The need to know

The need to know for the week ending 18th September 2020

The need to know from Reuters global network of journalists

Walmart unveils membership service with free delivery, no lines

Walmart Inc WMT.N on Tuesday unveiled the perks of its new membership program, Walmart Plus, which will grant subscribers unlimited free delivery, fuel discounts and no checkout lines.

Delivering super-cooled COVID-19 vaccine a daunting challenge for some countries

Getting a coronavirus vaccine from manufacturing sites to some parts of the world with rural populations and unreliable electricity supply will be an immense challenge, given the need to store some vials at temperatures as low as minus 80 degrees Celsius (-112 Fahrenheit), Deutsche Post warned on Tuesday.

Alibaba Group opens China factory as part of new manufacturing initiative

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd on Wednesday unveiled a pilot factory in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou as part of its “smart manufacturing” business initiative.

Walmart's Flipkart to hire 70,000 in India ahead of big shopping event

Walmart Inc's WMT.N Flipkart said on Tuesday it would create 70,000 new jobs and employ many more as delivery partners and in other roles as it prepares for a surge in online shopping during the busy Indian festive season.

Exclusive: Walmart's Flipkart eyes overseas listing as early as 2021: sourcesv

Walmart Inc-controlled WMT.N Indian e-commerce firm Flipkart is preparing for an initial public offering overseas as early as 2021, which could value the firm up to $50 billion, sources familiar with the company's plans told Reuters.

German startup sennder acquires Uber's European freight business

German freight startup sennder said on Wednesday it had acquired Uber’s European freight business in an all-stock deal that will see the U.S. ride hailing company become a minority shareholder.

Amazon's Whole Foods opens first delivery-only store in Brooklyn Inc AMZN.O owned Whole Foods Market opened its first delivery-only store in Brooklyn, New York on Tuesday, as the e-commerce giant looks to take greater advantage of a coronavirus-induced surge in online grocery shopping.

Amazon to hire 100,000 more workers in its latest job spree this year Inc on Monday said it is recruiting 100,000 more workers - the fourth hiring spree it has announced for the United States this year - to keep pace with e-commerce demand that jumped during the pandemic.

Port of Los Angeles imports soar on restocking, holiday preparations

Port of Los Angeles container volumes hit an all-time high in August, as importers restocked warehouses and retailers prepared for the upcoming holiday season, but officials warned that uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 remains an economic threat.

America's wealthy likely to power pandemic-hit U.S. holiday sales: Deloitte

The wealthy in America are expected to splurge online for gifts and home decorations this holiday season, even as the COVID-19 pandemic erodes sales growth to the slowest in at least a decade, according to a forecast from Deloitte.

French Q2 online retail sales up 5.3% - Fevad

Online retail sales in France rose 5.3% year-on-year to 25.9 billion euros ($30.75 billion) in the second quarter as the COVID-19 pandemic spurred remote shopping, the country’s e-commerce federation (Fevad) said on Tuesday.

The Hut Group shares soar 30% after bumper $7 billion London IPO

The Hut Group's THG.L shares soared 30% in the company's first day of trading on Wednesday after batting away corporate governance concerns to seal its 5.4 billion pound ($6.99 billion) listing, one of London's largest tech IPOs to date.

FedEx wrings out profit as pandemic-fueled e-commerce deliveries surge

U.S. delivery firm FedEx Corp FDX.N reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday, after price hikes, lower fuel costs and efficiency gains countered negative impacts associated with a pandemic-fueled surge in e-commerce shipments.

Hyundai Samho delivers world's first LNG-powered very large container shipv

South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries Co Ltd said on Wednesday it had delivered the world’s first very large container ship powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Singapore’s Eastern Pacific Shipping Pte Ltd.

LNG-fuelled tankers to more than double by 2030 - Petronas exec

The number of ships fuelled by liquefied natural gas (LNG) is expected to more than double by 2030, driven by the shipping industry’s desire to cut emissions, a senior executive at Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) said on Wednesday.

France agrees 30 mln euros of aid for ferry companies

The French government will reimburse 30 million euros in payroll costs to French ferry companies hit by the coronavirus crisis and Brexit, Prime Minister Jean Castex told parliament.

EU parliament votes to make ships pay for their pollution

The European Parliament on Tuesday voted in favour of including greenhouse gas emissions from the maritime sector in the European Union’s carbon market from 2022, throwing its weight behind EU plans to make ships pay for their pollution.

UPDATE 2-Shipping giant Sovcomflot targets at least $500 mln in Moscow IPO

Sovcomflot plans to raise at least $500 million in an initial public offering (IPO) on the Moscow Exchange, Russia’s top shipping company said on Tuesday, in a deal that could value it at roughly $10 billion according to sources.

Dubai's DP World to partner with Israeli firm in bid for Haifa Port

Dubai’s DP World [DPWRD.UL] is partnering with an Israeli group to bid for one of Israel’s two main ports and to examine opening a direct shipping line between the two Middle East states, it said on Wednesday.

The Musk Method: Learn from partners then go it alone

Elon Musk is hailed as an innovator and disruptor who went from knowing next to nothing about building cars to running the world’s most valuable automaker in the space of 16 years.

Asian palm giants say sustainability is the new business norm

Palm oil companies, which have faced criticism in recent years of widespread deforestation, said on Monday that ensuring sustainability across the supply chain was the new business norm as scrutiny on responsibly produced palm oil mounts.

RPT-Chinese firms bet on plant-based meat as coronavirus fuels healthy eating trend

A small but growing coterie of Chinese companies are betting on a bright future for plant-based meat products as consumers take their health more seriously in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

From elsewhere around the web

7 Ways the Pandemic Has Changed How We Shop for Food. [New York Times]

Why Everything Is Sold Out. [The Atlantic]

Another blow for UK logistics: SMART Freight system won't be ready for Brexit. [The Loadstar]

'The shambles that is Felixstowe port is costing everyone time and money'. [The Loadstar]

H-E-B jumps into micro-fulfillment. [SupplyChainDive]

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