Port Delays Across the US Double In-Transit Inventory Times for Columbia Sportswear

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Dive Brief:

  • Transit times for Columbia Sportswear's inventory doubled to six weeks in Q3 as U.S. port congestion and limited trucking availability has kept its distribution centers waiting for product to arrive, Tim Boyle, president, chairman and CEO of the company, said on an earnings call.
  • The logistics delays caused Columbia's in-transit inventory to increase 127% YoY, while finished goods inventory in distribution centers was down 35% YoY, according to its earnings presentation.
  • Columbia has product encountering delays at the many different port cities it ships to, including Portland, Oregon, Savannah, Georgia, as well as Los Angeles, Long Beach and Seattle. The bulk of its fall merchandise (more than 90%) has been shipped, but just about 70% has been received, with some still "on the water or coming through a port," Boyle added.

Dive Insight:

Supply chain bottlenecks at U.S. ports, particularly in San Pedro Bay, have sparked attention from the White House and spurred initiatives from a host of stakeholders to accelerate cargo velocity as consumer demand remains high.

... Other retailers have expressed the same sentiment: A study from First Insight and the Wharton School's Baker Retailing Center found 98% of surveyed retail executives are experiencing supply chain issues, and 59% are hiking consumer prices to mitigate the newfound costs.

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