US buyers seek safety in numbers

13 March 2003
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13 March 2003 | Robin Parker

Purchasers in the US are widening supply bases to protect supply chains from the disruption a war against Iraq could cause.

A third of buyers are considering changing their suppliers, and at least as many have increased the number of suppliers they use, according to a survey by US researchers Thomas Register.

Almost one in 10 is buying more locally and cutting purchasing costs, the research found.

For the survey, Thomas Register polled 392 purchasers in manufacturing and engineering, wholesale trade, distribution and the government.

The findings come as the US steps up its customs security in a bid to prevent terrorist attacks on its soil. Shippers bound for the US must now complete documentation 24 hours before loading at foreign ports.

Third-party logistics provider BDP International has found that 30 per cent of global shippers are adding extra supply chain cycle time to comply with this, but half of those it spoke to do not know how they will recover the extra costs.

UK purchasers polled by SM remain divided on the supply chain impact of a war on Iraq.

Revealed as hawkish in our straw poll, respondents to a follow-up poll are split evenly among those "very", "fairly" or "not too" concerned. Have your say at www.supplymanagement.com.

SMmar2003

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