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Disruptions have increased awareness of supply chains


Over the last two years, the term supply chain management has gone from one primarily recognized by those within certain jobs to one frequently appearing in news stories.  Supply chain disruptions are still regularly discussed by media outlets, and they continue to affect the lives of many – we refer to these as everyday citizens who are outside of the profession but are affected by disruptions, versus those individuals who work inside the supply chain profession to keep the wheels turning or importers/exporters who are also very aware of ongoing disruptions.

This new phenomenon is due to the fact that knowledge of our industry is starting to develop, which is great to hear.  While we all notice planes in the air, trucks on the road or intermodal containers moving by train, even basic knowledge of the supply chain industry used to be very limited.  Even more so, how disruptions can affect peoples’ day to day lives was relatively unknown, but this changed very quickly.  Freight forwarders have dealt with such issues for years, although to a lesser extent than as of late, but managing cargo and dealing with delays is an everyday event.  Importers and exporters are also very aware of what is involved in coordinating cargo, and that things do not always go as planned. 

The role of freight forwarder goes beyond simply moving freight.  Ensuring our clients receive clear and updated information at all times is key, especially during these extremely volatile times in international shipping.  It requires us to be in close contact with our clients continually, and in many cases provide guidance and insight on how to best move their cargo, navigating a myriad of ongoing supply chain issues.  Keeping partners aware of challenges allows them to address disruptions before they make further impacts down the supply chain.  Providing honest updates on supply chain challenges can also build trust with clients, so that they remain loyal after disruptions have subsided.

As noted, the pros in the supply chain field and international shippers have insight into the causes and long term effects of disruptions.  This makes them more likely to be greatly concerned about the future of global supply chains.  However, as disruptions continue to affect a variety of products and industries connected to the daily lives of everyday citizens, this group has become more concerned about supply chain resiliency in the future.

For more information, contact David Lychek, Director – Ocean & Air Services.

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