Alibaba is using local recruits to spur e-commerce growth in China's rural areas. Countryside e-commerce growth is outpacing most major cities, although it accounts only for one-tenth of Alibaba purchases. The company estimates this market could be worth $74 billion in 2016.
W.W. Grainger will buy U.K.-based distributor Cromwell Group in an all-cash deal worth $482 million. The deal is expected to close in September and is expected to offer Grainger greater access to the U.K. market for operations, maintenance and repair.
International Paper spends $2 billion each year on U.S. transportation and hopes to lower that cost through improved forecasting. It also is working on faster turnarounds for boxcars and trucks. Meanwhile, the company is pushing Congress to allow heavier trucks on the road to improve efficiency.
How a company carries out final-mile delivery is crucial to the success and integration of the overall supply chain, Brian Larwig writes. Without a cost-effective final-mile delivery plan, providers cannot adequately meet the demands of the customer and risk losing crucial business. Shippers must develop a strategically sound logistics plan that addresses competitor pricing, Larwig writes.
McKesson CEO John Hammergren says the company is always acting to stay ahead of technology trends in its industry. McKesson has created a venture capital fund and is also focused on cloud-based solutions, he says. Separately, McKesson reported a profit increase of 43% for the quarter ended June 30.
Henry Schein buoyed overall second-quarter sales with 16.7% growth in sales to physician offices, which was driven by the company's partnership with Cardinal Health. Full-company earnings for the quarter were up 1.5% from the year-earlier period.
The U.K.'s new anti-slavery rule will require 12,000 companies with global revenue over $56 million to provide annual disclosures on their efforts to end slavery and human trafficking in their supply chains. Many companies already have policies in place, but others lack focus in this area.
The grocery chain Save-A-Lot could become an independent, publicly traded company, parent SUPERVALU said. Save-A-Lot has more than 1,300 U.S. stores and represented more than one-quarter of SUPERVALU's first-quarter revenue.