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•  From the Wall Street Journal:

"Amazon. com Inc. is adding a supply-chain management service to its web services business, jumping into an increasingly competitive technology field as companies try to get tighter control of the flow of goods from factories to consumers … Amazon has a ready audience for its software with a phalanx of small- and medium-size businesses in its third-party marketplace. It says its application gives companies better visibility into their supply chains and that it uses machine learning to help manage inventory levels and better forecast demand."

The Journal writes that "Amazon’s launch of its cloud application, AWS Supply Chain, adds Amazon to a growing list of software suppliers, such as Manhattan Associates and Blue Yonder, that help merchants juggle increasingly complex cargo flows and inventory demands. Microsoft Corp. launched its own supply-chain management software platform earlier this month."

According to the story, "Many companies are pressing for greater efficiency and visibility of their goods flows after being caught flat-footed during the pandemic by disruptions such as factory shutdowns in Asia and U.S. port congestion that added months to import delivery times and led to empty shelves and lost sales heading into the 2021 holiday season.

"Companies are relying more on sophisticated supply-chain software as a growing share of sales shifts away from sending goods in bulk to retailers and moves more toward direct-to-consumer online sales that require better balancing and positioning of stock."

•  From GeekWire:

"'Small Business Saturday' turned out to be a good day to spot a growing effort by one very big business to shrink its carbon footprint.

"Across Seattle, GeekWire spotted Amazon’s distinct electric delivery vans made by Rivian. The tech giant began rolling out the vans in Seattle and select U.S. cities this summer, but spotting them in the wild has still been a bit of a rare occurrence.

"Amazon said in a blog post earlier this month that its fleet now has more than 1,000 electric vans making deliveries in more than 100 cities across the U.S."

The story notes that "Amazon previously said that it planned to have 100,000 of the vans on the road by 2030.

"In 2019, the tech giant pledged to become carbon neutral by 2040 and encouraged others to do the same as it co-founded and became the first signatory of The Climate Pledge. Its emissions, however, have continued to rise over that time, including pollution associated with transportation."