The need to know

The need to know for the week ending 28th May 2021

The need to know from Reuters’ global network of journalists

UK factories boom but bottlenecks pushing up prices
British manufacturers reported the fastest growth in orders since December 2017 in May but fear supply-chain bottlenecks will cause their costs to rise sharply, according to a survey which adds to signs of a rebound for factories.

U.S. manufacturing accelerates; tight supply pushes home sales to 10-month low

U.S. factory activity gathered speed in early May amid strong domestic demand, but backlogs of uncompleted work are piling up as manufacturers struggle to find raw materials and labor, boosting costs for both businesses and consumers.

Bank of England mostly unfazed by inflation omens

A short-term rise in prices in Britain caused by global supply chain pressures does not foreshadow longer-term inflation problems once the economy emerges from the coronavirus pandemic, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said on Monday.

Amazon looking at opening pharmacy stores in U.S. Inc is considering the launch of brick-and-mortar pharmacies in the United States, Insider reported on Wednesday, triggering a drop in shares of drugstore chain operators CVS Health and Walgreens.

Sea change: global freight sails out of the digital dark ages

If suppliers in China fail to pick up freight containers to fill an order for MediaShop, Marcel Schneider gets an alert via a digital freight system, allowing the retailer to reach out and fix the problem swiftly.

Telecom Italia sees first effects of chip shortage on equipment supply

Telecom Italia is starting to see the first effects of the global chip shortage on its equipment supply, the head of Italy's biggest phone group said on Thursday.

China's Pinduoduo beats quarterly revenue estimates amid online shopping boom

Chinese e-commerce platform Pinduoduo Inc’s quarterly revenue beat Wall Street estimates on Wednesday, driven by a sustained surge in online shopping following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thai startup Pomelo pivots to fashion tech platform amid pandemic fashion e-commerce start-up Pomelo plans to boost revenue by offering its own technology in analytics and demand forecasting to other fashion brands in the region, its chief executive said on Tuesday, amid slowing offline sales.

British Land targets distributors as new retail park clients after rough year

UK property group British Land has begun marketing space in its coronavirus-hit retail parks to logistics companies whose “last mile” businesses in delivering purchases to consumers have boomed in the past year’s lockdowns.

Air freight market becomes a bright spot for Boeing in China

Boeing Co, struggling in China with sales of passenger planes due to trade tensions and the grounding of its 737 MAX, is upbeat about the outlook for freighter plane sales there as e-commerce demand booms.

Every second counts as startups race to deliver fresh food

In a railway arch in south London, pickers and packers are in a race against time: to get fresh food to the door of Alastair Dean within 15 minutes of his order hitting an app.

Britain's M&S expects profit recovery after 88% slump

British retailer Marks & Spencer forecast a rebound in profit this year after an 88% slump in 2020-21 that reflected a collapse in clothing sales due to the COVID-19 pandemic but warned investors not to expect a dividend this year.

Daimler Truck, Shell sign agreement on hydrogen trucking in Europe

Daimler Truck and Shell New Energies said on Thursday they have signed an agreement under which Shell commits to setting up hydrogen-refuelling stations for heavy-duty trucks that Daimler Truck will sell to its customers.

Kodiak targets driverless trucks in 2023, partners with SK for Asian market

U.S. self-driving truck start-up Kodiak Robotics Inc is looking into a joint venture with the holding firm of South Korean conglomerate SK Group to gain a foothold in the Asian market, its co-founder told Reuters.

Hydra Energy raises $12 million for hydrogen fuelling expansion

Fuelling start-up Hydra Energy said on Thursday it had raised 15 million Canadian dollars ($12.4 million) to fund a hydrogen capture project and for converting diesel trucks to run on hydrogen.

From elsewhere around the web:

US produce shippers face new export crisis: now pallets are in short supply.[The Loadstar]

Amazon has a new plan to cut worker injuries by 50%. [CNBC]

Mahle's cheap, highly efficient new EV motor uses no magnets. [New Atlas]

China is growing more worried about how surging commodity prices will affect business profits. [CNBC]

FedEx piles on peak surcharges with increases set for June.[Supply Chain Dive]

Mediterranean Corridor ponders intermodal hinterland connectivity to shorten supply chain.[Port Technology]

California’s massive container-ship traffic jam is still really jammed.[Freight Waves]

Electric Vehicle Competition Integrates into the Supply Chain.[SDC Exec]

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