The need to know

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

The need to know from Reuters’ global network of journalists

Ships carrying commodities stuck after vessel grounding in Suez Canal

Dozens of ships carrying everything from oil to consumer goods have been delayed by the grounding of a vessel in the Suez Canal, and companies may have to re-route cargoes around Africa if the blockage extends beyond 24 hours, shipping sources said.

UK food and drink exports to EU plunged 75.5% in January: industry group

Exports of food and drink from the United Kingdom to the European Union plunged by 75.5% in January, the Food and Drink Federation said on Monday, attributing much of the fall to post-Brexit barriers.

FedEx profit soars with pandemic-fueled delivery demand

U.S. delivery firm FedEx Corp on Thursday said quarterly profit jumped more than expected on higher prices and surging volume from pandemic-fuelled e-commerce deliveries during the holiday shipping season.

Self-driving truck startup TuSimple files for U.S. IPO

Self-driving truck startup TuSimple Holdings Inc filed for a U.S. initial public offering (IPO) on Tuesday, joining a clutch of companies looking to capitalize on rising investor interest in the sector.

Boohoo publishes list of UK suppliers to meet transparency pledge

British online fashion retailer Boohoo on Thursday published a list of 78 approved manufacturers operating across 100 sites in the UK, meeting a commitment for increased transparency.

Sibanye, Johnson Matthey join forces to form low-carbon supply chain

South African miner Sibanye-Stillwater and specialist materials company Johnson Matthey will work together to develop sustainable supply chains for clean hydrogen production and fuel cells, both companies said on Friday

U.S. factory activity picks up in March; cost pressures building

U.S. factory activity picked up in early March amid strong growth in new orders, but supply chain disruptions because of the COVID-19 pandemic continued to exert cost pressures for manufacturers, which could keep inflation fears in focus.

U.S. says promoting chip cooperation with Taiwan is a priority

The United States and Taiwan are natural partners when it comes to semiconductors and promoting this cooperation is a U.S. priority, the de facto U.S. ambassador in Taiwan said on Thursday.

Britain to slow vaccine rollout due to supply crunch in India, testing of big batch

Britain will have to slow its COVID-19 vaccine rollout next month due to a supply crunch caused by a delay in a shipment of millions of AstraZeneca shots from India and the need to test the stability of an additional 1.7 million doses.

Nike set to overcome short-term shipping woes, most analysts say

The supply chain hiccups that dented Nike Inc’s third quarter sales are mostly behind them, analysts said on Friday, after executives said the sporting goods giant had adjusted inventories and other areas to avoid a recurrence.

Honda to extend production suspension at some North American plants

Honda Motor Co said late on Tuesday it will extend production suspensions at some North American plants into the week of March 29 due to various supply chain issues.

AB Volvo shares fall 7% after warning chip shortage to hit output

Shares in AB Volvo fell 7% on Tuesday after the Swedish truckmaker warned of a substantial hit on production in the second quarter due to the global shortage of semiconductors.

IKEA invests in mapping technology startup what3words

Ingka Group, the owner of most IKEA stores, has bought a 12 million pound ($16 million) stake in what3words, the London-based technology startup that has divided the world into three metre squares to help pinpoint locations.

Amazon workers strike in Italy over pandemic-driven delivery demands

Amazon workers in Italy went on a 24-hour strike on Monday in the first such action by the U.S. company’s entire logistics operation in the country, including third-party delivery service providers.

Singapore marks Asia's first containership LNG refueling operation

Asia saw its first ship-to-containership liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering operation in Singapore on Wednesday, paving the way for refuelling ships with the cleaner fuel at the world’s top bunkering hub.

From elsewhere around the web:

The wonder material we all need but is running out. [BBC]

'I’ll buy five items and only keep one of them'. [BBC]

Cruise and shipping industries could take a hit due to lack of Covid vaccines. [CNBC]

Carriers 'cherry-picking' customers as rates continue to head north. [The Loadstar]

Technology ‘not enough’, supply chain needs collaboration and governance. [Port Technology]

Inventory levels tumble, threatening retailers' spring and summer sales. [Supply Chain Dive]

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