The need to know

The need to know for the week ending 5th March 2021

The need to know from Reuters’ global network of journalists

Biden on track to apply Trump-era rule targeting Chinese tech supply chain concerns

 The Biden administration plans to allow a Trump-era rule targeting Chinese technology firms deemed to pose a threat to the United States to go into effect despite objections from U.S. businesses, the U.S. Commerce Department said on Friday.

Disney to close at least 60 North American stores, focus on e-commerce

Walt Disney Co will close at least 60 Disney retail stores in North America this year, about 20% of its worldwide total, as it revamps its digital shopping platforms to focus on e-commerce, the company said on Wednesday.

Shipping groups tap algorithms to cut carbon emissions

Leading shipping group Maersk Tankers is investing tens of millions of dollars in digital technology to speed up cuts in carbon emissions across the industry, its chief executive told Reuters.

Self-driving startup Aeva hires Waymo, Apple veteran to oversee supply chain

Self-driving sensor startup Aeva Inc, founded by two Apple Inc alumni, has hired another former Apple executive to oversee manufacturing and supply chain operations ahead of an expected deal to become a public company later this month.

Greensill Capital in trouble as Credit Suisse suspends funds

Supply chain finance firm Greensill Capital could file for insolvency within days, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, after Credit Suisse earlier said it had suspended $10 billion of funds that backed the London-based company’s lending operations.

German employers cry foul as Merkel's cabinet passes supply chain act

German employers criticised Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling coalition on Wednesday for passing a law that obliges companies in Europe’s largest economy to take action against human rights violations at their foreign suppliers.

Boohoo defends supplier practices after report of possible U.S. import ban

Britain’s Boohoo defended its supplier practices again on Tuesday after a Sky News report said the online fashion retailer faced the possibility of a U.S. import ban due to allegations over the use of slave labour in supplier factories.

Kuehne & Nagel 2020 core profit inches up on air logistics

Swiss logistics group Kuehne & Nagel International reported on Wednesday a slight increase in 2020 core earnings, with pharmaceuticals and e-commerce growth driving growth in a year marked by the coronavirus crisis.

Amazon's new Polish site goes live as online competition grows

Online retailer Amazon’s new Polish website went live on Tuesday morning, the company said, marking a significant intensification of competition in the country’s booming e-commerce sector.

Emerging bolsters defences as Amazon enters Poland

As Amazon sets its sights on central and eastern Europe, the e-commerce giant will need to convince long-time Allegro shoppers like Elzbieta Modrakowska to click away from the region’s leading online marketplace.

Sea launches investment arm, expects e-commerce sales to double in 2021

Southeast Asian e-commerce and entertainment group Sea said on Tuesday it would launch a unit to manage its investments, as well as its own artificial intelligence labs.

Walmart's Flipkart expands grocery sales to more Indian cities

Walmart-owned Flipkart will sell groceries online in more Indian cities, as it seeks to compete better with Amazon and Reliance in an e-commerce market that has grown rapidly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

UK's DS Smith gains from orders packed and shipped in online boom

DS Smith expects demand for its paper and fibre-based packaging supplies to continue growing in 2021, fuelled by a pandemic-drive boom in online shopping that will help the British firm deliver annual results in line with expectations.

ICE sees spike in shipping fuel and wet freight derivatives trade activity

Trading in 0.5% Marine Fuel Oil (MFO) and Wet Freight contracts hit record levels this month, a year after the introduction of cleaner global shipping rules, the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) said on Friday.

U.S. coffee roasters weigh price increases, cite shipping inflation

Coffee processors in the United States, the world’s largest consumer of the beverage, are reporting significant cost increases in their operations, mostly related to transportation, and expect to raise retail prices soon.

Elsewhere around the web:

Coronavirus beams trucking, supply chain into an automated future. [Supply Chain Dive]

Electronic Chip Supply Chains Issues Put Manufacturers Behind. [SDC Exec]

Ocean carriers take heat for profiting ‘so handsomely’ while service plunged. [Freight Waves]

A leaner, more efficient air cargo market post-Covid – but more expensive. [The Loadstar]

Carriers must focus on digitalisation and logistics as investor patience wears thin, [Port Technology]

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