The need to know

The need to know for the week ending 21st August

The need to know from Reuters' global network of journalists

COVID helps Canadian logistics robot firm Attabotics raise $50 million

Canadian warehouse robotics company Attabotics on Tuesday said it raised $50 million in a funding round led by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, following a surge in interest for automation in the retail sector due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Japanese shipping company says Mauritius government has requested compensation

The Japanese shipping company that owns the bulk carrier that struck a coral reef off of Mauritius and leaked some 1,000 tonnes of oil said the government of Mauritius had requested compensation.

Japanese shipping firm awaits judicial decisions after arrest of captain Wakashio

Japanese shipping company Nagashiki Shipping, which owns the bulk carrier that ran aground on a reef in Mauritius and caused a large oil spill, said on Wednesday it will wait for judicial decisions after the arrest of the captain of the vessel.

COVID to weigh on U.S. seaport peak shipping season

Imports at major U.S. container seaports could hit their lowest level in four years as the novel coronavirus pandemic pummels a U.S. economy that was already grappling with negative effects of the U.S.-China trade war, experts said.

Brazil’s BRF flags challenges of coronavirus testing for meat, guarantees safety

Brazilian food company BRF SA faces challenges meeting Chinese demands to test meat for potential coronavirus contamination, executives said on Thursday, adding the company lost export business in the second quarter amid the pandemic.

Walmart’s Flipkart eyes alcohol delivery foray with Indian startup, letters show

Walmart’s (WMT.N) e-commerce platform Flipkart has partnered with a startup backed by spirits giant Diageo to deliver alcohol in two Indian states, according to government letters seen by Reuters, months after Amazon (AMZN.O) planned a similar foray.

Maersk sees container demand at pre COVID levels in first half of 2021

Shipping group Maersk (MAERSKb.CO) on Wednesday issued full-year earnings guidance above its forecast at the beginning of the year and said it expects demand for moving containers at sea to return to pre-COVID levels in the first half of next year.

Trucks, excavators to help push China’s diesel demand to record levels

China’s diesel demand is likely to hit a record this year powered by trucking activity, as Beijing’s aggressive stimulus fuels a construction and delivery boom and a speedy recovery in heavy machinery sales, analysts say.

UPS, FedEx warn they cannot carry ballots like U.S. Postal Service

United Parcel Service and FedEx on Friday shot down social media calls that they step in to deliver mail-in ballots from the U.S. Postal Service, which is warning states of potentially “significant” delays.

Tankers ship Iranian fuel cargoes to U.S. for seizure

Tankers carrying Iranian fuel cargoes covered by a U.S. warrant for seizure are sailing to the United States after talks between U.S. authorities and ship owners, a U.S. government source and a shipping source said on Thursday.

Walmart beats on profit, posts record online sales on pandemic boost

Walmart Inc (WMT.N) posted its biggest-ever growth in online sales on Tuesday as shoppers cashed in stimulus checks and ordered everything from electronics and toys to groceries from the safety of their homes amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

New U.S. curbs threaten Huawei’s smartphone crown and hit suppliers

Ramped-up U.S. restrictions on Huawei are likely to choke the Chinese company’s access to even off-the-shelf chips, threaten its crown as the world’s largest smartphone maker and disrupt global tech supply, executives and experts warned.

California posts final regulations under landmark digital privacy law impacting, consumers, businesses

Final regulations that guide businesses and consumers under California’s new digital privacy law went into effect on Friday, marking a significant step towards giving Americans the right to request their data be deleted from e-commerce websites and social media.

UK inflation jumps in July as clothes shops shun summer sales

British inflation jumped unexpectedly last month to its highest since March, as clothes shops did not hold their usual summer sales when they reopened after the coronavirus lockdown, but most economists expect it to fall again soon.

Amazon expands Morrisons deal with full-range offer

Amazon has stepped up its move into Britain’s grocery market, expanding its relationship with Morrisons so Prime members have access to the supermarket group’s full range on the internet giant’s main website.

Japan’s exports tumble as U.S. demand collapses, order books shrink

Japan’s exports extended their double-digit slump into a fifth month in July as the coronavirus pandemic took a heavy toll on auto shipments to the United States, dashing hopes for a trade-led recovery from the deep recession.

Canada’s competition watchdog seeks inputs from sellers on Amazon probe

Canada’s Competition Bureau on Friday asked sellers to provide information that could help with its ongoing probe into e-commerce giant Inc’s operations in the country.

From elsewhere around the web

Adnavem Raises $4 million, Looks to Expand to New Markets. [Supply and Demand Chain Executive]

Pitstop Joins Geotab Marketplace with Launch of Predictive Maintenance Solution. [Supply and Demand Chain Executive]

JD Logistics Opens Automated Warehouse for Bulky Items, Launches 1-Hour Delivery. [Supply Chain Dive]

Stockouts Hold Walmart Back as E-commerce Booms. [Supply Chain Dive]

FedEx to Raise Peak Surcharges on Ground, Express, SmartPost. [Supply Chain Dive]

RK Logistics, Ryder Expand Supply Chain Options with New Solutions. [The Loadstar]

Samskip boosts supply chain with Amsterdam-Duisberg Network. [Port Technology]

DP World Strides Ahead With End-to-End Supply Chain Plan. [Port Technology]

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