The need to know

The need to know for the week ending 26th February 2021

Lawmakers plan to meet with Biden Wednesday on supply chain: sources

A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers plans to meet with President Joe Biden at the White House on Wednesday to discuss supply chain issues, including semiconductor chips, three people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

Carmakers wake up to new pecking order as chip crunch intensifies

The semiconductor crunch that has battered the auto sector leaves carmakers with a stark choice: pay up, stock up or risk getting stuck on the sidelines as chipmakers focus on more lucrative business elsewhere.

Biden rushes to address global computer chip shortage via latest executive order

President Joe Biden will sign an executive order on Wednesday aimed at addressing a global semiconductor chip shortage that has forced U.S. automakers and other manufacturers to cut production and alarmed the White House and members of Congress, administration officials said.

Breakingviews - JD offers peek into China's e-commerce machine is offering a peek into the engine that powers Chinese e-commerce. The $160 billion web retailer is spinning off its logistics operations in a Hong Kong listing. Investors will be keen.

Northern Ireland's Foster says EU 'not serious' over trade

Northern Ireland’s first minister, Arlene Foster, accused European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic on Wednesday of being “not serious” about trying to resolve post-Brexit trade difficulties with the British province.

Chipmakers in drought-hit Taiwan order water trucks to prepare for 'the worst'

Taiwan chipmakers are buying water by the truckload for some of their foundries as the island widens restrictions on water supply amid a drought that could exacerbate a chip supply crunch for the global auto industry.

U.S. factory activity cools; cost pressures mounting

U.S. factory activity slowed in early February likely as a global semiconductor chip shortage hurt production at automobile plants, while prices of inputs and manufactured goods soared, which could heighten fears of strong inflation growth this year.

E-commerce boom to outlast pandemic, says warehousing specialist Segro

UK real estate investment trust Segro said on Friday it expects a boom in online shopping to be sustained even after the COVID-19 pandemic as the warehousing specialist posted an 11% jump in annual profit.

Packaged food giants push direct online sales to gauge consumer tastes

Packaged food giants including Kraft Heinz, General Mills and Kellogg are pushing sales of their products to consumers directly via their own online channels, in a quest to gather more data about shoppers’ purchasing habits.

UAE weapons maker EDGE wants in on F-35 supply chain

United Arab Emirates’ state-owned weapons maker EDGE expects to be involved in the supply chain of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 war plane if the sale of U.S. planes to the Gulf Arab state goes ahead, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

Switzerland's Kuehne & Nagel buys Asian logistics firm Apex

Swiss logistics firm Kuehne & Nagel said on Monday it would buy Asian logistics provider Apex International Corp from private equity firm MBK Partners, its largest acquisition to date.

Pfizer seeks to store vaccine at higher temperatures, easing logistics

Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE have asked the U.S. health regulator to relax requirements for their COVID-19 vaccine to be stored at ultra-low temperatures, potentially allowing it to be kept in pharmacy freezers.

Walmart's Mexico unit boosts logistics spending in $1 billion capex plan

Walmart’s Mexico unit will ramp up logistics spending this year as a part of a 22.2 billion peso ($1.09 billion) plan aimed at further boosting online sales, which soared in 2020, the retailer said on Thursday.

Shortages, shipping and stocks feed bullish tin narrative

Rapidly rising tin demand from electronics firms, together with supply and shipping disruptions and historically low inventories, are in the near term likely to buttress prices of the soldering metal that have shot up to nine-year highs.

U.S. import prices post biggest gain since 2012

U.S. import prices increased by the most in nearly nine years in January, lifted by higher prices for energy products and a weak dollar, supporting expectations for an acceleration in inflation in the coming months.

From elsewhere around the web:

Why the automotive supply chain is in a semiconductor jam.[Supply Chain Dive]

Shipping lines start to give Myanmar a miss as protests impact supply chains.[The Loadstar]

Winter storms blow freight market back into disarray.[Freight Waves]

Unprecedented container demand represents the largest consumer shift for 50 years.[Port Technology]

The Impact of China’s Forced Labor on Supply Chain.[SDC Exec]

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