Margins eroding

I've been asked recently if CPG companies will be able to increase their prices as supply-chain costs increase.  The answer is no.  Grocers like Kroger are saying the “benchmark basket’s” price has, in fact, declined over the past year…so they have little appetite for price increases.  The only savings come from increased efficiency.
Here are some interesting updates:
  • Average pricing for intermodal carriers jumped 5.8% year-over-year
  • The shortage of truck capacity boosted results at J.B. Hunt’s brokerage unit with a 41% gain in revenue while the for-hire fleet size is down 10%
  • "Union Pacific is offering $10,000 to $20,000 “hiring incentives” to train crews in cities like Denver, Kansas City, Mo., and North Platte, Neb., where its largest rail yard is located. Those jobs average $40,000 in pay over the first year and $60,000 the next, according to job listings.  Electricians to inspect, repair and maintain locomotives are being wooed with $25,000 signing bonuses to Union Pacific locations outside Milwaukee, in Hinkle, Ore., a three-hour drive from Portland, and elsewhere”  Source: Wall Street Journal