Secure supply chains are becoming a White House priority

By Jeff Berman · February 6, 2012

Something lost in the supply chain shuffle over the past couple weeks was the White House’s recent announcement that it issued its “National Strategy for Supply Chain Security.

As previously reported in LM, this strategy highlights the fact that “International trade has been and continues to be a powerful engine of United States and global economic growth.  In recent years, communications technology advances and trade barrier and production cost reductions have contributed to global capital market expansion and new economic opportunity.  The global supply chain system that supports this trade is essential to the United States’ economy and security and is a critical global asset.”

It also makes mention of various global and domestic supply chain disruptions that have occurred in recent years, including:
-Hurricane Katrina in 2005
-the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland in 2010,
-the Japan earthquake and tsunami of 2011;
-failing infrastructures such as the I-35 bridge collapse in 2007;
-terrorist attacks such as 9/11; and
-more recent plots involving air cargo shipments filled with explosives shipped via Europe and the Middle East to the United States.

A noted supply chain security expert told LM that this strategy, while in its infancy, is good for the U.S. on a few different levels.

“It seems to make good sense at this point,” said Albert Saphir, principal of ABS Consulting. “The ‘big news’…is the fact, that supply chain management now has reached the highest level of our government and thus hopefully will continue to have a lot of visibility which is a huge step forward from where we were 10 years ago.”

He added that thanks to the work done at CBP (and TSA to some degree), DHS is recognizing the importance of global supply chains and now also the Whitehouse.

Given the uncertain nature of the world, that is a positive and it is nice to see the supply chain get a seat at the table.  And as previously stated in this space, on the surface, this plan appears to have very good intentions that transcend party lines—and that is a good thing. I am definitely looking forward to see what happens with the National Strategy for Supply Chain Security.


About the Author

Jeff Berman
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

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