The need to know

The need to know for the week ending 11th December 2020

The need to know from Reuters’ global network of journalists

Hailing 'turning point', Britain begins roll-out of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine

Britain will start rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech on Tuesday, the first Western country to start vaccinating its general population in what was hailed as a decisive watershed in defeating the coronavirus.

Vaccine airlift delivers shot in the arm for airlines

Airlines battered by COVID-19 are prepping for key roles in the mass vaccine rollout that promises to unlock an immediate boost for the sector - and beyond that, its own recovery and survival.

Ships make record number of sailings through Arctic in 2020

Ships sailing through the Arctic region’s busiest lane along the Siberian coast made the highest number of trips on record this year as a quicker-than-expected melting of ice enabled more traffic, data showed.

Container ship loses nearly 2,000 cargo carriers in Pacific storm

Nearly 2,000 containers aboard a ship managed by NYK Shipmanagement of Japan were lost or damaged when it hit by stormy weather in the Pacific Ocean, the company said, adding that the vessel was heading Japan for assessment.

Rhine water level rises, too shallow in north for full shipping

Low water levels after dry weather in the past month continue to prevent cargo vessels from sailing fully loaded on the river Rhine in Germany, traders said on Thursday.

Boxed out: China's exports pinched by global run on shipping containers

China’s world-beating economic rebound from the coronavirus pandemic is being blunted by a global shortage of shipping containers, sending cargo costs to record highs and hampering manufacturers in filling fast-recovering global goods orders.

Back to the future: Swedish firm bets on wind-powered cargo ships

Two centuries after the first coal-powered steamships crossed the Atlantic Ocean, a Swedish company is designing a futuristic throwback: a huge, wind-driven cargo ship that could help end the fossil fuel era and limit climate change.

Hapag-Lloyd sees some transport volume recovery in 2020

German container liner Hapag-Lloyd expects transport volumes in the fourth quarter to pare sharp losses seen earlier this year as a demand recovery in Asia lifts seaborne shipments.

U.S. wholesale inventories revised higher; sales surge

U.S. wholesale inventories increased more than initially estimated in October, suggesting inventory investment could contribute to economic growth in the fourth quarter.

FedEx says it has ample air capacity for vaccines

FedEx Corp - and its rival United Parcel Service Inc - have enough air cargo capacity handle COVID-19 vaccine deliveries, FedEx Americas President Richard Smith said on Tuesday.

Pfizer says supply chain challenges contributed to slashed target for COVID-19 vaccine doses in 2020
Challenges in Pfizer Inc’s supply chain for the raw materials used in its COVID-19 vaccine played a role in its decision to slash its 2020 production target, a Pfizer spokeswoman told Reuters.

Europe's supply chain finance fix feeds hidden debt fears
European companies hit by the coronavirus crisis are increasingly turning to a complex financial tool to pay suppliers, raising investor concerns around “hidden” debt.

UK's initial AstraZeneca shots will come from Europe, taskforce says

Britain’s initial doses of the COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University will come from Europe rather than a domestic supply chain, the country’s Vaccine Taskforce said.

Australia warns of modern slavery risks in government supply chains

Australia said on Wednesday that construction and textiles were among the riskiest industries for slave labour in the public sector, in its first report on government efforts to clean up its supply chains.

Continental says chip shortages to cause auto supply bottlenecks until 2021

German auto supplier Continental said on Friday that a rebound in Chinese demand following a global slump in sales caused by COVID-19 is leading to a shortage of semiconductors that may cause supply-chain bottlenecks until 2021.

Japanese companies form industry group to support hydrogen supply chain

Japanese companies including Toyota Motor Corp have established a new organisation, the Japan Hydrogen Association, to promote the creation of a hydrogen supply chain in the country, its board member companies said on Monday.

From elsewhere around the web

The mystery of the frozen trans-Pacific spot rates[Freight Waves]

Brexit will bring disruption deal or no deal, shipping warned[Lloyd’s List]

WHO complains of 'outrageous' air freight rates - $105 per kg, anyone?[The Loadstar]

Commentary: Is truck parking really that big of a problem?[Freight Waves]

How companies worked to elevate small, diverse suppliers in 2020[Supply Chain Dive]

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