This fireside chat recap is from FreightWaves’ Domestic Supply Chain Summit on Wednesday.
FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: How supply chain disruptions have altered home goods.
DETAILS: Jack Echeverria, senior manager of Wayfair’s global logistics arm, CastleGate Logistics, sits down with Rachel Premack, editorial director at FreightWaves, to discuss how the online furniture retailer planned its peak season amid supply chain uncertainty and how ocean and intermodal networks are responding as freight volumes continue to drop from last year’s highs. He also looks ahead to key factors that will affect market conditions in 2023.
KEY QUOTES FROM JACK ECHEVERRIA:
How Wayfair planned its peak season amid the threat of a rail strike: “We were very cognitive of the situation. We were staying in close contact with our partner carriers on the ocean and on the dray side. Talking to the terminals and ports, just making sure that we were getting all of the information, just like any large organization. We were digesting it and coming up with plans with our partner carriers.”
About declining spot rates, freight volumes: “I believe [the spot market] did drop faster than anyone would have expected. We’re very fortunate that we put in a lot of effort and time with our partnerships with the steamships. We’re trying to work through it and understand where the bottom of the market is going to be. We do feel that we may not know where the bottom market is until after the Chinese New Year. I also think Q4 is going to be very interesting for a lot of retailers on what’s going on with consumer demand.”
Have we hit the bottom yet? “I think a lot of people are going to understand their inventory levels. You’re gonna have the numbers come back from Q4 by then. Some people that do have low inventory levels are expecting the demand to increase in bringing product from anywhere they’re imported from, including Asia, Malaysia and Vietnam. You’re seeing a lot of goods coming from there. So I think Chinese New Year is going to be a good time to reflect on what occurred in Q4, looking at inventory levels, understand where consumer demand is, understand what the Fed is going to do.”