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Bombs on U.S. Bound Planes- The Time is Now for Practical Stepped-Up Security Measures

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Since our last Supply Chain Matters commentary, additional information has come forth regarding the recent terrorist incidents involving bombs hidden in air cargo shipments, and governments and the air transport industry will need to come-up with a practical response to a growing threat. Two different packages containing HP P2055 LaserJet desktop printers, air shipped from Yemen, one on a UPS cargo plane seized in the United Kingdom, and one in a FedEx cargo facility in Dubai, have both been confirmed as containing explosive devices within their respective toner cartridges.  The top bombmaker of Al-Qaida is strongly suspected as the mastermind, and the incident is widely believed to have exposed vulnerabilities in the global air cargo system. Both packages which originated in Yemen, began their journey as carried baggage on civilian airliners and were later transferred to air cargo carriers. Both packages were reported as having bombs containing 300 and 400 […]


Supply Chain Risk Management and the Three Blind Mice

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The following posting can also be viewed and commented upon in the Kinaxis Supply Chain Expert Community forum site. As parents of small children, we often sing various rhymes to our children, and perhaps readers may recall the rhyme from the song “Three Blind Mice” Three blind mice, Three blind mice See how they run See how they run! They all ran after The farmer’s wife. She cut off their tails With a carving knife. Did you ever see Such a sight in your life As three blind mice? I was recently speaking with Bruce Spurgeon, supply chain manager at OSspray, Ltd., and sometimes guest blogger and industry observer for Supply Chain Matters. Bruce raised a rather interesting observation concerning the state of supply chain risk management in many industry supply chain environments today.  He cited the familiar rhyme above in the context of a question: Who actually owns overall […]


A Barrage of Disturbing News Concerning Breakdowns in U.S. Food Quality

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August 2010 is quickly turning out to be quite a month for consumer safety concerns regarding the overall safety and quality of U.S. food-related supply chains. Governmental agencies are under the gun to step-up inspection and enforcement and are seeking more jurisdictional power as a litany of urgent alerts permeates news and social media sites. A lot of attention and commentary have been directed at the massive recall of eggs that was announced on August 13, and now that incident involves over 380 million recalled eggs.  The U.S. FDA reports an ongoing four-fold increase in the occurrence of Salmonella Entertidus that led-up to this recall incident. In our commentary on Supply Chain Matters we questioned why an egg enterprise or agri-business with such a wide distribution of product and private brand volume could experience this type of occurrence without a rigorous quality and inspection program. Former U.S. secretary of labor […]


Apple Supply Manager Indictment-Does lucartive supplier business warrant unscupulous business practices and behavior?

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The following posting can also be read and commented upon in the Kinaxis Expert Supply Chain Community web site. There has been no shortage of significant supply chain related news these past months, but I would dare state that the most troubling thus far this year broke this weekend. A global supply manager at Apple was arrested and charged with offenses that include wire fraud, money laundering and unlawful monetary transactions involving more than one million dollars in alleged kickbacks.  According to the Wall Street Journal article, (paid subscription may be required)  “this incident underscores the pressures on companies that hope to serve as suppliers to the fast-growing Silicon Valley giant.” An indictment also names an employee of one of Apple’s suppliers as a co-conspirator. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service and the FBI conducted the investigation uncovering an elaborate scheme involving at least three suppliers where confidential information that would […]


Ship Collision Closes Mumbai Port- A Visual on Supply Chain Disruption and Risk

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I often use visuals in my supply chain risk management workshops, since visuals can have more impact on thinking than sometimes words. Therefore, this visual of a container ship listing at 80 degrees,(shown below)  losing its container cargo and polluting nearby waters with harmful substances certainly caught my attention. Another common tenet of major incidents is that initial reports and assessments are often conflicting, and this incident again brought this situation to light. On Saturday, August 7th, two vessels collided about 10 kilometers outside the port of Mumbai in India.  The Panamanian-registered MSC Chitra, a container ship, and the break-bulk merchant vessel Khalija-III were involved in this accident. Thirty three crew members were reported rescued.  As is usual for these types of incidents, there were initial conflicting media and governmental reports as to the location and details of the accident and collateral damage. The MSC Chitra was loaded with more […]


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