SCARBOROUGH, Maine -- Hannaford Bros. here is testing a distribution approach that consolidates orders and shipments from multiple vendors. The pilot program, which involves five manufacturers, a third-party distribution center and a broker, is ongoing but has already resulted in reduced order lead times for less-than-trailer-load shipments. Consolidated orders, or "clusters" of products, from different vendors are placed by Hannaford via electronic data interchange. Order lead time, ...

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