The need to know

The need to know for the week ending 9th April 2021

The need to know from Reuters’ global network of journalists

Auto industry rethinks cost-cutting playbook as COVID-19, chip shortages disrupt supply chains

After a year of getting hammered by the pandemic, a semiconductor shortage and storms that snarled Dana Inc’s global supply chain, the auto parts maker is reaching for a new playbook.

Global chip supply chain increasingly vulnerable to massive disruption, study finds

A new study from a U.S. industry group found that the global semiconductor supply chain has become increasingly vulnerable to natural disasters and geopolitical disruptions because suppliers have become more concentrated in distinct regions.

Suez Canal must upgrade quickly to avoid future disruption - shipping sources

Egypt’s Suez Canal must move quickly to upgrade its technical infrastructure if it is to avoid future shipping disruption, shipping industry sources said, as the major trade route tries to bounce back from a costly six-day closure.

Suez Canal shipping backlog ends, days after giant vessel freed

All ships stranded by the grounding of the giant container ship Ever Given in the Suez Canal in March had passed through the canal by Saturday, ending the backlog that built up during the blockage, the canal authority said.

Biden aides to host meeting on supply chain issues: White House

Two top White House aides will host a meeting on the resiliency of the U.S. supply chain amid a broader policy review on the issue, an official said on Thursday.

Global factory recovery picks up, but cost pressures grow

Factories across Europe and Asia ramped up production in March as a solid recovery in demand helped manufacturers move past the setbacks of the pandemic, although escalating costs and supply- chain disruptions were creating challenges and driving prices.

Kia will cancel two days of production next week in Georgia

Kia Motors said on Friday it will cancel two days of production next week at its assembly plant in the state of Georgia to address supply chain issues.

UK factory orders jump in March as end of lockdown nears - PMI

British factories rode a wave of orders in March and prepared for a gradual reopening of the economy from its COVID-19 shutdowns by hiring staff at the fastest rate since 2014, a survey showed on Thursday.

German wine logistics group Hillebrand prepped for sale: sources

German liquor logistics group Hillebrand is being prepared for sale by its private equity owner in a deal that could value it at more than 1.5 billion euros ($1.76 billion) in a sector that has seen valuations rise in the pandemic, people close to the matter said.

Intel aims for supply chain edge with new data centre chip

Intel Corp on Tuesday introduced its newest flagship data centre microprocessor, hoping its in-house manufacturing operations will help it navigate a chip shortage to better compete against rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc’s (AMD) faster chips.

Euro zone factory activity soared in March but supply issues loom

Euro zone monthly factory activity growth galloped at its fastest pace in the near 24-year history of a leading business survey last month, but supply chain disruptions and renewed lockdowns in the region may rein it in soon.

Verizon signs first private 5G contract in Europe

Verizon Communications Inc, one of the largest U.S. telecom companies, on Thursday signed its first private 5G contract in Europe with Associated British Ports (ABP) to deploy the mobile network at the Port of Southampton.

MercadoLibre to double workforce amid e-commerce boom, hike Mexico investment

Argentina-based e-commerce giant MercadoLibre Inc is planning to double its workforce this year and invest $1.1 billion to expand its warehouse space and services in Mexico, spurred on by a pandemic-driven boom in online shopping.

Future Retail to offer quick online deliveries in bet on e-commerce

India’s Future Retail will deliver groceries and clothes from its main retail stores within two hours, it said on Thursday, as the company expands in an e-commerce sector dominated by the likes of Inc.

SoftBank to take 40% stake in warehouse robotics firm AutoStore for $2.8 billion

SoftBank Group Corp has agreed to buy a 40% stake in AutoStore for $2.8 billion, the Norway-based robotics firm said on Monday, in yet another big investment by the conglomerate in warehouse automation technology that optimizes e-commerce operations.

From elsewhere around the web:

Survey Reveals Optimism Around Future Supply Chain Performance. [SDC Exec]

Q4 20 most profitable in container shipping history, but 2021 will be better.[The Loadstar]

The omnichannel age is here — and it's expensive.[Supply Chain Dive]

Drones-as-a-Service could be key to unlock uptake in small, intermediate ports.[Port Technology]

Will e-cargo bikes take over last-mile delivery?[Freight Waves]

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