[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Most everyday people don’t give much thought to the global supply chain until something happens to it that impacts them directly. The reality is, the U.S. as well as countries all around the world deeply depend on the secure and efficient transit of goods through the global supply chain. It’s key to our U.S. economy and overall security.

There are currently some serious supply chain issues that we both here in the U.S. and abroad are being affected by. A recent posting in The Conversation pointed to three specific issues that are compromising the smooth operation of the global supply chain. The first being the arrival of omicron and other new variants during 2022 and China’s continuing zero-COVID strategy complete with tight border restrictions. International shipping costs are also likely to remain high this year, and, above all, freight transportation and supply chain processes will continue to change during 2022 as more environmentally sustainable practices are adopted. This will affect everything from transport vehicles, such as switching to electric delivery vans, through to changes in the wider supply chain, such as relocating distribution centers to minimize distances travelled.

And there are still other additional factors are contributing to current supply chain challenges. Among them, the rising price of fuel to transport goods by road, sea or air; increasing commodity prices that are increasing the cost of raw materials; higher labor costs from suppliers and manufacturers, and complex international logistics leading to higher charges for the storage, transfer, and management of products. What we’re seeing are more empty shelves and higher prices on pretty much everything we buy.

While today’s supply chain challenges are tough to navigate, The National Strategy for Global Supply Chain Security gives us a good roadmap. In response to some of the disruptions to the supply chain over the years – whether caused by natural disasters, criminal and terrorist acts or the rippling effects of wars in the world – the Strategy was founded in 2012 under President Barack Obama to protect the welfare and interests of the American people and secure our nation’s economic prosperity.

The primary focus of this Strategy was and continues to be the worldwide network of transportation, postal, and shipping pathways; assets and infrastructure by which goods are moved from the point of manufacture until they reach an end consumer; and supporting communications infrastructure and systems. From its founding, the Strategy includes two goals:

1) To Promote the Efficient and Secure Movement of Goods

2) To Foster a Resilient Supply Chain

As a trusted integrated physical and electronic security provider that specializes in solutions for regulated entities and facilities in key vertical markets, NextGen Security is committed to staying on top of supply chain concerns as they impact our overall national security. In this first blog of our four part Supply Chain series, we take a close look at these two primary goals of the National Strategy for Global Supply Chain Security and how they can help up navigate a productive path forward in resolving today’s global supply chain challenges.

The first goal is to promote the timely and efficient flow of legitimate commerce while protecting and securing the supply chain from exploitation, and reducing its vulnerability to disruption. To this end, the Strategy committed to enhancing the integrity of goods as they move through the global supply chain. It also serves to understand and resolve threats early in the process, and strengthen the security of physical infrastructure, conveyances, and information assets while seeking to maximize trade through modernizing supply chain infrastructure and processes.

The second goal is to foster a global supply chain system that is prepared for and can withstand evolving threats and hazards and that can recover rapidly from disruptions. To achieve this, they prioritize efforts to mitigate systemic vulnerabilities and refine plans to reconstitute the flow of commerce after disruptions.

Their approach is informed by the following guiding principles:

To Galvanize Action – Integrate and spur efforts across the United States Government, as well as with State, local, tribal and territorial governments, the private sector, and the international community. And, to Manage Supply Chain Risk – Identify, assess, and prioritize efforts to manage risk by utilizing layered defenses and adapting our security posture according to the changing security and operational environment.

In the next three blogs in our four part Supply Chain series, we will detail security issues as they pertain to Air, Land and Sea Transportation.