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Infrastructure, Attitude and Weather: Todays Threats to Supply Chain Security

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Abstract: The global economy can be viewed today as a myriad of border-crossing supply chain networks of production, supply, distribution and marketing systems. Given the enormous value embodied in these systems, and an environment increasingly characterized by uncertainty and vulnerability, it is not surprising that concern about supply chain security has intensified. Concern takes many forms. For example, how supply chains might be used as vehicles for criminal activity (smuggling, trafficking of narcotics and importing counterfeit goods) or acts of terrorism (radio-active materials, bombs, even nukes in containers). Technology-based threats to supply chains, such as cybercrimes, data breaches and IT failures, now appear more frequently in the literature on supply chain security. These threats could result in substantial disruption to supply chains and damage to companies and their customers. Clima But larger storms are brewing, whose menace to supply chain security is greater still – and where actions to protect supply chains move more slowly. These include the continued deterioration of transportation infrastructure, a new posture on trade which views supply chains as threats to jobs and wages, and the impact of climate change. These threats do not lie off in the distant future; they are threats of today and tomorrow.

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