International Transport Forum Discussion Papers

ITF Discussion Papers make economic research, commissioned or carried out in-house at the International Transport Forum, available to researchers and practitioners. They describe preliminary results or research in progress by the author(s) and are published to stimulate discussion on a broad range of issues on which the ITF works.

English, French

Building Supply Chain Resilience

A Review of Challenges and Strategies

For several decades, textbooks, articles and consultancy reports in supply chain management (SCM) have expounded the virtues of low inventory, just-in-time delivery, single-sourcing, centralization and tightly-coupled processes. Heeding their advice, many companies have effectively implemented this ‘lean’ approach and managed to achieve impressive cost savings and productivity gains. Over the same period, they have globalized their sourcing, production and distribution operations, creating complex webs of interdependency between factories, warehouses, freight terminals and shops around the world. This has enabled them to expand their market areas, off-shore their production to low labour cost countries and diversify their supply base, again all in keeping with what is generally considered to be good business practice.


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