White House is focused on supply chain security

By Jeff Berman · January 25, 2012

For every shipper, the topic of supply chain security is always top of mind. That is why I was not entirely surprised to see today that the White House has issued what it’s calling the “National Strategy for Supply Chain Security.”

In describing this strategy, the White House 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 cites the myriad 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, and 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.

Because of unfortunate incidents like this, the White House points out that even localized disruptions can escalate rapidly and impact U.S. interests and the broader global community, adding that the U.S needs to address challenges created by these threats and take steps to augment its national and international policies as needed.

At the heart of this effort are two primary goals:
1-to promote efficient and secure movement of goods; and
2-to foster a resilient supply chain

The White House said that the U.S Departments of State and Homeland Security will endeavor on a six month engagement period with the international community and industry stakeholders to solicit feedback and specific recommendations for how to implement the strategy in a cost effective and collaborative manner, with a focus on things like refining the nation’s understanding of global supply chain threats and risks over land, air, and sea, among others.

There is more to the plan than what has been written, and LM will take a deeper dive in an online news story very soon. But given the relevance and scope of this plan, I felt the need to get it “out there” as soon as I saw it. 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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