Checking in on Target’s Holiday Supply Chain Strategy

October 12, 2021 - Article reads in
guest experience
A white semi truck with a drawing of Bullseye the dog and the Target logo on its side.

Target’s always focused on going the extra mile for our guests. And even as unprecedented supply chain challenges continue to impact retailers and industries across the globe, including the situation at our nation’s ports, we’re ready to deliver the easy, inspirational holiday shopping experience our guests love. Thanks to the amazing work of teams across Target, our supply chain is moving as efficiently as possible in time for the holidays, and we can’t wait to share the joy with our guests — however they choose to shop — this season and beyond.

How do we do it? Read on for a look at our strategy — and insights into how we’re supporting efforts toward a more efficient U.S. port system for all.

Planning ahead

As we’ve already shared, our supply chain and inventory teams have been working proactively to move products fast from overseas to U.S. ports and on to our supply chain facilities and stores. Because of their hard work, our inventory is up substantially over the same time last year, helping us feel prepared to deliver for millions of families this season. We’re never satisfied if our guests find an occasional sold-out product, and that’s why our teams are doing everything they can so guests can find what they need.

Over the past several years, we’ve made big investments in our supply chain operations and stores-as-fulfillment hubs model to serve our guests even faster and more efficiently. That includes building out the technology that helps restock our stores to increase speed and precision, and adding supply chain facilities, including two new distribution centers this year, to flow more inventory even faster to our stores, and four new sortation centers to move orders more quickly from our stores to our guests. And to support our growth, we recently shared our plans to hire more than 30,000 year-round supply chain team members to bolster our team.

Keeping our inventory moving

While Target’s imports comprise less than 3% of container volume in the U.S., we’re operating in ways that help reduce overall supply chain congestion. We’ve been running 24/7 supply chain operations for years, including at the ports, which allows us to pick up our containers in less than 24 hours, helping clear the way for other freight. And at our nation’s largest ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach, we’re currently moving about 50% of our containers at night, and we’re committed to increasing that amount by 10% over the next 90 days to help clear up the ports while making sure that our total supply chain continues running effectively.

Big picture, we’re also contributing to collaborative efforts that help improve efficiency at the ports, like joining the White House Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force and the National Shipper Advisory Committee at the Federal Maritime Commission to support holistic solutions for the United States’ supply chain.

Looking forward

Target fully supports investments to increase efficiency at our nation’s ports. That includes expanding infrastructure to provide for even more movement of goods and increasing data sharing across industries to help with port traffic control. We also support exploring the expansion of offsite storage for slow-moving containers to allow easier access to containers moving more quickly. The goal? Ensuring we’re doing everything we can to provide our guests and families across the country what they need, when they need it, now and always.

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