Afternoon Coffee: Amazon Looks to Small Businesses for Last-Mile Fixes, Kroger Requires Suppliers to Commit to 90-Day Payment Terms

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Amazon unveiled a program Wednesday that it hopes can alleviate its last-mile delivery woes without the help of FedEx or UPS. As CNN reports, the new program helps entrepreneurs start their own delivery business, complete with Amazon-branded vans and uniforms, that would take packages from Amazon fulfillment centers to their final destinations.

Kroger Policy

Grocer Kroger has introduced a new supplier policy requiring businesses to commit to 90-day payment terms, according to Progressive Grocer. While Kroger said it is enacting the policy to more efficiently manage its working capital, the larger grocery industry has condemned the change.

Mineral Supply Chain

The U.S. should take proactive measures to protect its economy by rebuilding its minerals supply chain, according to an opinion piece from the Hill. The editorial says the U.S. is completely import-dependent for 21 mineral commodities, and the country’s largest supplier by far is China. Gaining greater production control of critical minerals such as lithium will be essential, the authors argue, to securing America’s military and economic future.

GDP Estimates

And finally, an economic update: Forecasters are raising their estimates of second-quarter U.S. economic growth, the Wall Street Journal reports, on better-than-expected trade data. The trade deficit in goods narrowed 3.7% in May from the prior month, as exports climbed 2.1% and imports rose 0.2%.

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