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  1. Analysis
February 7, 2022

Filings buzz in the railway industry: 24% increase in supply chain and logistics mentions in Q3 of 2021

We have analysed mentions of supply chain and logistics within the filings of companies using data from GlobalData.

Mentions of supply chain and logistics within the filings of companies in the railway industry rose 24% between the second and third quarters of 2021.

In total, the frequency of sentences related to supply chain and logistics between October 2020 and September 2021 was 89% higher than in 2016 when GlobalData, from whom our data for this article is taken, first began to track the key issues referred to in company filings.

When companies in the railway industry publish annual and quarterly reports, ESG reports and other filings, GlobalData analyses the text and identifies individual sentences that relate to disruptive forces facing companies in the coming years. Supply chain and logistics is one of these topics - companies that excel and invest in these areas are thought to be better prepared for the future business landscape and better equipped to survive unforeseen challenges.

To assess whether supply chain and logistics is featuring more in the summaries and strategies of companies in the railway industry, two measures were calculated. Firstly, we looked at the percentage of companies which have mentioned supply chain and logistics at least once in filings during the past twelve months - this was 43% compared to 34% in 2016. Secondly, we calculated the percentage of total analysed sentences that referred to supply chain and logistics.

 

Of the 50 biggest employers in the railway industry, Ryder System Inc was the company which referred to supply chain and logistics the most between October 2020 and September 2021. GlobalData identified 113 supply chain & logistics-related sentences in the United States-based company's filings - 1.8% of all sentences. United Parcel Service Inc mentioned supply chain and logistics the second most - the issue was referred to in 1.4% of sentences in the company's filings. Other top employers with high supply chain & logistics mentions included Sinotrans Ltd, XPO Logistics Inc and TFI International Inc..

Across all companies in the railway industry the filing published in the third quarter of 2021 which exhibited the greatest focus on supply chain and logistics came from FirstGroup Plc. Of the document's 3,906 sentences, six (0.2%) referred to supply chain and logistics.

This analysis provides an approximate indication of which companies are focusing on supply chain and logistics and how important the issue is considered within the railway industry, but it also has limitations and should be interpreted carefully. For example, a company mentioning supply chain and logistics more regularly is not necessarily proof that they are utilising new techniques or prioritising the issue, nor does it indicate whether the company's ventures into supply chain and logistics have been successes or failures.

In the last quarter, companies in the railway industry based in the United States were most likely to mention supply chain and logistics with 0.35% of sentences in company filings referring to the issue. In contrast, companies with their headquarters in Western Europe mentioned supply chain and logistics in just 0.08% of sentences.

Data Journalism Team

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