COVID-19 has exposed many vulnerabilities in our supply chains. Of particular note are supply chains for food and personal protective equipment (PPE).
Most people take for granted that we can walk into a grocery store, and leave with a wide variety of food items. However, in Spring 2020, this was not the case. Many store shelves were bare, including some essentials such as flour and pasta. Many farmers destroyed milk, eggs, and chickens, while other crops rotted in the field.
Similar problems have occurred across almost every supply chain. Shortages of PPE occurred during the early stage of the pandemic. Most PPE production was concentrated in China. The combination of disrupted production and transportation and increased demand created shortages.
Shipping containers have made worldwide transportation more efficient and reliable. As a result, organizations have spread their supply chains throughout the world to increase their efficiencies. This has also led to concentration of production, a reduction in the number of suppliers, and added a bottleneck, as seen in the recent blockage of the Suez Canal.
The food supply chain illustrates many problems brought on by a search for efficiencies. To increase Continue reading