Climate change, the ominous and slow-moving crisis responsible for unpredictable weather patterns across the world, is putting the global supply chain at risk now more than ever.
Natural disasters caused by hurricanes, wildfires, floods, and other unforeseeable weather events, directly and negatively impact supply chain operations, disrupting material sourcing, manufacturing, and especially logistics
The “Great Texas Freeze” power outage in February 2021 provides an example of a climate-induced disruption that heavily affected supply chain links between Texas and the Pacific Northwest. At the time, power outages forced major semiconductor plants to close and forced railroad closures for three days.
Of all climate change's threats to supply chains, rising sea levels are potentially the biggest threat, as they directly challenge global freight infrastructure.
The devastation of Hurricane Ida in late August 2021 put hundreds of lives at risk and communities in jeopardy. As part of the relief efforts, trucks used solely for the transport of goods were reallocated to relief operations which caused a major delay in pre-planned materials shipping and receiving.
According to the World Health Organization, these natural hazards are expected to continue, and the climate crisis is projected to significantly worsen by 2030 unless the world's carbon emissions fall by 45 percent.
Since the global supply chain will continue to face climate-related threats, companies must acknowledge the growing risk factors and find ways to strengthen their company and sales operations before the climate crisis worsens.
Distributors can start this process by first improving the way they do business. Companies can remove the burden of inventory stocking and heavy logistics processes by integrating a marketplace with their existing E-commerce.