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Record-Breaking Supply Chain Disruptions and Supply Shortages

By Patrick Burnson / / August 12th, 2021

Factory Fires, Mergers & Acquisitions, Business Sales, Factory Disruptions, and Leadership Transitions rank as the top five supply chain disruptions in the first six months of 2021, with life sciences, healthcare, and the automotive industry being most impacted.

Records are to be broken, say observers of the recently-concluded Olympics. But the dark side of such comfortable declarations was evident in global supply chains this year.

According to data released by Resilinc, a global leader in the supply chain risk monitoring space, human-caused supply chain disruptions are rising overall, with the amount of factory fires up 150% (when comparing the first half of 2021 to the first half of 2020).

This year is on track to have the most factory fires ever reported. The uptick is due mostly to gaps in regulatory and process execution as well as a shortage of skilled labor in warehouses. 

The data also reveals that disruptions due to Supply Shortages (semiconductor chips, plastics, cardboard are all examples) were up 638% in the first half of 2021. Resilinc sent out 251 Supply Shortage alerts; this type of disruption ranked 6th in terms of most reported events (behind Leadership Transition). Supply Shortages are driving consolidations, mergers, and business sales as companies look to give a quick cash boost to the core business or optimize the supply chain to best serve the customer base.

In the first half of 2021, almost half (46.5%) of disruptive events occurred in North America, followed by Europe (23.43%), and then Asia (19.45%). In comparison, in the first half of 2020: North America had the most disruptive events; Asia had the second highest; Europe had the third most.

While Human Health disruptions, which include COVID-19 related events, ranked 19th in terms of the number of event alerts in the first half of the year, Resilinc has continued to designate the event as “severe.” It’s the first time in the company’s history ranking an event at that level of impact.

Overall, from January 1 - June 30, 2021, Resilinc sent out 5,425 alerts about potential supply chain disruptions across 39 event categories. Of these potential disruptions, 59% were impactful enough to trigger the creation of a WarRoom—virtual platforms in the Resilinc dashboard where customers and their suppliers communicate and collaborate to assess and resolve disruptions.

Resilinc’s data is gathered from the company’s EventWatch AI, a 24/7 global event monitoring service that contextualizes and analyzes more than 1.7 billion news feeds about potential and existing supply chain disruptions from approximately 4.2 million sources in 100 languages, including daily news, government regulatory reports, and social media.

As of January 2021, Resilinc incorporated data from more than 300,000 suppliers, consisting of 620,000 sites and more than 3 million parts and materials purchased by Resilinc customers.

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