A modest year-over-year increase in reported incidents suggests that post-coronavirus pandemic supply chains could finally be stabilizing, but disruptions remain at historically high level — with many potentially crippling.
The EventWatch AI monitoring platform by Resilinc, a Milpitas, California-based provider of supply chain risk management research and analytics, revealed 8,197 supply chain disruptions during the first half of the year. That’s just 3 percent higher compared to the same time frame in 2022, some risk areas had significant increases.
Labor disruptions were up 136 percent year over year, and the second half of 2023 has begun with a looming work stoppage at UPS Inc. Geopolitical turmoil is always top[ of mind for companies and supply managers, and China’s export controls on two metals used in computer chips and solar panels is a “very sensitive situation right now,” Resilinc CEO Bindiya Vakil said last week during Institute for Supply Management®’s (ISM®) “Quarterly State of Risk Update” member-exclusive webcast.
“In this fight, we only lose,” she said of China’s limits on germanium and gallium; she fears that a trade dispute with the U.S. could escalate to such metals as aluminum. “China has a lot more processing and smelting capacity than any other country. “It’s a can of worms because there are no near-term solutions. (The U.S.) has to be careful and tread lightly.”