Businesses Could Feel Pain from Ebola-Stricken Supply Chains
IMT Staff posted on October 17, 2014 | 6312 views

ebola, business, supply chain, market, economyLet’s face it. We are all a little freaked out. The recent surge of the Ebola virus has left many in a state of sheer panic. What if it comes to my city? Why haven’t we curbed the epidemic yet? Is this the start of the apocalypse?

Though there is no need to start filling your bomb shelters with cans of tuna just yet, there are lots of people who are worried. This is completely understandable, as this disease has killed at least 4,033 people across seven countries to date, according to the World Health Organization.

West Africa, the hardest hit by this epidemic, continues to push along in hopes that the disease will be controlled soon. However, we are already seeing the fallout of Ebola on supply chains. For example, the Ivory Coast — which produces roughly 33 percent of the world’s total volume of cocoa beans, was forced to shut down certain locations near Liberia and Guinea to avoid contamination. This caused a major disruption in the workforce and could potentially be a major hit to the U.S. holiday season.

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Though not many regulations have been put in place just yet, there are some potential issues being considered that would make a huge impact on global supply chains. Suppliers may be required to change policies and wear protective gear when handling goods in Africa, which in turn could lead to higher prices and longer lead times. Logistics will be affected if areas are put under quarantine, holding up crews and cargo coming into port or through the airlines. Airlines themselves will likely see tighter restrictions coming to and from high-risk regions.

Global organizations, if they haven’t already, should start their contingency plans to prepare for sudden supply chain disruptions. Firstly, companies should work on improving communications with suppliers and partners. The more knowledge is shared, the more likely companies will be able to identify critical risk areas.

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This article was originally published on ThomasNet News Industry Market Trends  and is reprinted with permission from Thomas Industrial Network.  For more stories like this please visit Industry Market Trends

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