The need to know

The need to know for the week ending 22nd November 2020

The need to know from Reuters’ global network of journalists

Container freight rates soar on consumer goods boom, supply chain kinks

Global container shipping rates have surged to records on a spike in restocking demand in the United States and Europe, container scarcity at export hubs, and changes in freight flows because of the coronavirus pandemic, shipping sources said.

Huawei to sell Honor brand to consortium of agents and dealers in bid to save its supply chain

Huawei Technologies Co Ltd is selling its budget brand smartphone unit Honor to a consortium of over 30 agents and dealers, according to a joint statement signed by 40 companies involved in the purchase.

Amazon launches online pharmacy in new contest with drug retail Inc AMZN.O on Tuesday launched an online pharmacy for delivering prescription medications in the United States, increasing competition with drug retailers such as Walgreens WBA.O, CVS Health CVS.N and Walmart WMT.N.

In pandemic Christmas, U.S. rivals aim to challenge Amazon under the tree

Walmart Inc WMT.N, Best Buy Co Inc BBY.N and hundreds of smaller retailers are bolstering their online gift features, hoping to challenge Inc's AMZN.O dominance as a seller of holiday gifts to homebound shoppers.

Maersk confident about shipping recovery beyond 2020

Shipping group Maersk said on Wednesday it is confident about the outlook for shipping beyond 2020 as a second wave of coronavirus infections has only had a limited impact on global freight volumes.

France's CMA CGM sees strong end to year amid shipping recovery

French container shipping line CMA CGM said on Friday shipping activity remained strong in the October to December quarter after a rebound from initial coronavirus-related disruption boosted third-quarter profits.

UK faces skills shortage as COVID-19 splits job market, McKinsey says

Britain will face a growing skills shortage over the next decade if it does not start retraining and reskilling workers for the shift to a digital-based economy which has been sped up by the COVID-19 pandemic, a McKinsey report said on Monday.

Lockdown 2.0: Food companies overhauled production to put more toilet paper, pasta sauce in stores

When rumours first began to circulate that the UK would go back into lockdown, Leanne Barnes despaired as bread and toilet roll flew off the shelves again at her local supermarket. But to her surprise, shelves were back to being fully stocked within a few days.

Air France-KLM prepares COVID-19 vaccine airlift

Air France-KLM is among airlines gearing up for the challenge of transporting millions of doses of temperature-sensitive COVID-19 vaccines in the midst of a travel slump.

Boeing 737 MAX jets undergo round-the-clock effort to clear inventory

The future of Boeing Co’s freshly approved 737 MAX is in the hands of nearly 700 workers toiling behind the gray doors of a three-bay hangar at a desert airport in Washington state.

Royal Mail raises revenue estimate as online shopping surges

Royal Mail raised its full-year revenue outlook on Thursday, as it benefited from a surge in online shopping during coronavirus lockdowns, sending its shares up sharply.

Walmart forecasts promising holiday season as online sales soar

Walmart Inc WMT.N said on Tuesday it was optimistic about its holiday sales prospects in a pandemic-ridden year after the big-box retailer beat Wall Street expectations for quarterly results as Americans increasingly shift their spending online.

Breakingviews - Vaccine is inexact bonus for freight and freezers

Every challenge is also a business opportunity. Rolling out a potential Covid-19 vaccine is no exception.

Pfizer eyes rapid COVID-19 vaccine roll-out in Latam after U.S. go-aheadx

U.S. drugmaker Pfizer Inc is hoping to rapidly roll out its experimental COVID-19 vaccine around Latin America soon after it gets emergency authorization in the United States, a senior executive said, which could be as early as next month.

Saudi government signs supply chain finance agreements with three banks

Saudi Arabia’s finance ministry signed supply chain finance agreements with three commercial banks, Saudi state news agency SPA said on Monday, in a move aimed at easing government payments to private sector suppliers such as contractors.

Breakingviews - It’s a good time to be “the other” Alibaba’s good year might get better. Shares of the $149 billion Chinese e-commerce company are rising, even as draft antitrust rules have caused those of its larger, aggressive rival Alibaba to fall.

From elsewhere around the web:

Tanker shipping at risk of rare winter hibernation[Freight Waves]

Supply chain cities on the rise[Supply Chain Dive]

Boeing predicts soaring need for more freighters as trade recovers[The Loadstar]

Supply Chain Leaders Embrace Digitization[SDC Exec]

European ports and Eurotunnel: 'we're ready for Brexit, are supply chains?'[The Loadstar]

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