Supply Chain Disruption
June 6, 2024

Remembering the Supply Chain Disruption That Started it All (and the Lessons We Took From It)


An efficient global supply chain is how stores keep products on shelves, how e-commerce orders turn into successful deliveries just days later, and how service stations reliably have gasoline when you pull up to the pump. When the supply chain is facing disruption or fails to run efficiently for any given reason, there’s a trickle-down effect that impacts people and businesses around the world.

This week’s look at the headlines explores the biggest supply chain disruption that any of us may experience in our lifetimes. It also includes lessons learned from that disruption, new research on how organizations are moving forward following that mega disruption, best practices for today’s supply chain, plus more.

If you’re interested in a supply chain orchestration platform designed for the modern landscape, discover what Cargologik can do for your business. Get in touch with us for a brief consultation and a demonstration of how our platform empowers collaboration and provides much-needed visibility.

$25 Billion in Goods Off the Coast of Southern California

The New York Times looks back at the supply chain disruption that started it all: The backups off the coast of Southern California that developed soon after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the story, ships waiting for access to the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles were carrying more than $25 billion worth of goods.

We’ve come a long way since 2020, and the supply chain is better prepared for the next great disruption because of it. But only the organizations that embrace technology and end-to-end supply chain visibility will be positioned to thrive despite the disruptions to come.

Today, we’re still dealing with geopolitical issues (like the Red Sea crisis), weather issues (like the drought in the Panama Canal), and the occasional labor stoppage. If these disruptions aren’t reminder enough for BCOs, LSPs, and others to embrace technology and visibility, they risk falling significantly behind the competition.

New Research on the Cadence of Disruptions

New research from the McKinsey Global Institute finds that “industries across the country experience supply chain disruptions lasting one month approximately every 3.7 years.” When you add in shorter disruptions that last less than a month, you begin to realize why disruptions have come to define global supply chain management and operational efficiency.

This story from Global Trade Magazine suggests supply chain resilience and agility as solutions. Achieving agility will require investment in organizational supply chains, including investments in technology, and reaching an acceptable level of resilience will enable organizations to “continue their business processes despite short- and long-term delays.” The story goes on to describe the direct connection between resilience and agility and creating positive customer experiences.

Best Practices for Supply Chain Orchestration

Supply Chain Management Review shared five best practices for supply chain orchestration in the modern age, including the competitive advantage that can be achieved when your organization is the first to deploy new technologies. According to the story, organizations should not be “afraid to be first.”

Yes, there’s an increased risk associated with being among the first to adopt a new technology. You risk not getting the expected return out of the investment. But the dividends that new technology can pay in the form of orchestration and visibility can be invaluable in this day in age. The market is awash in supply chain technology options right now. Look for the one that matches your needs and budget, and that can serve as your single source of truth each day.

How Diversification Supports Resilience

Supply Chain Brain writes about the importance of diversifying beyond China for organizations that want to develop resilience worldwide. Geopolitical issues between the United States and China, drought conditions in China, and the rise of competitive nations have put China’s status as the world’s premier manufacturer in jeopardy. Today, India can offer a similarly large and inexpensive labor force, and nations like Mexico can provide manufacturing services much closer to U.S. distribution centers — which helps companies de-risk their supply chains. The organizations that continue to rely on China risk “delays, quality control issues, increasing costs, economic tension, and geopolitical issues.”

The United Nations writes that decarbonization is another step toward building supply chain resiliency. The shift in manufacturing from China to nearshore nations like Mexico presumably lowers emissions for American companies. Time will tell how the supply chain will change as these massive shifts take place. Again, the need for technology to help orchestrate your supply chain and achieve end-to-end visibility is more important than ever during times of volatility and change.

Be Prepared for What Comes Next With Cargologik

There’s no way to know when, where, and why the next supply chain disruption will emerge. The only thing BCOs, LSPs, and others can do is prepare their operations by implementing technology and achieving optimal levels of visibility, collaboration, and communication. At Cargologik, our platform helps you prepare for the next disruption by uniting fragmented systems and giving you the ability to manage through challenges.

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