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Regulatory changes, food fraud, and the ongoing effects of COVID-19 will be the primary causes of supply chain disruptions in the coming year, according to the latest Supply Chain Risk Insights 2021 Report. The report is powered by the global data in BSI’s proprietary web-based, comprehensive intelligence system. Using this insight, BSI predicts the following trends will dominate the global supply chain throughout the year ahead:

  • Ongoing challenges from COVID-19 creates new threats for organizations in the coming months
  • Economic hardship increases the risk of labour exploitation, human rights violations and stowaway smuggling
  • Drug smuggling trends remain consistent, however means and methods will continue to change and evolve due to COVID-19
  • Food fraud and safety will continue to challenge supply chain resilience
  • Regulatory changes will test organizational adaptability.

The Supply Chain Risk Insights 2021 Report sheds light on these new threats and the progress made in addressing ongoing challenges, while offering guidance on best practices that can be used to counter and manage risk.

“COVID-19 will certainly have latent effects on organizational resilience throughout 2021, directly and indirectly shifting the way organizations do business,” said Jim Yarbrough, Global Intelligence Program Manager at BSI. “However, several other challenges, including increased regulation of supply chains and forced labour are poised to challenge organizational resilience and business continuity as the world continues to grapple with the lingering impacts of the pandemic.”

Many of the COVID-19 related challenges that organizations faced in 2020 forced them to adjust in novel ways to maintain their supply chain continuity, integrity, and overall resilience. Yet, at the same time, the spread of the virus seemed to merely exacerbate historical trends and known risks such as cargo crime, man-made disruptions, and political protests, which all remain as risks to supply chain resilience in 2021.

Regulatory changes test organizational adaptability

In 2020, governments passed a range of regulatory and legislative measures that will continue to affect supply chains and are likely to challenge organizational resilience by creating new compliance measures aimed at increasing sustainable sourcing and improving supply chain security. It is almost certain that organizations will have to increasingly scrutinize the supply chain for susceptibility to labour violations, as a number of governments made a concerted effort to address this issue. As such, these new regulations pertaining to security could have impacts on business operations in 2021, underscoring the need for continuity planning. Finally, in addition to regulation aimed at eliminating the use of forced labour in the supply chain, regulatory developments surrounding sustainable sourcing and deforestation, as well as cargo and port security, will impact organizations throughout the year ahead.

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