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Coaches Corner: Resiliency

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As one of the world’s largest container vessels, Ever Given was carrying 18,300 containers when it ran aground in the Suez Canal. The “blockage,” as it has become known, was estimated to be causing $14 million to $15 million in lost revenues for Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority each day the Ever Given remained grounded in the canal. Though Ever Given’s destination ports were Rotterdam and Felixstowe in the UK, the impact on global trade has been estimated at $400 million each day the canal was blocked. The Suez Canal blockage becomes the latest in a string of supply chain challenges. Though the destination of the Ever Given was not the U.S., delayed arrivals of vessels into the ports of New York and New Jersey have had a major impact.

“Resiliency: an ability to
recover from or adjust easily
to adversity or change…”

Using Merriam-Webster’s definition of resiliency and applying it to supply chains, we can narrow the definition to the “ability to recover from adversity or change.” In the last year and a half, we have all seen our share of adversity and have come to understand how various events in the supply chain impact our ability to meet our customer’s demands. The list of challenges we face in keeping our supply chains moving and intact, from man-made to natural disasters, is endless. Our ability to react and reduce the risk each challenge presents will be our scorecard, measuring the success of our efforts. The more we can mitigate the impact of events on our supply chain and our company’s business, the greater opportunities we will have in shaping corporate strategy with the supply chain as a key pillar. The strategies deployed to maintain resiliency are taught at the highest levels of education and practiced on a global scale. For U.S. companies focused on the U.S. and Canadian markets, the challenge is identifying the risks on a global scale that can impact your domestic supply chain.

To begin looking at defining your supply chain resiliency the following six steps can lead to a deeper development of the corporate strategy:

1) Map out your supply chain. Be certain to include all inbound prepaid and outbound collect movements. Be certain to include a mapping of your supplier-to-supplier relationships.
2) Conduct a risk assessment on your inbound components and materials to include the supplier and their suppliers. Best practice includes an assessment that provides visibility to the risk each supplier has and clearly defines those risks to your company.
3) Complete a location risk assessment on all company and supplier facilities that include natural, workforce, infrastructure, political and other risk factors that may impact your operational readiness.
4) Assess your customer base by location, sales volume, physical attributes and business practices.
5) Interview each company department with an emphasis on purchasing, customer service and logistics.
6) Conduct a brainstorming session for your “what if” and leave no stone unturned.

Editor’s Note: As Rockfarm looks ahead at providing meaningful content we will be changing the delivery of our digest to a weekly one-pager. Our first one-pager hit the airwaves last week with Alana Reinhardt illustrating “The Green Side of COVID-19.” Please follow us on LinkedIn and catch all of our postings.


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Brad Stewart, President

By Brad Stewart

Co-Founder, CCO

Brad’s journey into logistics began as a Marine Officer and transitioned from the LTL docks to the non-asset side within the logistics service provider arena.  As a co-founder of Rockfarm, Brad drives our business development efforts and delivery of our promise. An Arizona native, Brad enjoys spending time outdoors in his home state with his wife and family.

“Our approach to the market allowed us an opportunity to push forward in 2008 and enable our mission, “lower the cost to serve” to stand as a cornerstone to our company today.”



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Associated Press, (2021 April). Chip Shortage Forces More Production Cuts by GM, Ford, Transport Topics https://www.ttnews.com/articles/chip-shortage-forces-more-production-cuts-gm-ford

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Szakonyi, Mark, (2021 March). CP-KCS plan to merge to create first US-Canada-Mexico railroad https://www.joc.com/rail-intermodal/class-i-railroads/canadian-pacific-railway/cp-kcs-plan-merge-create-first-us-canada-mexico-railroad_20210321.html

JOC Staff, (2021 March). UP adding ag shipping capacity through PNW Ports https://www.joc.com/rail-intermodal/intermodal-shipping/adding-ag-shipping-capacity-through-pnw-ports_20210324.html

Russon, Mary-Ann, (2021 March). The cost of the Suez Canal blockage https://www.bbc.com/news/business-56559073

EPA GOV, (2021 April). Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/sources-greenhouse-gas-emissions

LM Staffe, (2021 April). Preliminary North American Class 8 net truck orders impressed again in March. https://www.logisticsmgmt.com/articlepreliminary_class_8_truck_orders_are_strong_in_march_according_to_ftr_and_a

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