All Eyes on Supply Chain Issues: How Public Policy Transforms Logistics

As the new year rolls in, public interest in supply chain issues is at an all-time high—and it has supply chain leaders everywhere eager to address last year’s lingering problems and mitigate new risks. The spotlight on logistic management comes with increasing urgency and pressure to build a more resilient supply chain after unprecedented strain.

The search volume for supply chain issues peaked on Google in recent months, and the New York Times launched a logistics beat that focuses solely on supply chain issues.

From consumers and journalists to politicians and public officials, COVID-19 revealed to everyone how interconnected this network of production, manufacturing, distribution, and transportation is—and how it impacts our everyday lives. But in doing so, it raised a critical question: what role should public policy play in supporting the global supply chain?

Private industry and government agencies align

Although logistics companies are private businesses, their role in supply chain management is deeply intertwined with industrial policy, regulatory control, and trade. The reality is that government regulations, logistics infrastructure, and restrictions on the market have huge implications on the operation of the global supply chain.

The pandemic only reiterated this truth, particularly when vaccine distribution meant transporting temperature-sensitive medicine from manufacturing plants to ports for patients worldwide. Private shippers had a responsibility to communicate with government leaders and adhere to rigorous health standards.

Safe and efficient vaccine distribution is not only a supply chain issue. It’s also a public health issue the government oversees and supports.

Current vulnerabilities in the supply chain

Rising demand, congestion at major ports, limited warehouse capacity, and truck driver shortages have threatened the economy in recent months. Rising freight costs and high prices for retail products on the shelves have also made supply chain issues more glaring to everyday consumers.

These factors have caused the current administration to take a whole-government approach to address issues across the supply chain, introducing a specialized task force in June of 2021. According to a statement from their team, “Structural weaknesses in both domestic and international supply chains threaten America’s economic and national security.” In other words, supply chains are inextricably linked to a country’s policies—as well as the health of its economy.

The key to a more resilient supply chain

The current administration’s task force has outlined a few key initiatives in their plan to tackle existing vulnerabilities in the supply chain. Among the most important are to:

  • Support domestic production of critical medicines
  • Invest in sustainable supply chains at home and abroad
  • Partner with industry, allies, and partners to address semiconductor shortages
  • Invest in sustainable domestic and international production and processing of critical minerals
  • Secure an end-to-end domestic supply chain for advanced batteries
  • Combat unfair trade practice
  • Improve transparency throughout the pharmaceuticals supply chain
  • Leverage the government’s role as a purchaser and investor in critical goods
  • Leverage financial tools to support sustainable and resilient international supply chains

While government support with the supply chain is critical, logistics teams have the power to drive change too.

One way to identify blind spots in the supply chain and mitigate future problems is greater visibility. CTSI-Global’s Honeybee TMS™ allows shipping firms complete visibility into their supply chains and, as a result, more efficient management of their resources.

End-to-end visibility of supply chains is essential to forecast effectively, identify areas of improvement, and expedite response times. What’s more, an investment in a platform that centralizes and analyzes data from multiple sources can help teams break down information silos and find better solutions—faster.

A resilient supply chain requires support from resilient partners. Contact us today to get started.