Supply Chain Security – Threats and Solutions

Topics: Crime, Criminology, Rational choice theory Pages: 28 (13121 words) Published: November 3, 2014
Chapter 8

Supply Chain Security – Threats and Solutions
Daniel Ekwall
Additional information is available at the end of the chapter

1. Introduction
In recent years, the cargo transport process has improved mainly in the areas of logistics efficiency and documentation handling. The World Trade Centre terror attack in 2001 changed the world and with it the conditions for logistics world-wide. The logistics consequences were according to[1]: It is instructive to note that these disruptions were not caused by the attack itself, but rather by the government’s response to the attack: closing borders, shutting down air traffic and evacuating buildings throughout the country. The aftermath to the attack brought needed attention to the vulnerability of modern supply chains. Supply chain vulnerability reflects sensitivity of the supply chain to disruption [2]. This vulnerability can in many cases be described as “unwanted effects” in the supply chain caused either by internal or external forces that create disturbances larger than the supply chain is designed to handle. The objective of Supply chain security is to prevent antagonistic threats from affecting the supply chain performance. Antagonistic threats and other risks and uncertainties are demarcated by three key words: deliberate (caused), illegal (defined by law), and hostile (negative impact for transport network activities) [3]. This chapter presents first the major antagonistic threats to the supply chain and secondly how these threats should be prevented. This leads to the current development of different supply chain security programs.

2. Supply chain and the transport network
[4] defines the supply chain as, “The network of organisations that are involved through upstream and downstream relationships in the different processes and activities that produce value in the form of products and services in the hands of the ultimate customer”. These processes can be in different companies or in the same company. The different building blocks in a supply chain can, literally, be located throughout the world and connected through the use of a transport network. The transport network is designed to use economy of scale when moving products © 2012 Ekwall, licensee InTech. This is an open access chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

158 Risk Management – Current Issues and Challenges

from consignor to consignee in a supply chain, through nodes and links. This means the transport network only physically integrates the supply chain with the fulfilment of its transport demands [5]. Therefore, several different supply chains can be present at the same time and the same place in the transport network. This indicates that the relationship between supply chains and transport activities would be better described with complexity theory, especially if the interactions between components are the object of the research [3]. Looking at transport from a system perspective, we find that logistics is made up of different levels, infrastructure, resources and material known as the three levels of logistics [6]. A logistics system consists of links and nodes, where nodes are geographically fixed points such as factories and terminals, while the links are the elements connecting the nodes, i.e., the modes of conveyance. The flow of materials is the first level of the system, because it is the reason for the system’s existence. Moving material from one place to another requires a flow of movable resources such as Lorries, trains, airplanes, and ships. These movable resources need infrastructure like roads, harbours, airports, and terminals [7, 8]. The complexity in logistics can be explained by displaying the four flows always involved in...

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