Food and drink thefts in global supply chain threaten higher prices

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The number of cargo hijacking incidents have now been overtaken by thefts from facilities, as revealed in the British Standards Institution’s (BSI) Supply Chain Risk Insights Report 2023.

In fact, thefts from hijacking have fallen as a proportion of the cargo theft, from 24.4 percent to 17.0 percent.

They are now second to theft from facilities – which now account for more than a quarter of total thefts, having increased from 24.2 percent to 26.0 percent.

In February, thieves stole around 4,000 pairs of branded shoes from a truck parked at a motorway interchange in South Lanarkshire, estimated to be worth nearly £400,000.

And in August, almost £300,000 worth of coffee machines were stolen from a warehouse in Birmingham – with the company’s own forklift used to assist with the theft.

It was reportedly the second time the company had been targeted.

Susan Taylor Martin, chief executive of the BSI, which compiled the report, said: “2022 saw volatility in global supply chains that many would never have expected in their lifetime.

“Successive crises, including a global pandemic followed by a war in Europe, have resulted in continued uncertainty on many fronts, and have demonstrated to governments the benefit of ensuring a robust global supply chain.

“Given the turbulence of the last twelve months, 2023 will be an important watershed for many organizations – with those that successfully manage their supply chain risks being more likely to thrive.”

The report also identified five additional imperatives organisations will need to tackle to enable future growth and provide financial sustainability.

They include addressing issues around leadership, staying up to date with digital risk, maximising self-knowledge, understanding the challenges in differing sectors, and gaining an understanding of new technologies like the metaverse.

Jim Yarbrough, global intelligence program manager at the BSI, added: “The threats facing global supply chains vary from region to region and are distributed unequally – but in the face of rampant global price inflation, all countries ended 2022 in conditions more precarious than they were at the outset.

“Without intervention, businesses will see dramatic impacts on their bottom line, meaning that discussing supply chain issues at the C-suite level can help to ensure investments are funnelled to suppliers, building resilience to threats and supporting financial sustainability.

“Failure to manage supply chains properly could ultimately mean further increases to food prices, amongst other things in the next 12 months.”

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