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Top supply chain trends 2019

A new report from BSI has identified five major themes it says are most likely to impact supply chains in 2019. These are:

  • Revision of the Minimum Security Criteria under the US Border Protection’s Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT).
  • Supply chain growth in Africa, which increases exposure to risks.
  • Ongoing mass migration, which poses posing both security and corporate social responsibility risks.
  • Dramatic shifts in politics – for example, elections in Brazil, the US-China trade dispute, and uncertainty over Britain’s departure from the EU.
  • The continued threat to supply chains posed by cybersecurity issues.

BSI also identified several key trends in supply chain risk that it believes will continue from 2018:

  • Food and drinks remain the most stolen commodities.
  • Metal has become one of the top five commodities stolen worldwide.
  • Poor working conditions were the top labour violation recorded last year.
  • Labour strikes were the most frequent cause of disrupted manufacturing operations.

“We’re seeing key shifts to global supply chains this year, driven by quite dramatic changes in the geopolitical landscape," warned Jim Yarbrough, global intelligence program manager at BSI. "The concern is that as supply chains change – with Chinese companies moving operations to Africa, for example, or the US sourcing goods from other South East Asian nations – major implications will also evolve."

He added that increased exposure to labour exploitation, terrorism, corruption and natural disasters must be a consideration for companies making changes to their supply chain. "Best practices must be maintained in order to prevent threats to business continuity or corporate social responsibility,” he said.

This article was first published in May 2019.