The Pier Review

Hi there!

Happy New Year from all of us at US Futaba. What does your business have in store for 2022? We hope this newsletter can help with your plans.

We’ll be going over design trends, the latest information on supply chain, and more so you can stay informed and prepared for whatever the next 365 days brings your way! 

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to me at my email, charlie@usfutaba.com.


Product Highlight

Self-Adhesive Bumpers

These tiny products make a big difference! They help absorb impact and prevent skidding to prolong the life of your cabinets and drawers around the house. Be sure to check out the Self-adhesive bumpers page in our catalog for our entire selection!


Kitchen Color Trend Alert for 2022

With a new year comes new styles! With this guide from Wood Industry, you can refresh your kitchen with a fresh color palette:

Dark-painted colors are trending hot, inspired by dark carbon, zinc, graphite, and charcoal elements. Many of these emerging dark paint colors have blue and green undertones, which is no surprise to the trend experts.

2022’s colour of the year is Evergreen Fog [SW 9130], which is classified as the perfect green-gray. Our trend experts thought it deserved a special mention for the 2022 kitchen trends as a great organic-inspired accent colour for walls, art, and decorative accessories.

Dark wood stains and cabinets like Fusion Briquette, also known as Urban Bronze, which was their colour of the year for 2021 and pair perfectly with Evergreen Fog. Dark colours have been trending upwards for the past three to four years, so our trend experts have kept them on the list again for 2022.


Supply Chain Predictions for 2022

FreightWaves writers look ahead to what the future holds for various sectors of the freight industry. Some of these expert predictions include:

  • Volumes will be up, but historically low inventories remain supportive of demand, at least in the first quarter or two. Rate increases are expected to more than offset cost inflation, driving modest margin improvement. The improvements appear to be built into 2022 earnings expectations, which are higher again. 
  • Several important regulations and legislations that started last year will come into fruition this year, starting with Biden’s Action Plan. If the Ocean Shipping Reform Act, which passed the House in December, passes the Senate and is signed into law,  it will impose new restrictions and oversight on international ocean carriers — with potential cost implications for shippers as well. Click here for more detailed information on the bill’s potential costs and restrictions.
  • Maybe the biggest story of the new year will be whether FedEx Ground, FedEx Corp.’s U.S. ground-delivery unit, can regain its mojo. The unit had a difficult calendar 2021 as staffing shortages led to higher costs, delivery disruptions and shrinking operating margins. FedEx said the ship will be righted during the first half of calendar 2022 as staffing levels increase.

How To Overcome Supply Chain Disruption

What, then, is the key to overcoming the supply chain disruption and uncertainty caused by COVID-19? The solution can be broken down into three stages: stabilize, digitize and future-proof.

Stabilize: The first step is to solve the crisis at hand by analyzing the current areas of disruption, measuring the near- and long-term impacts of that damage. Impliment these initiatives to get started:

  • Use data and analytics to measure vulnerabilities within the supply chain.
  • Prioritize the parts of your supply chain that are most relevant to high-margin or strategically important products.
  • Develop a multi-layered supply chain ecosystem for crucial parts.
  • Invest in initiatives toward decentralization by dispersing to multiple geographic locations.
  • Bring crucial manufacturing jobs back onshore.

Digitize:  Once you’ve established your core data and analytics processes, augment them by applying artificial intelligence, to help predict outcomes and assess supply chain gaps or input cost volatilities. Companies can alleviate the impacts of the labor shortage, leaving the monotonous tasks to the machines and freeing up existing human labor to perform more strategic and productive duties.

Future-Proof: Monitor trends and react quickly when disruptions do occur by taking these key actions:

  • Establish a global operations services team that is actively monitoring and improving supply chain processes.
  • Audit and update AI models to adjust for future “black swan” events or extreme commodity and input cost volatilities.
  • Continuously develop new ways to manage risk better, and ensure that contingency plans are in place.
  • Proactively build secondary and tertiary “intelligent” distribution networks.

More Ways to Support Customers When Supply Chains Are Unpredictable

  • Improve visibility into shipment progress: Enable businesses to find ways to deal with delays and rerouting, by offering real-time visibility into shipment progress on both a micro and a macro level.
  • Optimize shipping routes: Air routes are becoming more competitive than earlier in the pandemic, making them a viable alternative at times to clogged marine or road lines.
  • Offer transparency into shipment conditions: When you’re in a volatile shipping situation, it’s crucial to share real time information not just about where the shipment is located, when it’s expected and what’s causing the delay, but also the condition of the items.
  • Integrate logistics capacity: Few logistics companies have spare capacity, but those that do are starting to share it, for a fee, in the form of supply chain as a service (SCaaS). For example, giants with in-house logistics like Walmart Inc. and Amazon.com Inc., which might have a near-monopoly on shipping in specific local areas, are offering smaller logistics companies the option of hiring their surplus capacity.

Will Prices of Lumber Rise This Year?

Between supply chain shortages, inflation, the overheated housing market, and record-shattering lumber prices, 2021 was not a typical year. But will 2022 be any better?

At least when it comes to lumber prices, it seems the answer is not entirely promising. A variety of experts, including those whose businesses have ties to the lumber industry or rely on lumber supplies to operate, predict that high prices will remain for the foreseeable future.


Please contact me for additional information or any questions you may have

Charlie Fournell-Ferrall

Email: charlie@usfutaba.com
Mobile: (757) 478-5587
Work: (877) 293-0584

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