Last year supply chains across the world faced a number of challenges. One of the largest issues was damages caused by cargo theft, an amount estimated at $22.6 billion, according to BSI’s Supply Chain Risk Exposure Evaluation Network.



Other issues included:

  • Increased number of terrorism incidents which contributed to billions of dollars in losses to global shipping companies.
  • An influx of migrants in Europe affected supply chain integrity across the continent.
  • Economic downturns in Argentina, Brazil, and China put pressure on the global supply chain as did political transparency that drove social unrest in Africa and Central America.
  • Extreme weather events, including many attributed to the El Nino phenomenon, caused supply chain disruptions and threatened business continuity in multiple regions.
  • There were also several industries that were plagued by poor enforcement of labor regulations, allowing for significant rates of child or forced labor in Argentina and India, among other nations.


"Companies are facing an increasingly wide range of challenges to their supply chain, from human rights issues to acts of violent theft and natural disasters,” explains Jim Yarbrough, global intelligence program manager at BSI. Formed in 1901, BSI was the world's first National Standards Body and a founding member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

"Such complexity creates extreme levels of risk for organizations, both directly affecting the bottom line but perhaps more seriously, hidden threats to the supply chain which, if ignored, could do serious harm to a company's hard-earned reputation," Yarbrough adds.

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Material Handling & Logistics is an IndustryWeek companion site within Penton's Manufacturing & Supply Chain Group.