More dirt on General Mills’ sustainable agriculture goals

General Mills operates in more than 100 countries and manufactures food in 15 countries. The giant food company stands behind iconic brand names such as Cheerios, Haagen-Dazs, Pillsbury and international favorites such as Yoki, a Brazilian food brand that it recently acquired.

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Starbucks in hiring spree fueled by continuing store expansion

Starbucks Corp. is ramping up its job hiring, here and abroad. It’s also doubling down on its commitment to the nation’s veterans.

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First Look: Target’s next-generation store concept

Target Corp. has unveiled its next-generation store format, which will make its debut in Richmond, Texas, a Houston suburb, in October.

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Three trends affecting future of grocery retailing

E-commerce, contactless payment options and smaller store formats all are shaping the future of grocery retailing, according to a new report from Packaged Facts called “The Future of Food Retailing: Value Grocery Shopping in the U.S.”

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U.S. rail traffic continues upward swing in Week 11

U.S. railroads moved 495,281 carloads and intermodal units for the week ending March 18, a 2.4 percent increase compared with the same week last year, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported yesterday.

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UP reports PTC progress

More than a quarter of Union Pacific Railroad’s subdivisions are positive train control (PTC) ready, the Class I announced last week.

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Three Steps to Creating a Low-Risk Supply Chain

No one can predict potential future risks that a supply chain may face. However, you can prepare for these potential risks and disruptions. Understanding and preparing is crucial in creating a sustainable top-performing supply chain, with flexibility and awareness. – Sara Shingleton, senior consultant, Tompkins International

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Digital Transformation: See Your Supply Chain Better

It is important to recognize that the pace of digital disruption has never been more frequent than today and the magnitude of the disruption is ever increasing. This provides an opportunity for organizations’ end-to-end (E2E) supply-chain visibility capabilities to evolve and to transform.

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Amazon’s next big market: Dubai?

Amazon may be nearing one of its biggest acquisitions in years, this time with its eyes on growing in Middle East e-commerce.

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More Consumers Expect Discounts On Many Products

Consumers, particularly older ones, are looking for discounts at the checkout counter, driven by the widespread discounting by mass merchants and department stores.

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Chipotle Launches Family-Targeted Videos, In-School Push

Chipotle is returning full-force to the content marketing strategy that helped build the brand.

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App-based ELD offers varied features

TruckX founder Tapan Chaudhari announced the company’s electronic logging device and fleet management software Wednesday at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky.

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Intel shifts gear in driverless car market with Mobileye acquisition

Chipmaker Intel has made a massive push into the autonomous car sector with an agreement to buy driverless vehicle technology firm Mobileye for just over $15 billion.

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US-Canada Nafta trade: Northern light hoping for a silver lining

The new US administration has left a bit of a cloud over Nafta, and while Canada may not be the primary target of any renegotiation, the country – and its important automotive supply chain – could still get caught in the crosshairs.

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Changing tastes create challenges, opportunities for food giants

Consumers purchasing food and beverages made with specific ingredients are forcing the industry to be more proactive in introducing new or reformulated products — positioning manufacturers with a lucrative opportunity to boost sales if they can get it right, a pair of executives told Food Dive.

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Report: Retail will look dramatically different by 2030

Converging channels, customization and constant connectivity are expected to change the shopping sector in the years ahead.

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Walmart in patent filing for in-store drones

The nation’s largest retailer is ready to put a whole new spin on merchandise fulfillment.

Speed is the name of the game in retail these days, in store and online.

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Rack and Shelving: Engineering for e-commerce

A mainstay in warehouses and DCs around the globe, rack and shelving is one equipment sector that’s stayed on the sidelines during the technological revolution. But that doesn’t mean forces like e-commerce and omni-channel distribution haven’t impacted the rack and shelving world, where meeting customers’ rapid-order fulfillment needs has become a focal point for the makers of these critical support systems.

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Supply-chain changes drive results at Target, Whole Foods

At one of Target’s distribution centers in California, the workers don’t move around very much.

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Study Identifies Best Approaches to Survive Supply Chain Complexity

APICS, and Michigan State University (MSU), recently announced findings from their latest report, “Managing the Complexity Paradigm.” The new report addresses the increased complexity of today’s supply chain flow, which supply chain leaders cite as the top challenge they face. Omnichannel marketing has opened several new flows to the marketplace (direct from manufacturer, through distributors, and direct to home), and consumers are looking for more customized products.

