The need to know

The need to know for the week ending 15th January 2021

The need to know from Reuters’ global network of journalists

Northern Ireland-Britain supply chain at risk of collapse, hauliers warn
The supply chain between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom is a “boat breakdown” away from collapse as a result of the post-Brexit regulatory border, the UK’s Road Haulage Association (RHA) has warned the British government.

U.S. counter-intelligence chief worried about China, Russia threats to vaccine supply chain

 The U.S. counter-intelligence chief said on Tuesday he was worried about threats from China and Russia to disrupt the coronavirus vaccine supply chain in the United States.

'We've lost 30 years': Brexit shatters supply chains for French fish hub

French fishmongers and seafood factories are suspending orders from Britain and battling to salvage just-in-time supply chains, after they were upended by post-Brexit red tape that impedes next-day delivery of salmon and lobster from Britain to Europe.

Honda to temporarily halt UK car output due to COVID-related supply issues

Japanese carmaker Honda said it would halt output at its British factory from Monday to Thursday next week due to COVID-19 related global supply chain issues, the latest production suspension in recent weeks.

Online retailer Boohoo lifts outlook after strong holiday season

Retailer Boohoo raised its annual revenue target on Thursday after a strong Christmas holiday season, with the tightening of UK coronavirus curbs again pushing households to shop more online.

COVID vaccine deliveries to UK are on track, enough to meet target, minister says

Deliveries of COVID vaccines to Britain are on track and sufficient to meet the government’s vaccination targets, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Wednesday although he declined to give figures on supplies.

Global investors call for end to seafarers marooned at sea due to coronavirus

A group of leading investors on Wednesday called for an end to a crisis involving hundreds of thousands of seafarers stuck on ships for many months due to COVID-19, warning that the situation was creating bigger risks every day.

Alibaba's Cainiao launches container booking service, cites global cargo woes

Alibaba Group’s Cainiao launched a container booking service for air and sea freight on Thursday, and said the move was in response to a global shortage of shipping containers that had pushed cargo costs to record highs.

Deutsche Post raises outlook after strong fourth-quarter

Deutsche Post said on Tuesday it expects operating profits to rise in 2021 and 2022 after a jump by 56% in the fourth quarter as the coronavirus pandemic prompted a surge in ecommerce and parcel shipments.

Record online sales give U.S. holiday shopping season a boost - report

U.S. shoppers spent more online during this year's holiday shopping season, a report by Mastercard Inc MA.N showed on Wednesday, with e-commerce sales hitting a record high.

Shopify removes stores affiliated with Trump

Canada’s Shopify Inc took down stores affiliated with U.S. President Donald Trump from its e-commerce platform on Thursday, a day after hundreds of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol.

Britain's Hut Group sees stronger 2021 after beauty products lifts Q4

E-commerce retailer The Hut Group on Tuesday forecast 2021 revenue between 30% to 35% higher than 2020, boosted by its acquisition and a surge in online demand for its beauty products during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Digital analytics firm Quantum Metric raises $200 million

Quantum Metric, a startup that provides customer analytics and improvement tools for online businesses, said on Thursday it raised $200 million in its latest financing round, which values the firm at over $1 billion.

Scottish seafood deliveries to resume on Jan. 18, logistics group says

The biggest logistics provider for the Scottish seafood industry said it would resume a form of delivery service to Europe on January 18, after it hit post-Brexit problems with health checks, IT-systems and customs documents.

DHL Express sees strong start to year, Brexit challenges under control

DHL Express is off to a strong start to the year even as capacity remains tight due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with post-Brexit adjustments on track, Global CEO John Pearson told the Reuters Next conference on Wednesday.

German haulier suspends UK-bound shipments to clear backlog of incorrect documents

German logistics group DB Schenker said it would stop accepting Britain-bound consignments for the time being after the Brexit trade deal between the European Union and Britain left customers confused over customs requirements.

Freight tech startup Sennder raises $160 million at valuation of over $1 billion

Digital freight startup Sennder said on Thursday it had raised $160 million from investors, valuing the six-year-old business at more than $1 billion, and would invest the proceeds in its technology platform.

Bumpy road ahead for global COVID-19 vaccine rollout, experts say

Governments worldwide face a tremendous challenge in building up the logistics needed for mass vaccination against COVID-19 and providing clear messaging to their citizens to boost confidence in the shots, public health experts said on Wednesday.

From elsewhere around the web

Inside California’s colossal container-ship traffic jam. [Freight Waves]

US ports set to break annual import record. [Port Technology]

Damco is gone. Where do Maersk, freight forwarders and shippers go from here? [Supply Chain Dive]

Shipping line reliability and accountability now 'a thing of the past'. [The Loadstar]

2021: The Year of the Healthcare Supply Chain’s Digital Transformation. [SDC Exec]

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