The 80/20 of Ecommerce – June 18, 2021

Covid outbreaks in Chinese ports could cause global goods shortages 

There is a “Perfect Storm” brewing that is wreaking havoc on small business owners importing products from China.

According to The Guardian “an outbreak of Covid-19 in southern China has combined with the rapid reopening of the world economy and a shortage of shipping containers to cause a surge in transport costs that could fuel inflation and cause shortages of goods across the globe.” 

A number of ports in Guangdong province have been affected including Yantian, Shekou, and Nanshan as vessels are facing limitations in bookings and entering ports without prior reservations.  

It makes sense now to check with your forwarder and supplier if you have an upcoming shipment shipping from south China.  

Yantian Port in Shenzhen after a Covid outbreak in Guangdong. Photograph: Martin Pollard/Reuters

When Will Amazon Dethrone Walmart as the Revenue King?

Walmart has held the top spot again in revenue generation among publicly traded companies for about 20 years. The company generated about $560 billion in annual sales in fiscal 2021. The pandemic gave a huge boost to Walmart sales which nearly grew over 7% over the past year. 

While Amazon climbed through the ranks and reached the unofficial 2nd spot last year. But even though Amazon’s sales of $386 billion were well behind Walmart’s total, Amazon is growing much faster and could overcome Walmart’s sales sooner than we might think.

According to NASDAQ “Walmart has been in launch mode recently, particularly focused on its e-commerce initiative Walmart+, the company’s new consumer subscription program to challenge Amazon Prime. But Walmart’s digital sales only grew 37% in fiscal 2022’s first quarter (ended April 30), which doesn’t quite keep pace with Amazon’s sales growth over the same time period.”

To compare, if Walmart’s latest revenue total stays flat for the next year and grows 3% in fiscal 2023 (which effectively represents calendar 2022 sales), it would take in about $577 billion. That means even at the projected lows, Amazon should become the largest U.S. company by revenue by the end of 2022.

Here are some things you may have missed from last week:

Have a great weekend!


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