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Safety technologies in the eye of Senate hearing

A Senate subcommittee hearing earlier this week brought together trucking industry stakeholders and subcommittee members to discuss what can be done in the future to continue to address truck safety across the U.S.

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Three ways Amazon Go’s automation will impact the retail industry

Could “paper or plastic?” become a question of the past? In early December, Amazon opened its checkout-free store concept, Amazon Go, in Seattle. Initially open only to employees, the store is expected to open to the public early this year. With the e-commerce giant’s “just walk out” technology, customers are able to swipe their app when they enter, pick up items they want off the shelves, and exit without cash registers or lines.

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How to improve customer experience in retail supply chains

The customer is king (or queen). The customer is always right. The customer is at the centre of everything we do.

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How can you make your supply chain stronger?

Maintaining links with suppliers is as much about relationships as it is transactions.

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Amazon Spotlights the Disruptive Power of Delivery

With Amazon entering the picture, quick-service operators need to prepare for a seismic change in the industry.

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Logistically Minded: February indices spark business optimism

Supply chains are constantly changing as new rules, technologies, resources and market trends transform operations. Here’s a skim of the week’s indexes, technology announcements, expansions and M&As from around the web.

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Trailer Standards Draw Near

Trailers purchased by fleets in 2018 must comply with Phase 2 of the greenhouse-gas rule from the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, but there will be a menu of equipment options for achieving compliance.

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Ford’s supply chain leads the way in partnership for sustainability

Ford Motor Company’s supply chain is rolling out an amplified Partnership for A Cleaner Environment (PACE) program, a recent company press release reported. With a membership of more than 40 suppliers in 40 countries, PACE could potentially positively affect almost 1,100 supplier sites.

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UPS invests $90M to expand sustainable transportation

UPS will invest over $90 million to make its transportation infrastructure more reliant on compressed natural gas (CNG) and decrease its emissions, the company reported Wednesday.

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Visa is floating the idea of paying for stuff with your sunglasses

Visa wants to make “keys, phone, sunglasses” your new mantra before leaving the house.

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Transforming Logistics: Don’t Fall Behind on These Trends

To say that business has undergone change over the past decade would be a simple understatement. These changes have impacted the way we view and manage our supply chains, and the technology that is necessary to support it.

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Hiring Pace Picks Up in Trucking Sector

Trucking fleets stepped up hiring at the fastest pace in five years in February, adding 10,600 jobs in a display of confidence as companies across U.S. industries ramped up payrolls.

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CEOs spill their sustainability secrets

In 2014, Mark Lefko began writing a book on global sustainability to capture the knowledge and best practices of sustainable businesses. The book sought to prove how global sustainability is shaping the growth of the most progressive profitable multinational, Fortune 500, middle-market and startup companies around the world.

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Starbucks really hopes these cups won’t make anyone angry

Starbucks is getting ready to unveil a limited-edition cup design that, unlike its plain red holiday cups from 2015, hopefully won’t offend any customers — or social media commentators.

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March Madness: Conflicts and confines that make up the NCAA apparel supply chain

March Madness is here, but while most of the focus is on the brackets, players and buzzer beaters, there is another source of drama: the supply chains and labor behind the athletes’ outfits and equipment.

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February retail sales see mild gains

Mild retail sales increases were posted in February, according to data issued today by the United States Department of Commerce and the National Retail Federation (NRF).

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U.S. rail traffic surged 4.4 percent in Week 10

U.S. railroads moved 510,638 carloads and intermodal units, up 4.4 percent, for the week ending March 11 compared with the same week a year ago, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported yesterday.

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Nutrition, Indulgence Driving CPG Growth

In an otherwise lackluster year for U.S. sales of consumer packaged goods, many of the industry’s top performers in 2016 generated growth by satisfying two seemingly contradictory desires of American consumers — for convenient nutrition and for indulgences such as confections and alcohol.

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Economic Theory: 5 Schools of Thought to Help Supply Chains Prosper

There is a huge chasm between theory and practice. There are many reasons for this, but two common reasons are that companies are often too busy or too budget-constrained to invest in education to close the gaps. Simply put, they are hunkering down to deliver the goods.

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No, the rest of America is not online shopping like you are

There’s no doubt that online shopping is a wave that is roiling the retail industry — and our culture, for that matter.

