Afternoon Coffee: Prime Shipping Comes to Amazon Business, Driverless Truck Begins Deliveries at Exxon Mobil Plant

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Amazon Business customers in the U.S. can now access unlimited, free two-day shipping on eligible items through a paid annual membership for multiple business users, the company announced Tuesday. As Spend Matters Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell writes, the new Amazon Prime commercial model merits serious consideration and should make sense for the lion’s share of prospective customers, although the exact approach individual procurement organizations may want to take will vary.

Autonomous Logistics

Driverless cars on city streets may get all of the press, but autonomous vehicles are also creeping into everyday logistics. As the Bangkok Post reports, Belgian industrial logistics firm Katoen Natie is now using a driverless truck to transport products within an Exxon Mobil's facility in Singapore. The truck transports polymer resin products from a packaging facility to a warehouse several kilometres from the oil company's manufacturing plant on Jurong Island.

Wine Woes

Bad weather in Europe has curtailed wine output this year, with global production estimated to fall to its lowest level in 50 years, the Wall Street Journal reports. Those numbers do not even count the areas affected by the California wildfires, although estimates were more optimistic since the harvest had already been completed in the US.

UK Economy

And finally, an economic update from across the pond: The UK economy grew 0.4% last quarter, surprising economists and likely clearing the way for the Bank of England to raise interest rates for the first time in 10 years next, according to Bloomberg.

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