Supply Chain resilience is put to the test at Calais with Operation Stack. Every news item seems to be carrying roadside interviews with beleaguered truck drivers worried about the sell by date of their fruit and veg cargo. On top of that is the concern they are going to be running out of drivable hours. According to the BBC the disruption is costing the UK over £250m a day and of course we can’t ignore the humanitarian cost of lives lost and damaged by the savage realities of ‘taking the road to freedom’.
Many supply chains are vulnerable to disruption; the strong focus on inventory reduction and supply chain streamlining can make them very fragile and many will see severe service failures within weeks. Those that have strong links with the EU, such as the UK manufacturing and food industry, will be particularly vulnerable. It has taken years for the UK to become an attractive investment proposition for manufacturing again, these interruptions could seriously jeopardise the appeal to investors who may see access to the UK as too risky for their supply chains.
We are in a state of crisis management at the moment but the Government will need to create a long-term stable solution to the problem, failure to do so will impact the UK and its supply chains more than we can probably predict.