The need to know

The need to know for the week ending 21st January 2022

The need to know from Reuters’ global network of journalists

U.S. grocery shortages deepen as pandemic dries supplies

High demand for groceries combined with soaring freight costs and Omicron-related labor shortages are creating a new round of backlogs at processed food and fresh produce companies, leading to empty supermarket shelves at major retailers across the United States.

With U.S. labour scarce, logistics firms turn to remote forklifts

With labour shortages straining the supply chain, big U.S. logistics companies ArcBest and NFI Industries plan to deploy thousands of forklifts that can be operated remotely.

Shopify, pair up in China as e-commerce competition intensifies

Canadian e-commerce giant Shopify (SHOP.TO) said on Tuesday it has partnered with China's (9618.HK), to let merchants in the United States sell to JD's customers in China.

U.S. holiday sales endure supply chain, Omicron snags to hit $887 bln - NRF

U.S. holiday sales in 2021 came in at a better-than-expected $886.7 billion, boosted by customers returning to stores and splurging more online, even as a jump in COVID-19 cases and supply chain issues threatened to upend the crucial shopping season.

Puma tops quarterly forecasts despite supply chain problems

German sportswear maker Puma (PUMG.DE) reported stronger-than-expected preliminary quarterly sales and core profit on Thursday, as strong global demand helped offset the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain constraints.

Australia says no to 16-year-old forklift drivers as remedy to COVID supply chain pain

Australia has ruled out letting teenagers as young as 16 drive forklift trucks to tackle a shortage of workers in coronavirus-hit supply chains, as it scrambles to scoop up millions of home testing kits needed to keep businesses functioning.

Taiwan December export orders hit record high, warns on supply chains

Taiwan's export orders grew faster than expected in December to a record high due to sustained technology demand, but the government warned of supply chain uncertainty that could affect the outlook.

U.S. allocates $14 bln to expand ports, shore up waterways

The Biden administration on Wednesday said it will fund $14 billion in projects to improve the country's ports and waterways in an effort to increase climate resilience, improve drinking water sources and bolster the U.S. supply chain.

Britain's Currys trims profit outlook after tough Christmas

British electricals retailer Currys (CURY.L) faces uncertain demand and more supply chain disruption in 2022, it warned as it trimmed full-year profit guidance by 3% after Christmas sales were dented by a "challenging" technology market.

'Upside down again': Omicron surge roils U.S. small businesses

Phillip Howard pointed toward a stack of black ski pants piled atop a counter in his winter sports shop as evidence of the hurdles small business owners still face as the pandemic drags on.

Unvaccinated truckers entering Canada must quarantine -government

Unvaccinated Canadian truckers re-entering Canada from the United States must get tested for COVID-19 and quarantine themselves starting Jan. 15, the Canadian government said on Thursday, a day after the Canadian border agency dropped the rule.

Toyota expects annual production target shortfall as chip shortage drags on

Toyota (7203.T) said on Tuesday it expects to miss its annual 9 million vehicle production target because competition for semiconductors meant it didn't have enough to ramp up car output to offset production lost during the pandemic last year.

Daimler Truck sees 20% sales growth in 2021

Newly spun-off commercial vehicle maker Daimler Truck (DTGGe.DE) sold 455,000 units in 2021, the company reported on Tuesday, a fifth more than last year but still 13% below pre-pandemic levels.

Firms see increasing labour shortages and wage pressures - Bank of Canada survey

Canadian firms see labour shortages intensifying and wage pressure increasing, with strong demand growth and supply chain constraints putting upward pressure on prices, a regular Bank of Canada survey said on Monday.

UK's Crown Estate, Volta Trucks to run electric truck trial in London

Britain’s Crown Estate will run an electric truck trial starting this summer with startup Volta Trucks to deliver goods to retailers on London’s busy Regent Street as part of efforts to cut congestion and emissions, the companies said on Friday.

Michelin in deal to test inflatable sail that may make shipping greener

French tire maker Michelin and Compagnie Maritime Nantaise said on Thursday they will jointly test Michelin’s inflatable wing sail this year on a merchant ship for the first time, in a move that may help the shipping industry cut its emissions.

Maersk quarterly earnings beat expectations

Shipping group Maersk (MAERSKb.CO) on Friday posted better than expected fourth-quarter revenue and earnings, fuelled by record freight rates for container shipping.

Waymo, J.B. Hunt expand tie-up to commercialize autonomous trucking technology

U.S. truck fleet operator J.B. Hunt Transport Services (JBHT.O) and Alphabet Inc's (GOOGL.O) self-driving unit Waymo are expanding their alliance to deploy fully autonomous trucking operations in Texas in the next few years, the companies said on Friday.

From elsewhere around the web:

Maersk space ban means 'a dark future', maybe the end, for small forwarders. [The Loadstar]

Consumers Willing to Pay More for Sustainable Shopping Options. [SDC Exec]

Grocers are experimenting with delivery fees. Here are 8 key factors to consider. [Supply Chain Dive]

Starbucks to spend $1.5B on diverse suppliers. [Supply Chain Dive]

In air cargo bull market, United flies dog food and mayo. [Freight Waves]

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