A new analysis by the British Standards Institution (BSI) has shown that while COVID-19 clearly remains the biggest supply-chain risk, threats from cargo theft, migration and human trafficking are also big issues, partly fuelled by the pandemic.
When BSI published its annual Supply Chain Risk Insights Report in March 2020, the global business impact of COVID-19 was still in its initial stage. As BSI predicted, the outbreak has led to complex and varying responses by individual governments and organisations, wreaking havoc on supply chain continuity.
The BSI review study powered by its Supply Chain Risk Exposure Evaluation Network (SCREEN) tool, found that while COVID-19 remains at the top of the list, its effect has created a number of secondary disruptions and risks that are impacting supply chains.
BSI global intelligence programme manager Jim Yarbrough said that as a result of the pandemic, long-held supply chain resilience practices have been ‘completely upended’.
He said, “As organisations begin the process of rebuilding their supply chains following the COVID-19 pandemic, BSI’s latest SCREEN data indicates that in addition to the virus, organisations face new and additional threats, underscoring the need for business continuity planning.”
BSI’s latest findings show that the rise in COVID-19 cases around the world is leading global supply chain hubs such as Bangladesh and India to lock down, creating supply chain pinch points.
A press release issued by BIS on 4 August 2020 said, “As virus outbreaks continue, a country-by-country approach to containing the virus is expected, which could increase temporary disruptions to supply chain movement.”
The BSI analysis shows that there has been an increase in global cargo theft. Part of this is fuelled by the pandemic, with SCREEN reporting a rise in the theft of medical goods, such as PPE and ventilators.
But the tool has also picked up growing theft of other goods across the world. Theft of consumer goods such as cleaning solutions has risen in Mexico, with alcohol and tobacco increasingly targeted in South America. In addition, theft of food and beverages continue to be a big risk in Asia, with electronics the main target in Africa and across the Middle East.
Meanwhile, the BSI reported high incidents of stowaways in Europe and the Americas back in March, as migrants used trucking as the transport of choice. It said this trend has continued, fuelled by weakened European economies hit by the COVID-19 crisis forcing migrants to continue traveling to find work. A