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Chain of Perils: Hardening the Global Supply Chain and Strengthening America's Resilience

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Publication Date: March 2008

Publisher(s): Reform Institute

Author(s): Robert Kelly

Topic: Military and defense (National security)
Transportation (Transportation policy and planning)

Keywords: Resilience; Supply Chain

Type: Brief

Abstract:

Over the course of the past several decades a significant change has taken place in the way by which raw materials suppliers, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and end users deliver and receive tangibles. Where stocked shelves in warehouses once provided testimony to the ability of a supplier, manufacturer or retailer to meet customer needs, now goods and materials are delivered "just-in-time" to meet manufacturing or distributing schedules. Distances between supplier and customer are now rarely "just across town" or "a few states away," but are often on the other side of the globe. What this combination of leaner inventories, more single sourcing, longer supply lines, and tightly meshed global communications networks leads to is a greater exposure to supply disruptions.