The Home Depot plans to open three new distribution centers within the next year and a half in metropolitan Atlanta, part of a five-year, $1.2 billion investment in supply chain facilities to meet rising demands from e-commerce. The home improvement retailer is striving to provide 90% of the US population with same-day and next-day delivery, up from 50% currently.
Port operators and authorities are expected to curb expansion rates by 40% or more during the next five years due to the slower movement of goods spurred by the coronavirus pandemic, according to a Drewry Shipping Consultants report. The UK shipping consultancy estimates that global container terminal capacity will increase by roughly 25 million 20-foot equivalent units annually, compared with the over-40-million-per-year average increase in the last decade.
Ford Chief Financial Officer Tim Stone leads the company's crisis team and has focused on liquidity for Ford and its suppliers during the pandemic. Stone had separately narrowed Ford's focus for reporting quarterly metrics but has reverted to a wider look since the pandemic, all while forgoing full-year guidance and delaying release of a five-year plan.
Amazon is anticipating continued growth in e-commerce orders and plans to meet capacity needs by bolstering its network square footage, including fulfillment centers, by 50%, Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky said during an investor call last week. The company is also tightening third-party seller warehouse space restrictions beginning in mid-August to prioritize faster-moving goods.
The pandemic, economy and political situation are all causes of chronic stress that require leaders to take care of themselves, help people who seem to be withdrawing and communicate an optimistic but realistic message about the future, writes Michael Lee Stallard. "Effective leaders continually look ahead, scanning the horizon for opportunities as well as possible disruptive challenges or threats, and they prepare to address them," he writes.
Public health officials and some US lawmakers are expressing concern about what they say is a lack of planning for distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine, and it is unclear who would oversee such a plan since it would typically fall to the CDC but might also land with the Operation Warp Speed initiative. Regarding who will receive the first doses of an approved vaccine, NIH Director Francis Collins suggested hot spots could be targeted, in addition to front-line workers, the medically vulnerable and vaccine trial participants who received placebo shots.
Lawson Products posted $72 million in second-quarter sales, down 24.9% from a year ago, and net profit of $0.6 million, down from $1.3 million. However, month-over-month average daily sales increased in May and June.
The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index climbed to 54.2 in July from 52.6 in June, indicating sustained expansion. New orders and production rose, according to the index, while employment improved but still signaled contraction.
Imaginative Materials & Design of Tucson, Ariz., has had higher demand for protective personal equipment during the pandemic and has focused on paying overtime rather than large-scale hiring. The company has been flexible with where it sources materials and has reverted to logging inventory on paper because of the pandemic-caused upheaval.
The struggling fashion industry is finding new avenues through Tmall, Alibaba's digital shopping mall, which offers a direct line to China's 1.4 billion residents. Retailers can set up customized storefronts, and Alibaba handles details such as marketing and payments, helping businesses that have been dealing with tight credit, volatile inventory and suppliers that want payment upfront.