Disrupted supply chains strain trade among US, Mexico and Canada

As the coronavirus continues to impact global economies, Resilience360 recently rolled out several new reports aimed at helping companies monitor risks to their supply chains.

Resilience360’s COVID-19 Outbreak in the U.S. and Canada: Impact on North American Supply Chain Operations analyzes key challenges that cross-border operators in Canada and the United States face.

“What we wanted to do is basically provide a glimpse in terms of what are the lockdown stay-at-home orders across the different states both in the U.S. and Canada. There’s different implementation measures and different ways of approaching it, and that does have an effect on ground transportation,” said Shehrina Kamal, product director, risk monitoring at Resilience360.

Resilience360 is a cloud-based platform that helps companies to visualize, track and protect their business operations.

Kamal said any company that requires interstate travel or interstate ground transportation will be affected by the coronavirus.

“It becomes difficult to keep track of what’s going on in each of the individual states. So we want to give a glimpse of what’s going on in each one. What is basically defined in those states as essential or nonessential businesses,” Kamal said. “We also provide a view into what the industry impact or the manufacturing impact is as a result of these measures.”

One of the disruptions discussed in the Resilience360 report was how the closure of nonessential businesses as well as statewide curfews and shelter-in-place advisories have impeded ground freight delivery schedules.

In the U.S., 46 states have some form of official stay-at-home order or mandate for nonessential businesses to close. In Canada, eight provinces (including Quebec and Ontario) have ordered nonessential businesses to close down.

“What we see with the states is there’s a patchwork approach and that there is a degree of uncertainty,” said Daniel Boccio, a risk intelligence analyst at Resilience360.

Boccio said some states have been incorporating national advisory measures and some have not. Boccio said the March 28 advisory from Christopher Krebs, director of the Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, included transportation and logistics on the essential business list.

“However, the guideline is strictly advisory in nature and ultimately it lies with the states in terms of its implementation,” Boccio said. “So in the early days of the pandemic, some states had different definitions of what is or is not essential business, leading to residual service interruptions.”

Boccio pointed to the closures of rest stops and restaurants across different U.S. states — which have affected truck drivers nationwide — as an example of how COVID-19 has interrupted supply chains.

In addition to the report on U.S.-Canada trade disruptions, Resilience360 will be releasing a new report on the COVID-19 situation in Mexico and how that is impacting manufacturing in the U.S. 

The U.S. government has been urging the Mexican government to reopen factories which have been shut down since March 30. Mexican President Manuel Obrador ordered the shuttering of all nonessential businesses.

“The U.S. government has been pressuring state governments to reopen their manufacturing. At least five U.S.-Mexico border states announced they will restart operations in May,” said Antonio Hickman-Diaz, risk intelligence analyst at Resilience360, who has been monitoring the COVID-19 crisis in Mexico.

Hickman-Diaz said state governments and the federal government in Mexico have not been on the same page for most of the pandemic.

“The federal government has extended the COVID-19 health emergency through May 30, and a few of the states have said they want to open on May 4 or May 18, so I am not exactly sure if that could be accomplished,” Hickman-Diaz said.

Kamal said one non-Covid-19 risk that companies should not forget about are hurricanes.

“Despite everything that’s going on with COVID-19, we are preparing for hurricane season,” Kamal said. “So tropical storm season starts pretty soon. And that’s something that I think a lot of people aren’t paying attention to.”

Source: Benzinga



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