Global supply chains have been buckling under the strain of unprecedented demand and constricted effective logistics capacity. On average, global container shipping rates have more than quadrupled since 2019, and schedule delays have risen. In some key trading routes, such as Asia–Europe and Asia–North America, the rate spikes are even higher and the delays more frequent.
What’s causing this (it’s not just the pandemic) and what can be done to improve the situation?
McKinsey’s Tom Bartman recently moderated a panel discussion on overcoming international supply chain disruptions at the 84th Inland Transport Committee roundtable, hosted by the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).
The discussion comprised Uwe Brinks, CEO of DHL Freight; Dirk Holbach, Henkel’s chief supply chain officer for laundry and home care; Felix Klinkner, HP’s director of supply chain operations for Europe, Middle East, and Africa; Matthias Maedge, director advocacy for the International Road Transport Union; and Steven A. Altman, adjunct assistant professor at New York University (NYU) and director of the DHL Initiative on Globalization for the Center for Future of Management at the NYU Stern School of Business.
In this video, Bartman reflects on key takeaways from the discussion, including:
- the three critical challenges facing global supply chains: labor shortages, equipment availability, and the ripple effect of global bottlenecks
- how companies are navigating a climate of persistent unpredictability
- what the panelists thought public-sector decision makers could consider doing to bolster the resilience of global supply chains
Watch the video to learn more.