Evergreen - Supply Chain Risk

When the Evergreen container ship (the Ever Given) ran aground in the Suez Canal in March 2021, it captured international headlines as crews worked to dislodge the vessel and resume global trade flows.

The six-day blockage of the Suez Canal delayed approx. 17 million tons of cargo freight on hundreds of vessels and had a significant impact on already stressed supply chains.

The Ever Given is just one example of the many risks to global supply chains. In our technology-dependent global marketplace, war, terrorism, pandemics, cyber-attacks or technology failures in one place can seriously disrupt business on the other side of the world.

The impact of the canal disruption illustrates the risks to business supply chains already operating at capacity. Any disruptions have ripple effects, with delays escalating along supply chains, increasing the length of time before the delivery schedules are resolved.

Most businesses recognise the concept of supply chain vulnerability and its managerial counterpart, supply chain risk management, but they are not as prepared as they should be. Commonly, businesses are unable to identify and successfully manage supply chain risks as the world becomes more interconnected.

Improved supply chain risk management enables organisations to take market share from competitors when a common risk strikes and leads to improvements in discovering, preventing and addressing smaller risks, which may cost effort, expense or time. A supply chain practicing risk management is faster to spot risk, faster to respond to it and faster to claim advantages. Competitor supply chains and organisations may not have well-developed risk management practices. This becomes a key strategic competitive advantage even for commodity product producers.

The scope of supply chain risk management is extensive and spans all areas of the supply chain. At the tactical level, risk management is the continual activity of detection, measurement and evaluation of potential supply chain disruption caused by all varieties of supply chain risk, emanating both from within or outside the supply chain. Supply chain risk management seeks to manage, control, reduce or eliminate real or potential risk exposure to supply chain performance.

What Rose Partners can do?

Rose Partners’ specialist security consultants have a wealth of experience assessing and managing supply chain risks. We can help businesses:

  • identify, assess and document supply-chain risks
  • develop a framework to manage supply-chain risks
  • monitor and prepare for emerging risks
  • audit and review risk management systems
  • improve resilience for the inevitable unknown risks that become a problem in the future
  • decrease costs by reducing the probability and impact of supply chain disruption and reduced performance

Rose Partners have worked with businesses in complex, highly-regulated sectors on supply chain security, including the tobacco industry, pharmaceuticals and food and drink. We have specialists in IT security capable of reviewing the IT services provided by external providers and resolving related supply chain risks.

To combat the threat of deliberate contamination, our risk specialists provide a wealth of expertise and experience to identify critical control points where an attack may occur and determine the most effective and appropriate measures to create a secure environment. In the food and drink sector, we work to and go beyond the Food Standards Agency Threat Assessment Critical Control Points (TACCP) standard to identify and address risks more comprehensively.

There is little evidence that The Ever Given incident will change the fast-moving interconnected supply chains that have become so integral to a business. The focus of change, therefore, needs to be on supply chain risk management.


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