Spend Matters Afternoon Coffee

FedEx heads south.
FedEx to Buy Brazilian Transport Firm --FedEx Corp. FDX +1.74% agreed to buy Brazilian logistics and transport company Rapidão Cometa Logistica e Transportes S.A. as it furthers its expansion into Latin America. The terms of the deal, expected to close in the third quarter, weren't disclosed. Shipping giant FedEx has been acquisitive lately in its bid to expand internationally, recently acquiring French express-transportation company Tat Express and Polish shipping company Opek Sp.z o.o. in its bid to expand in Europe. The company said the acquisition of Rapidão Cometa, one of the largest logistics providers in Brazil, is in line with the company's long-term strategy of expansion in Latin America. Rapidão Cometa has been an authorized representative of FedEx for 11 years.

Ready for the new Macbook or iPhone??
Apple supply chain reportedly sees labor shortages because of new MacBook -- As Apple's new MacBooks are expected to launch in the near future, related upstream supply chain players are reportedly facing labor shortages because of strong orders from Apple, while some supply chain makers are even outsourcing their orders to meet shipment schedules, according to sources from the upstream supply chain. Component manufacturing plants in eastern China have been suffering from labor shortages for a long time, and although May and June are the IT industry's traditional slow season when shortage issues are usually not as significant, the strong orders from Apple's new MacBook are leaving many upstream makers unable to satisfy demand. The MacBook supply chain started delivering products in April with shipments for chassis seeing obvious growth in May. The sources expect component shipments to continue to rise in June, with the new MacBooks possibly to launch in July.

Speaking of Apple...
Foxconn's lessons: 3 supply-chain pitfalls to avoid -- How can companies avoid missteps in the supply chain that can lead to snafus like the embarrassing exposure of dubious labor practices at Apple's Chinese supplier factory, Foxconn? One way, says Taryn Sullivan, founder and CEO of Efficiency Exchange (EEx), is to show local factories why better, more sustainable practices can actually help their business, not just than simply serve as a stepping stone to cut deals with multinational customers. EEx, a startup that is building a technology platform to help suppliers and buyers reduce operating costs, believes there are new ways to drive sustainability throughout the chain.

Paying on phone alone?
Living on mobile money -- A couple of weeks ago I wrote about my frustrating efforts to use various new mobile money applications on my phone. I promised then to have another go, to give up cash and try to pay by phone alone. So, how did it go? Not very well, I'm afraid. I started by loading up my phone with a variety of apps which - supposedly - would help me get by without cash or even cards. My main weapons were to be O2 Wallet and Barclays Pingit, two new services which allow you to send and receive money from your phone. But I also installed the Paypal app, and a range of others that allow you to buy a coffee or pay for a taxi from your phone.

- Sheena Moore

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