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Countries with Lowest Manufacturing Costs; Amazon Going Green; Truckload Rates Show No Signs of Slowing; Walmart Sees Huge eCommerce Gains


 

 


 











 
 
 

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That was the rank of the United States – near the bottom – in the annual list of countries with lowest manufacturing costs from US News & World . The was conducted with the help of over 20,000 respondents, who were asked to score 80 countries for several cost attributes. The overall country ranking system rates all countries worldwide according to broad essentials as well as intangible benefits such as freedom and . The top 10 lowest  manufacturing cost countries? (10) Myanmar; (9) Sri Lanka; (8) Pakistan; (7) Malaysia; (6) Philippines; (5) Indonesia; (4) Thailand; (3) Vietnam; (2) India; and again number 1 China. However, the report says that after China’s long run on top, “experts are now talking about a shift to India as the next factory to the world.”








 
 










That was the year-over-year rise in the January Cass Linehaul Index, which measures per mile truckload rates before fuel surcharge and other accessorials. Cass Information Systems can do that rate calculation with great credibility, as it pulls data from some $20 billion dollars in freight bills it pays for shippers annually. Despite some indications of a flattening freight environment, the January rise was again substantial, and marks the 16th consecutive month of year-over-year gains of at least 5%. In another bullish sign for truckers, the January Freight Tonnage Index from the American Trucking Associations was up 2.3% versus December and 5.5% over January 2018. Is there any relief in sight for shippers? Doesn’t look that way.

 
 









 
 
 

43%

That was the increase in Walmart’s US on-line sales in its fiscal quarter ending in January, driven by the expansion of on-line grocery pickup across more of its US stores. That compares to a 13% rise in on-line sales for Amazon in 2018 – though that lower growth rates is off a much higher base. Still, as with Amazon the growth comes at a price – Walmart profit margins declined in the quarter, thanks in part to higher transportation costs and more sales of lower margin ecommerce goods. Walmart also expects on-line losses to increase this year, suggesting there’s still work to do solving the ecommerce economic puzzle. All told, US comparable store sales in the US – which includes commerce – were up a strong 4.2%, one of Walmart’s biggest quarterly gains in a decade.

 
 
 


 



 




 




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