The Impact on Supply Chain Opportunities

Steven J Ehrlich

Similar to the body’s circulatory system that distributes blood throughout the body, the supply chain delivers necessary goods and resources to all corners of the globe. It is massive, complex and essential to our way of life. According to data from the World Bank,11See http://data.worldbank.org/topic/trade. total merchandise exports are expected to be around US$16 trillion for 2017. Additionally, the supply chain touches every commercial enterprise throughout the product lifecycle, from miners and farmers, to manufacturers, shippers, distributors, retailers and, finally, end-users.

Understandably, international trade transactions include multiple parties. In fact, a study conducted by Maersk in 201422http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/51712.wss. demonstrated that an average of 30 people and organisations are involved in the shipment of a product using a shipping container, resulting in over 200 separate interactions. Such complexity quickly decreases the likelihood of a transaction going through smoothly.

Despite these intricacies, the smooth functioning of our air, land and sea routes is essential. To that end, there have been significant innovations designed to

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