Afternoon Coffee: Restaurants Buying Local to Avoid Trucking Costs, China Battery Storage Capacity Surges

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A trucker shortage has led to a surge in shipping costs for all businesses, but for the food industry, the way to savings is simple: buy local. As Bloomberg reports, shipping rates have jumped 14% in the past year, causing more food companies and restaurants to look to their local farmers for alternatives sources of meat and vegetables.

China Bets on Batteries 

China’s ambition to become a key player in the international battery supply chain is underlined by a striking statistic: The country added as much battery-storage capacity in 2018 as all previous years combined. That capacity is being used for storing excess electricity on the grid, Quartz reports, which should help smooth out the intermittent production of electricity from sources such as solar and wind. 

ConnXus-Basware Partnership 

Supplier management solution ConnXus announced it has partnered with Basware as a reseller of the latter’s purchase-to-pay (P2P) platform, according to a press release. Both companies are seeking to streamline their clients B2B networks by providing better visibility throughout the procurement process.

"ConnXus customers will now be able to access the proven global Purchase-to-Pay platform offered by Basware," said Daryl Hammett, ConnXus General Manager & Chief Operating Officer. "We are excited to be able to easily extend and increase the scope of services we offer through the Basware cloud offering. Our goal is to provide a holistic solution from a supplier management point of view across the entire supply chain."

Consumer Confidence

And finally, an economic update: U.S. consumer confidence surged to an 18-year high in August, Reuters reports, with the Conference Board’s index rising 5.5 points to 133.4. The optimism, supported by a strong labor market, indicated consumers may not yet have felt the downstream effects of the White House’s protectionist trade policies, which economists have said would raise prices for ordinary Americans.

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