The need to know

The need to know for the week ending 19th June 2020


The need to know from Reuters global network of journalists

Carrefour, Google to launch voice grocery shopping service in France

Carrefour and Google said on Tuesday they were launching a voice-based grocery shopping service in France as part of the French retailer’s ambition to accelerate its expansion into food e-commerce.

Instacart valued at nearly $14 billion in latest funding amid online sales boom

Instacart said on Thursday it had raised $225 million in a new funding round, valuing it at $13.7 billion, as the grocery delivery company cashes in on a surge in online shopping due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Walmart partners with Shopify to expand online marketplace business

Walmart Inc said on Monday it has partnered with e-commerce firm Shopify Inc , as it looks to expand its online marketplace business and cash in on the coronavirus-driven jump in online shopping.

China hits back at U.S. telecom supply chain order at WTO

China accused the United States on Thursday of undermining the global tech industry’s supply chains with a renewed executive order barring U.S. companies from using telecoms equipment made by firms deemed to pose a national security risk.

Amazon may face EU antitrust charges over merchant data in coming weeks: source

Amazon may face EU antitrust charges in the coming weeks over its use of data from merchants with whom it competes on its platform, a person familiar with the matter said on Thursday, putting it at risk of a hefty fine.

Breakingviews - E-commerce boost is about more than Amazon still dominates the fast-growing e-commerce pie, but it’s getting some company. Lockdowns have trained people to shop online including in formerly laggard categories like groceries. That has helped Jeff Bezos but even more so digital sales at Walmart and other retailers. The future may be a lot to do with balancing clicks and bricks.

Cargo ship calls at Singapore hub plummet to 27-year low, marine fuel sales fall

Cargo ship arrivals in Singapore, the world’s top transhipment and bunkering hub, plummeted to their lowest in nearly three decades in May, while dragging sales of marine fuels to a three-month low, official data showed.

Breakingviews - Tesla kills three birds with one Congolese stone

Elon Musk is giving his rivals the heavy metal blues. By securing 6,000 tonnes a year of cobalt directly from mining giant Glencore’s Democratic Republic of Congo operations, the Tesla boss is guaranteeing plentiful supplies of the battery ingredient while minimising headaches over its provenance.

Trade war? U.S. battle over kitchen cabinets really a domestic dispute

The anti-China trade mood has reached U.S. kitchens, where a battle is being waged over competing visions of where and how cabinets should be made.

Shipping firm Maersk says second-quarter demand beats initial expectations

A.P. Moller-Maersk (MAERSKb.CO), the world’s top container shipping firm, said on Wednesday that market demand was developing “more favourable than originally expected” in the second quarter, sending its shares up 7%.

Weary sailors pose risk to world merchant fleet: U.N. shipping chief

Hundreds of thousands of weary seafarers stuck on ships for many months and unable to go home due to the coronavirus pose a risk to the safe operation of the world’s merchant fleet, the UN’s shipping chief said on Tuesday.

Canadian grain exports flowing fast as pandemic lock-downs clear railway space

Canadian grain exporters are boosting sales in a slumping global economy, as demand for commodities like oil weakens and frees up railway space.

China's meat importers fret about delays as port runs virus tests

China’s meat importers fear clearing delays and a hit to demand after one of the country’s major ports began requiring coronavirus tests for all meat and seafood containers to prevent contamination.

SAP launches product to help firms track supply chain emissions

Software group SAP launched a product on Tuesday to help firms track greenhouse gas emissions in their supply chains, backing a view that being transparent about their carbon footprint will be good for business.

From elsewhere around the web

Truck crossings have the best week since US-Canada border closed. [FreightWaves]

Ceva Logistics drives ahead with its plan to increase its footprint in Africa. [The Loadstar]

FedEx, UPS on-time performance falls in May. [SupplyChainDive]

Commercial truck traffic returning to pre-pandemic levels. [SupplyChainDive]

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