The need to know

The need to know for the week ending 4th December 2020

The need to know from Reuters’ global network of journalists

Christmas, coronavirus and fear of no-deal Brexit push Europe's warehouses to the limit

Retailers worldwide have never had more reason to pack warehouses to the brim and keep stock closer to shoppers who continue to buy a record number of items online.

XPO Logistics plans to spin off warehousing business

XPO Logistics Inc said on Wednesday it plans to spin off its warehousing and logistics business into a separate publicly traded company.

Cyber Monday poised to mark record for U.S. online retail sales

Cyber Monday was set to become the biggest online shopping day ever for the United States, garnering up to $11.4 billion as the coronavirus pandemic prompts consumers to stay at home and turn to the internet for their holiday shopping needs.

Amazon workers at German warehouse to strike again

Trade union Verdi on Sunday called on workers at a German Amazon warehouse to strike for the second time in a week to disrupt the processing of orders following the ‘Black Friday’ discount shopping sales on Nov. 27., SF, Carlyle among bidders for CJ Group's $1 billion China logistics business: sources

Chinese online retailer, delivery company SF Group and Carlyle are bidding for South Korean conglomerate CJ Group’s China logistics business in a deal that could fetch over $1 billion, people familiar with the matter said.

Chinese air freight firm Apex up for sale after coronavirus boost: sources

Apex Logistics has been put up for sale by MBK Partners, which hopes to lock in a valuation of more than $1 billion after the coronavirus crisis boosted the Chinese freight forwarding company’s business, people close to the matter said.

China to force firms to report use of plastic in new recycling push

Restaurants, e-commerce platforms and delivery firms will be forced to report their utilisation of single-use plastics to the authorities and also submit formal recycling plans, China’s commerce ministry said in proposals published on Monday.

Thanksgiving weekend sees 44% more online-only shoppers: NRF

The number of online-only shoppers jumped 44% during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in the United States to 95.7 million, the National Retail Federation said on Tuesday, even as the overall number of shoppers dropped.

Walmart axes $35 delivery minimum on website purchases for membership program

Walmart Inc said on Wednesday it would lift the $35 minimum order value that subscribers of its loyalty service had to meet for next-day or two-day shipping, as the retailer gears up for a holiday season dominated by online shopping.

Deutsche Post buoyed by "3 years ecommerce growth in 3 months"

German logistics group Deutsche Post AG expects its business from ecommerce will grow by about 50% over the Christmas period and the expansion will continue in 2021, the head of the company’s express business told Reuters.

IBM warns hackers targeting COVID vaccine 'cold chain' supply process

IBM is sounding the alarm over hackers targeting companies critical to the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, a sign that digital spies are turning their attention to the complex logistical work involved in inoculating the world’s population against the novel coronavirus.

American Airlines conducts trials to transport COVID-19 vaccine

American Airlines began trial flights from Miami to South America in mid-November to prepare for its role in transporting the COVID-19 vaccine, the U.S. carrier said on Monday.

Former Maersk executive takes helm as CEO of rival MSC

Soren Toft on Wednesday started his role as chief executive of Swiss headquartered container group MSC’s shipping and logistics business almost a year after he was hired from rival A.P. Moller Maersk.

Breakingviews - Pinduoduo rises to China's grocery challenge

Pinduoduo is rising to China’s grocery challenge. The e-commerce company unveiled plans to raise as much as $6.1 billion partly to expand next-day delivery for fresh produce.

JD Logistics seeks bank pitches for Hong Kong IPO of up to $3 billion, sources say

JD Logistics has asked banks to pitch for the lead role in its Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO) of up to $3 billion as it moves towards launching the deal in the first half of 2021, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

China's factory activity expands at fastest pace in over three years

China’s factory activity expanded at the fastest pace in more than three years in November, while growth in the services sector also hit a multi-year high, as the country’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic stepped up.

De Beers plans to clean up diamond supply chain, be carbon neutral by 2030

Diamond mining giant De Beers on Monday outlined plans to be carbon neutral by 2030 and add to safeguards on the ethical sourcing of its diamonds, as companies across the sector make efforts to raise environmental and ethical standards.

Japan, South Korea, industry oppose EU plan to cut shipping emissions

Japan, South Korea and a fleet of international shipping groups have warned the European Union against its plan to add greenhouse gas emissions from the maritime sector to Europe’s carbon market.

Exclusive: LG Chem to double China battery capacity to meet Tesla demand – sources

South Korea’s LG Chem Ltd plans to more than double production capacity of battery cells it makes in China for Tesla Inc electric vehicles (EV) next year, sources said, to keep up with its U.S. client’s growth in the biggest car market.

FOCUS-North American farmers profit as consumers pressure food business to go green

Beer made from rice grown with less water, rye planted in the off-season and the sale of carbon credits to tech firms are just a few of the changes North American farmers are making as the food industry strives to go green.

From elsewhere around the web

Micro-fulfillment: Where it works for supply chains — and where it doesn't. [SupplyChainDive]

'Secret Life Of Groceries' Shines A Light On Bounty's Dark Side. [NPR]

The futuristic cargo ship made of wood. [BBC]

Amazon says this year’s holiday shopping period has been the biggest in its history. [CNBC]

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