The need to know

The need to know for the week ending 13th November 2020

The need to know from Reuters’ global network of journalists

COVID vaccine breakthrough raises hopes, poses logistical headache

Monday’s potential breakthrough in the race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine has left governments scrambling to meet the logistical challenge of distributing hundreds of millions of doses once it becomes available in coming months.

How Pfizer vaccine could be cold comfort for some Asian nations

With tropical heat, remote island communities and a dearth of ultra-cold freezers, many Asian countries aren’t betting on Pfizer’s experimental vaccine solving their COVID-19 crisis any time soon.

Alibaba boasts $70.6 billion sales in first post-virus Singles' Day

China's Alibaba 9988.HK said orders on its e-commerce platform during the Singles' Day shopping event hit 467.5 billion yuan ($70.6 billion) by Wednesday evening.

Amazon expands in Brazil, riding e-commerce boom set off by COVID-19 distancing

Amazon AMZN.O said on Monday it had opened three more logistics centers in Brazil to take advantage of the boost the COVID-19 pandemic has given to e-commerce in South America's largest economy.

China's Pinduoduo beats quarterly revenue estimates, shares leap

Chinese e-commerce platform Pinduoduo Inc reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue on Thursday, helped by strong demand as the domestic economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

British retailers could shun Northern Ireland after Brexit, logistics groups warn

British retailers and manufacturers could stop selling in Northern Ireland once the UK has finally left the European Union due to “overwhelming” customs demands and lack of border preparedness, industry officials said on Wednesday.

Northern Ireland will not be ready for January 1 post-Brexit trade checks - watchdog

Northern Ireland will not be ready to conduct checks on certain goods moving between Britain and the province from January as required by the Brexit divorce deal and is exploring contingency plans, an official report warned on Friday.

Microsoft launches next-generation Xbox gaming consoles amid pandemic-driven demand

Microsoft Corp MSFT.O on Tuesday launched two models of its Xbox gaming console, seven years after the debut of the previous version, to capture a pandemic-driven boom in consumer spending on games.

Deutsche Post braces for Christmas ecommerce boom

German logistics group Deutsche Post AG DPWGn.DE said on Tuesday it was working on securing the capacity it needs to handle a big rise in ecommerce over the Christmas season, which will determine whether it meets the upper end of its outlook.

India to spend $27 billion over 5 years to boost manufacturing

India’s cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal to provide production-linked incentives of about 2 trillion rupees ($27 billion) over five years to create jobs and boost manufacturing in the country, the finance minister said.

Time to launch carbon plan for shipping is now, industry says

The shipping industry must act now in order to meet U.N. targets to cut carbon emissions by 2050, leading officials said on Wednesday, ahead of a meeting next week that will seek to advance a plan.      

Apple puts Taiwanese supplier Pegatron on probation over student workers

Apple AAPL.O said on Monday it has put its Taiwanese supplier Pegatron 4938.TW on probation after finding that the company violated Apple's supplier code of conduct by asking student employees to work night shifts or overtime.

Brazil armed forces could help with COVID-19 vaccine program: vice president

Brazil’s armed forces could help with the logistics and implementation of any COVID-19 vaccination program, Vice President Hamilton Mourao said on Monday, adding that it is difficult to predict when a vaccine may be available.

African e-commerce firm Jumia's revenue slips as misses out on COVID boost

African online retailer Jumia on Tuesday reported a nearly 18% fall in third-quarter revenue as it shifted towards less expensive but more frequently ordered items and missed out on lockdown boosts enjoyed by international rivals.

Breakingviews - Richemont hedges online bets with Farfetch stake

Richemont is trying a new route to get on the online luxury bandwagon. The Swiss owner of Cartier on Thursday announced it’s investing $550 million in funky deluxe e-tailer Farfetch, alongside with Alibaba. 

From elsewhere around the web

Is the economic turmoil a boon or bane for shipping?[Lloyd’s List]

Supply chain faced with many uncertainties beyond COVID-19[Port Technology]

Carriers bullish as shipping contract talks loom: 'it won't be a buyer's market'[The Loadstar]

Delays, surcharges and returns: Holiday shipping headaches have just begun[Supply Chain Dive]

Samsung to Consider Blockchain to Manage Supply Chain[SDC Executive]

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