Record number of supply chain disruptions

6 December 2018

A record number of supply chain disruptions has been recorded in the first half of 2018 by a company which uses artificial intelligence to track impacts worldwide.

Resilinc, whose AI-powered monitoring service analyses millions of new stories per month across 53 languages, said it had noted a record 1,069 events over the first six months of the year.

This was the highest number it had seen since it started monitoring in 2010.

More than 300 of these events directly impacted continuity of supply. Natural disasters and weather-related events were the major source of this type of disruption across the globe, especially in the US, followed by factory fires.

Events that indirectly impacted supply chains were tariffs, mergers and acquisitions, incidents of force majeure, price fluctuations and cyber attacks. However the single event type which most typically impacted indirectly on supply chains was factory fires. 

North America was the geographical area that recorded most disruptions, seeing a total of 457 events. 

The overall most impactful type of event was extreme weather, which was seen 41 times.

Tariff impacts were reported 26 times – the most ever seen in a six-month period and coinciding with the stand-off between the US and China.

Resilinc also noted that the automotive industry was especially susceptible to factory fires, seeing more than 134 reports across suppliers in this industry. 

“Global business leaders need to understand that their supply chains are vulnerable”, said Bindiya Vakil, CEO of Resilinc. “2018 has been a difficult year for global companies due to ongoing operational challenges that have curtailed growth plans and negatively impacted margins. Our data shows that impactful events happen one-third of the time, nearly every day, which should make CEOs and board of directors take the risk seriously.”

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