Kraft Heinz, Kroger, McLane, Procter & Gamble, Tyson Foods and Walmart are the nine companies, and the FTC said they have 45 days to respond to the agency’s order. When asked why it chose the specific companies, SupplyChainDive said, “FTC did not respond…”
The story continued, “The companies will have to provide internal documents related to supply chain strategies, pricing decisions and supplier selection. The FTC order asks for the primary factors disrupting procurement, transportation and distribution of products, in addition to the most affected inputs and suppliers, as well as steps to work around disruptions.”
In its own insight, SupplyChainDive said, “Challenges up and down the supply chain have grabbed the attention of the public sector. The FTC is the latest agency seeking to unearth the causes of disruption.”
It continued, “Much of the information the FTC will solicit is at the forefront of supply chain managers’ day-to-day operations and planning.”
And, it said, “For one, the Commission seeks information on the factors ‘disrupting [companies’] ability to obtain, transport and distribute their products,’” quoting the FTC press.
SupplyChainDive continued, “Capacity constraints across freight modes have challenged firms’ ability to receive and move their products. On Monday, 78 container ships were waiting to unload at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California. Trucking capacity remains squeezed, with about 12 refrigerated loads posted on load boards for every available truck, and reefer rates surpassing $3 per mile.”
Moreover, it continued, “And the disruption is not limited to transportation. Labor was Amazon’s chief capacity challenge in Q3, which meant redirecting inventory to fulfillment centers that had enough staff. The tradeoff: longer and pricier routes.”
Kapadial wrote, “Some businesses are reporting signs of progress on the freight front” and cited Walmart CEO Doug McMillon who told President Joe Biden on Nov. 30, “The port and transit delays are improving.”
Walmart has “seen a 51 percent increase in throughput at Southern California ports, in part due to the shift to 24/7 operations,” the story said, adding that “Walmart has been part of the 24/7 shift since the beginning when it committed to ‘increase its use of night-time hours significantly … [to] increase throughput by as much as 50 percent.’”
It continued, “The FTC order will also require data on ‘the products, suppliers and inputs most affected,” saying, “Dozens of commodities are in short supply, according to the Institute for Supply Management. Shortages have affected electronic components, semiconductors, and several types of steel for upwards of a year. Packaging, pallets, and resins have also been in short supply for months.”
The story concluded, “The order from the FTC is part of Section 6(b) of the FTC act, meaning the commission can conduct studies without a specific law enforcement purpose. The commission did not respond to questions about next steps or if it plans to solicit information from additional companies beyond the initial nine.”