COVID-19 Bulletin: February 12

February 12, 2021 • Posted in COVID-19

Good Afternoon,

More news relevant to the plastics industry:

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Supply

Supply Chain

  • U.S. chipmakers sent a letter to the White House requesting federal dollars to incentivize semiconductor manufacturing
  • American autonomous-vehicle startup PlusAI Inc. raised $200 million from investors, including top Silicon Valley and automotive firms, to begin mass producing self-driving systems that can be retrofitted onto semitrucks.
  • E-commerce warehouse productivity could improve by a fifth over the next three years, a result of greater automation that speeds order accuracy and processing.
  • Logistics giant XPO posted record quarterly revenue of $4.67 billion in Q4, beating analyst expectations.
  • Uber’s freight business is growing but remains unprofitable, with sales rising 43% to $313 million compared to the year before.
  • Kellogg is citing production snags similar to the early days of the pandemic that have caused the food maker to run short of Frosted Flakes, Morningstar Farms meat alternatives and Corn Flakes.
  • Logistics conditions remain strained, with trucking demand exceeding availability, continuing congestion at ports, and backlogs at warehousing and packaging facilities due in part to operating challenges related to the pandemic. Shipping containers are in short supply, with demurrage charges rising. Clients are advised to provide expanded lead times on orders to help ensure delivery dates. 

Markets

Mixed Outlook for Unemployed Americans
  • Details of the next COVID-19 relief package are expected to be finalized by the end of the month.
  • The federal budget deficit is projected to be $2.3 trillion in fiscal year 2021, smaller than the $3.13 trillion shortfall of last year but still larger than any previous deficit before the pandemic.
  • U.S. debt is on track to hit a record 107% of GDP by 2031 as deficits soar over the next decade, though not as much as officials forecast last summer.
  • The American economy showed signs of an uptick in January with a slight rise in small- and medium-sized business hiring and improved traffic to retail stores.
  • Return-to-office dates at many large companies are getting pushed back to September or beyond, indicating another year’s worth of remote work.
  • Deployments of single-aisle aircraft dropped 15% from early January to early February, as the number of airliners in service has plunged since the beginning of the year.
  • Millennials are increasingly leaving crowded urban areas to purchase inexpensive and often historical dream homes in far-flung places.
  • The U.S. median home price climbed 14.9% to $315,000 in the fourth quarter, the biggest surge going back to 1990. The rise marked the second consecutive quarter of gains in every metro area as the market continues its upward climb.
  • Heineken is cutting 10% of its workforce due to pandemic-related pressures that have dropped sales of the beer at bars, restaurants and events.
  • Lockdowns and constrained social interaction boosted U.S. toy sales by 16% last year to more than $25 billion.

International

  • January saw a marked decrease in the number of COVID-19 infections globally:
Light at the End of the Tunnel

Our Operations

  • Our 3D Printing business unit has launched a new e-commerce site. Access the new site here.
  • Market Expertise: M. Holland offers a host of resources to clients, prospects and suppliers across nine strategic markets. To arrange a videoconference or meeting with any of our Market Managers, please visit our website.  

Thank you,

M. Holland Company

We will provide further COVID-19 bulletins as circumstances dictate. For all COVID-19 updates and notices, please refer to the M. Holland website.

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