27 May 2020 | Sri Lanka

The Economist led recently with an article entitled “Goodbye Globalisation”. Their premise was that global trade was already in trouble before the Covid-19 crisis with trade wars and protectionism. These behaviours have been accentuated with the reaction to protect individual countries’ interests in the supply of immediate necessities such as PPE and food.

Now, layering on top of these political dimensions, are longer term factors such as the need to create local and regional sourcing of key products and materials, and the changes in modal transportation as air and sea face restrictions in capacity, and lead times increase with greater border controls.

Into this heated environment steps the supply chain professional. Never before has the supply chain expert been more in demand or the importance of their expertise been placed more highly. This is now the time for a focus on digitisation, alternative supply routes and modes, storage and inventory as a balance to highly responsive systems to meet demand, flexible use of people and skills, and many other areas where new opportunities lie.

Read more from Sri Lanka on the detail of the short and longer term responses we need to reflect on as transport, logistics and supply chain professionals.

This is an example of a Covid-19 response from Sri Lanka which we are sharing as part of our global best practice resource to help you think about and determine appropriate responses locally.