The need to know

The need to know for the week ending 16th April 2021

The need to know from Reuters’ global network of journalists

Biden's chip dreams face reality check of supply chain complexity
To understand President Joe Biden’s challenge in taming a semiconductor shortage bedeviling automakers and other industries, consider a chip supplied by a U.S. firm for Hyundai Motor Co’s new electric vehicle, the IONIQ 5.

U.S. consumer prices post biggest gain in 8-1/2 years as economy reopens
U.S. consumer prices rose by the most in more than 8-1/2 years in March as increased vaccinations and massive fiscal stimulus unleashed pent-up demand, kicking off what most economists expect will be a brief period of higher inflation.

U.S. import prices increase solidly, seen temporarily boosting inflation
U.S. import prices increased more than expected in March, lifted by higher costs for petroleum products and tight supply chains, the latest sign of inflation heating up as the economy reopens.

U.S. issues subpoena to Chinese company as part of supply chain review
The U.S. Commerce Department said on Tuesday it had issued a subpoena to an unnamed Chinese company as part of the Biden administration’s review of its supply chain for any risks posed to U.S. national security.

Japan, UAE to collaborate on hydrogen technology, supply chain
Japan and the United Arab Emirates on Thursday agreed to work together on technology to produce hydrogen and create an international supply chain, Japan’s industry ministry said.

UK investors expand anti-slavery push to construction, materials sectors
A UK investor coalition that presses companies to unearth modern-day slavery in their supply chains said on Monday it was going to expand its campaign into the construction and materials sectors.

Maharashtra shuts most manufacturing, restricts e-commerce to fight COVID-19
India’s richest state Maharashtra will impose stringent curbs on industry and e-commerce for 15 days to slow rising coronavirus infections, its chief minister said on Tuesday, a move that is set to cripple manufacturing and other businesses in the region.

Exclusive: Russia's Sberbank to expand in logistics in e-commerce push
Russia’s biggest bank Sberbank plans to expand its logistic business across the world’s largest country as it seeks to capitalise on a booming e-commerce market, Chief Financial Officer Alexandra Buriko told Reuters.

Poland's InPost to launch eleven new logistics hubs this year
Polish parcel locker company InPost said on Wednesday that it will launch 11 logistics hubs throughout Poland in response to growth in the courier services market.

Gucci owner Kering on track with global logistic hub in Italy
Kering has completed the first phase of its new global logistics hub in North-West Italy, helping increase the French luxury group’s storage and speed up global deliveries.

British Land Co looking at options for buying retail parks
Real estate firm British Land Co said on Wednesday it was exploring further opportunities to buy retail parks and looking to invest more in its urban logistics portfolio following a surge in online shopping.

Dislodged ship held in Suez Canal as talks continue over $916 million claim
A ship that blocked the Suez Canal for almost a week in March is being held in the waterway as canal authorities pursue a $916 million compensation claim against the ship’s Japanese owner, one of the vessel’s insurers and canal sources said on Tuesday.

Denmark's Maersk to lay off staff as part of cost cuts
Danish shipping group Maersk  said on Thursday it would lay off staff at its main offices in Denmark and in other countries.

White House convening summit with top execs on chip shortage
Almost 20 major companies worried about a global semiconductor chip shortage that has roiled the automotive industry will send senior executives to a White House summit Monday, a senior official said on Friday.

E-commerce platform connects young Afghan female entrepreneurs with the world
A locally grown e-commerce platform in Afghanistan is connecting vendors with customers around the world, providing an important opportunity for the war-torn economy and inspiring a new trend of young women starting up their own small businesses.

Cocoa trader Olam says new EU law may force it to drop some suppliers
Commodity trader Olam said on Wednesday that new European Union legislation aimed at preventing the import of commodities linked to deforestation and human rights abuses might force it to stop using some of its cocoa suppliers.

From elsewhere around the web:

9 charts show the highs and lows of supply chains in Q1.[Supply Chain Dive]

‘March madness’ at LA port amid ‘once in a lifetime’ surge.[FreightWaves]

Anger as Maersk suspends contract bookings, sparking scramble for capacity.[The Loadstar]

How the pandemic impacted demand at FedEx, Clorox and C&S Wholesale.[Supply Chain Dive]

Suez Canal backlog could cause port security crisis.[Port Technology]

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