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Nike unveils the shoe it hopes will push runners past the 2-hour marathon barrier this spring

In 2014, Kenya’s Dennis Kimetto ran a marathon in Berlin in 2:02:57, setting the world record for the fastest time in the event. Now, he’s facing intense competition not from another runner, but from a company.

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Retail Therapy: Wal-Mart’s secret recipe for store traffic? Free cupcakes

This week in retail, free food emerged as brick-and-mortar’s savior, Brawny rolled out a controversial rebrand for Women’s History Month and a man named Crook met his destiny.

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2016 North American Freight Numbers

Four out of five major transportation modes – truck, pipeline, vessel and air – carried less U.S. freight and with North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico by value in 2016 than in 2015. Rail is the only major mode to carry more freight, increasing by 0.2 percent. The total value of cross-border freight carried on all modes fell 3.4 percent from 2015 to $1.069 trillion in current dollars, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) (Figure 1 and Table 1).

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The world’s most valuable retail brands are…

An online giant and the world’s biggest retailer claim the top two positions in a study that ranks retail companies by their brand value.

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Ford Partners With Panasonic For Smart Service Kiosk

Ford is aiming to improve the customer experience at dealerships by offering an outdoor kiosk that allows easier scheduling of and payment for service.

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Meijer to add home delivery services in Ohio and Midwest

Meijer is bringing its home delivery services to six states, including Ohio.

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Union Pacific aims to drive innovation by empowering employees to use idea-sharing software

An idea is a notion of a possible action or a conception of what ought to be. And it’s going to take a lot more ideas for Union Pacific Railroad to continue cultivating a culture that embraces and drives innovation.

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Automakers Have Uphill Battle Regarding Self-Driving Cars

Technology is grand; it makes life easier in so many ways. But many of us aren’t willing to give up control.

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Siemens unveils first Charger locomotive for Washington DOT

Siemens has finished building its first Charger locomotive for the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), the company announced yesterday.

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Inside Campbell Soup’s journey on G.M.O. labeling

A food industry perspective on the impending labeling of bioengineered foods was provided by Jeff George, vice-president of research and development for Americas simple meals and beverages at the Campbell Soup Co., Camden, N.J., during during a session of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 93rd annual Agricultural Outlook Forum in Washington Feb. 24.

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Visual search technology wants to be the next frontier of e-commerce

At Tommy Hilfiger’s see-now-buy-now runway show in Los Angeles last month, crowd goers not only had the ability to sneak a peek at the latest designs, but they could also snap photos on their mobile phones to identify products and shop them instantaneously.

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New grocery retailer expanding

A new retailer aimed at Hispanic customers is expanding its footprint in South Florida.

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U.S. carload and intermodal volumes are up in February, reports AAR

Both United States rail carload and intermodal volumes posted annual volume gains in February, according to data issued by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

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Cross your fingers and say, three times, ‘Spring freight season’ …

As on a teeter-totter, as on the spot freight market — what goes down must come up. Well, sort of. Spot market volumes on DAT Load Boards continued their climb last week, enough to finally put pressure on rates to rise. The national average van rate was up 4 cents, while 56 of the top 100 van lanes paid better than the prior week. “I told you so,” noted DAT’s Ken Harper, a little facetiously though not entirely. “Seriously, this is a good sign: the peak freight season often starts in March, but usually it’s later.” We’ll see how it pans out in the coming weeks.

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Amazon Prime ships off to Mexico

Amazon’s hugely popular Prime membership service launched Tuesday in Mexico.

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An exclusive look at Jeff Bezos’s plan to set up Amazon-like delivery for ‘future human settlement’ of the moon

More than four decades after the last man walked on the lunar surface, several upstart space entrepreneurs are looking to capitalize on NASA’s renewed interest in returning to the moon, offering a variety of proposals with the ultimate goal of establishing a lasting human presence there.

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Kohl’s and Under Armour: Behind the Biggest Brand Launch in Kohl’s History

Kohl’s, which like most of its competition has struggled to attract shoppers in recent years, is breaking a marketing campaign this week to tell consumers it is now selling Under Armour products in stores and online. Company representatives have called the biggest brand launch—in terms of product— in Kohl’s history.

