Since the number of attacks against vehicles and logistical infrastructure has increased in recent years, a lot of attention has been paid to securing supply chains against terrorism: laws and regulations have been enacted, private initiatives like TAPA have been founded, standards have been established, new technologies have been developed and security management has been improved. Besides terrorism, supply chains have always been confronted with crime. Though many companies still consider supply chain security to be a cumbersome requirement imposed by legislation, other companies recognize that the provision of supply chain security can also be a step towards customer orientation and thus a competitive advantage.

A measured response to the worldwide security and risk situation and the ability to handle risks in an appropriate manner can be key factors in the success of modern companies. These risks include the threats posed by crime and terrorism as well as risks on the procurement or sales front.

Risks on the procurement and sales sides can be caused by such things as capacity bottlenecks in the procurement market, transport damage, a lack of transport and storage space or changes in consumer preferences. In addition, companies are also increasingly exposed to the risk of organized crime or terrorism, and this impacts the security situation in the logistics network.

The percentage of companies that feel affected to a high or extremely high degree will increase by around 20 per cent across all sectors up to the year 2015.

The main drivers to gear their activities towards the issues of security and risk are the need to improve processes and the expectations of customers. The most important driver for industrial companies is the need to improve processes, while customer expectations are the key factor for the trading sector and logistics service providers. Eighty per cent of service providers name customer expectations in their answer. The third main driver is security regulations, which impact the activities of industrial companies and service providers but play only a secondary role for the trading sector.

While laws, regulations or norms make high demands on companies, there is often a lack of practicable tools, concepts and research findings that would enable companies to increase security and tackle risks under their own steam. Up to one in three surveyed companies lack knowledge in the areas of security (when it comes to choosing safe transport routes and means of transport, for example), shipment tracking, location planning and security management. There is still a great deal of untapped research potential in the field of risk management. There is a lack of practicable tools and concepts, particularly for cross-company supply-chain-wide identification, assessment and control of risks. One of the key challenges in this respect is the assessment of the probability and damaging impact of potential risks in the supply chain.

Alongside the development of suitable tools, successful handling of risks in logistics networks also depends on cooperation between the companies in a logistics network. The precondition is the kind of mutual trust that ensures a uniform understanding of risks and adequate transparency of processes within the network. This in turn can improve security.

Successful integration of a security and risk management system is only possible if this system is firmly integrated from a strategic and organizational point of view. Security and risk aspects are incorporated in the logistics strategy of many companies.

The companies should recognize the strategic importance of the topic and assign responsibility for this topic to an appropriate organizational level. The entire company is exposed to security threats and risks, and these risks need to be addressed holistically.

Ecological Sustainability

Get industry recognized certification – Contact us