The need to know

The need to know for the week ending 24th March 2023

The need to know from Reuters’ global network of journalists

Amazon, other retailers revamp 'free' shipping as costs soar

There is no such thing as free shipping.

Exclusive: Walmart laying off hundreds of US workers at five e-commerce fulfillment centers

Hundreds of workers at five U.S. Walmart facilities that fulfill e-commerce orders are being asked to find jobs within 90 days at other company locations, a spokesperson confirmed to Reuters.

Pinduoduo owner's revenue falls short on weak China consumer spending

PDD Holdings Inc (PDD.O), which owns discount e-commerce platforms Pinduoduo and Temu, missed expectations on Monday for fourth-quarter revenue as China's post-reopening consumer recovery remains patchy.

FedEx jumps after lifting profit view amid pressure on e-commerce parcel volume

FedEx Corp's (FDX.N) shares rose as much as 11% in early trade on Friday, after aggressive cost cuts helped the freight bellwether lift its profit forecast despite falling e-commerce package volumes.

Column: Global freight slump deepens at the start of 2023

LONDON, March 21 (Reuters) - Global freight movements continued to dwindle in the first two months of 2023 as manufacturers and distributors struggled to reduce excess inventories and cope with rising interest rates and increased caution among buyers.

As US importers liquidate and destroy unsold goods, ports eye shipping turnaround

The leader of the busiest U.S. seaport on Friday said February's cargo volume hit the lowest level since the start of the pandemic as inflation and economic upheaval hurt demand, and signaled that activity may not pick up until the second half of this year.

US business equipment borrowings grow 11% in February - ELFA

U.S. companies borrowed 11% more in February than last year to finance equipment investments, industry body Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) said on Wednesday.

Yellen: Inflation likely to come down on lower supply chain pressures, shipping costs

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Thursday that supply chain pressures and shipping costs were coming down and were eventually likely to bring down inflation.

UK factory price expectations fall to lowest since March 2021 - CBI

A gauge of British manufacturers' inflation expectations fell to its lowest in two years after output slid again in the three months to March, the Confederation of British Industry's (CBI)said on Wednesday.

U.S. Treasury to release EV battery sourcing rules next week

The U.S. Treasury Department on Wednesday said it will release guidance next week on sourcing requirements for electric vehicle battery tax subsidies under President Joe Biden's climate change law, the first in a string of highly anticipated rules to determine how broadly the credits can be used.

Chinese lithium price dives in heated auto price war

China's lithium prices are plunging faster than expected this year, down 34% in the last four weeks alone, hit by a slump in demand for electric vehicles in the world's biggest market that has left stocks of the metal piling up.

Albemarle to build $1.3 bln lithium plant in South Carolina

Albemarle Corp (ALB.N) said on Wednesday it had chosen Chester County, South Carolina, as the location for a $1.3 billion lithium processing plant it hopes will cement its status as a cornerstone of the rapidly growing U.S. electric vehicle industry.

Singapore to tighten shoe recycling controls after Reuters report

A Singapore shoe recycling project will be subject to surprise inspections following a Reuters investigation that found footwear it donated to the scheme was not recycled, Singapore's minister of culture said on Monday.

Huawei has replaced thousands of U.S.-banned parts in its products, founder says

Huawei Technologies Co Ltd has replaced more than 13,000 parts in its products that were hit by U.S. trade sanctions, the Chinese tech giant's founder said, according to a speech transcript posted on Friday by a Chinese university.

EU proposes clampdown on companies using fake 'green' claims

The European Commission proposed rules on Wednesday that would require companies in Europe to back up climate-friendly claims about their products with evidence, to stamp out misleading green labels for products from clothing to cosmetics and electronic goods.

South Korea finmin: will cooperate with Japan on supply chain, global issues

South Korea’s finance minister said on Friday the country would cooperate with Japan on economic matters such as supply chain and investment, while reinstating government communication channels and supporting private sector exchanges.

Maersk sells Supply Service to family holding company for $685 mln

Maersk (MAERSKb.CO) has agreed to sell its offshore marine service provider Maersk Supply Service to family-owned holding company A.P. Moller Holding for $685 million, the Danish shipping giant said in a statement on Monday.

HHLA calls for final approval of China's Cosco investment in Hamburg port

German logistics firm HHLA (HHFGn.DE) on Thursday called on the German government to uphold its responsibility towards the port of Hamburg and finally approve an agreed investment by Chinese shipping firm Cosco (601919.SS).

Egypt's Suez Canal economic zone, Abu Dhabi ports partner to develop projects within the zone - statement

Egypt's Suez Canal economic zone said on Wednesday that it partnered with Abu Dhabi (AD) ports to develop several projects in ports within the zone.

China's Xinxing to invest $2 bln in Suez Canal Economic Zone- Egyptian cabinet

Chinese company Xinxing Ductile Iron Pipes (000778.SZ) intends to invest $2 billion in iron and steel plants in the Suez Canal Economic Zone, Egypt's cabinet said on Thursday.

Euro zone trade deficit flat in Jan despite increased energy import spend

The euro zone trade deficit was little changed in January from a year earlier, with sharply higher cost of energy imports outweighing a pick-up of manufactured goods exports, data showed on Monday.

Column: How realistic is a hydrogen-powered economy?

Clean-burning hydrogen has been hyped as a potential solution to a swath of climate-related energy problems, from fuelling trucks and powering industry to generating electricity - all while emitting only puffs of harmless vapour.

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