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PepsiCo’s 1893 Premium Cola Brand Adds Two New Flavors

In 2016, PepsiCo launched 1893 from the Makers of Pepsi-Cola to pay tribute to the company’s 100-plus years in the cola industry. The brand draws inspiration from the original Pepsi recipe created in 1893 by company founder Caleb Bradham and blends premium ingredients such as such as kola nut extract, certified fair trade sugar, and sparkling water.

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Tech Data CEO: Closing The Avnet TS Deal Has Created One Of The Premier Routes To Market For IoT

Tech Data CEO Bob Dutkowsky fired back at Arrow Electronics, saying the company doesn’t need its own semiconductor operation to have a robust Internet of Things practice.

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March Editorial: Industrial Distributors’ Technology Learning Curve

It’s no secret that many industrial distributors that are at least several decades old aren’t exactly tech-savvy. ID’s 2016 Survey of Distributor Operations — of which 57 percent of respondents were distributors with annual sales of less than $50 million — showed that 40 percent don’t view e-commerce as a priority, 45 percent don’t have a customer relationship management platform, 79 percent don’t use sales force automation and 60 percent don’t have an enterprise resource planning system.

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Current 34-hour restart regs to stay put following issuance of long-awaited FMCSA report

Following more than two years of lingering uncertainty, the rules governing truckers’ use of a 34-hour restart are settled, following the issuance of a long-awaited report from the Department of Transportation. The study has not yet been made public, but a letter issued by the Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General confirms the report’s conclusions.

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Nissan Seeks More Than $100M Brexit Supply Chain Fund

Nissan has called on the U.K. government to invest millions in attracting car part manufacturers or risk a “house of cards” collapse in the industry post-Brexit.

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Study: Majority of retailers are ready to invest in IoT

As the retail industry continues its digital transformation, chains need a new formula to best service its shoppers.

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Tech accelerates freight movement visibility

One aspect of mobile technology gaining traction among brokerages and shippers is greater freight visibility. While larger fleets have used trailer-tracking systems for years, more brokers and shippers are relying on mobile tech in the driver’s pocket to do the same.

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EXCLUSIVE: Ritz Is Coming Out With Four Insane New Chips

It seems like the U.S. is the last country to get the coolest snacks: We had to wait for Cadbury Oreo Eggs to cross the pond and spent years hearing Australians boast about Tim Tams before we could try them. Even Ritz Crackers, a company born and raised on U.S. soil, has been holding out on us: Ritz introduced its Crisp & Thins to the U.K. a couple years ago, and thanks to the success over there, we’ve finally been deemed lucky enough to try them.

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Target unveils $7B plan to overhaul stores, digital operations

Target executives on Tuesday unveiled a series of initiatives designed to reverse the big box retailer’s same-store sales declines, including an investment of more than $2 billion of capital in 2017 and more than $7 billion over the next three years. The company will use about $1 billion of operating profits this year to improve brick-and-mortar and digital operations, according to a conference call transcript from Thomson Reuters StreetEvents.

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Update on Amazon’s drive-through grocery store concept

Amazon’s drive-through grocery store in Seattle is beginning to come more into view.

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Unilever rises above the regs on chemicals transparency

Half of all consumer products contain fragrance. More than 3,000 chemicals add fragrance to consumer goods worldwide. Nearly 200 of those chemicals are voluntarily restricted by the fragrance industry. The U.N. has designated a third of fragrance chemicals as dangerous. Seven are possible carcinogens, and 15 have been banned from Europe. None are required to be disclosed to consumers, per U.S. federal regulation.

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U.S. rail traffic rose 4.2 percent in February

U.S. railroads moved 2,112,479 carloads and intermodal units in February, a 4.2 percent increase from traffic totals in February 2016, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported yesterday.

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Amazon looks to go big on solar, clean energy

Amazon is to install solar panels at its warehouses and distribution centers around the world.

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Home Depot to hire over 80,000 employees

For certain retailers, the spring season can mean a massive influx of sales and peak busy hours, much like the holiday season for others.

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Uber seeks permit to restart self-driving pilot in California

Uber Technologies Inc. said on Thursday it plans to comply with California regulations and seek permits to put its self-driving cars back on the state’s roads, an about-face following the company’s legal spat with state officials in December.

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49% Of Retailers Adopt Internet Of Things, 81% See Improved Customer Experience

The Internet of Things is reaching retail, with most uses focused on customer engagement.

Retailers using IoT technology also are finding that customer experiences are being improved because of it, based on a new study.

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