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The Lloyd’s List Podcast: Unwinding the supply chain crunch

Listen to the latest edition of the Lloyd’s List’s weekly podcast — your free weekly briefing on the stories shaping shipping

Supply chain resilience is now a mainstream topic with headlines regularly featuring queues of ships backed up outside the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and the car industry running short of semiconductors. But is this really a rupture in our global trading system or something altogether more temporary? This week we ask whether shipping will see a return to ‘normal’ after the current crunch unwinds

IF the Ever Given’s parking prang in the Suez Canal last year was the artery blockage that gave capitalism a minor heart attack, then the ensuing diagnosis and treatment from governments has been focused on all that ails global trade.

Supply chain resilience is going to be the phrase of 2022. 

The pandemic has forced a fundamental shift in global trade policies as governments increasingly focus on supply-chain resilience and while the limited options to unwind the past 40 years of globalised trade will likely produce more rhetoric than action, the industry should brace for the fact that supply-chain scrutiny is going to be taking up a lot of everyone’s time.

It’s a nebulous topic with many angles, so we will be coming back to this as a theme over several podcasts in the coming months, but we start the 2022 series of weekly podcasts by taking a look at how long it will take to unwind the current supply chain crunch.

We of course know the story — a perfect storm of global issues have combined to break the just-in-time supply chains that keep the world going. But what is the prevailing wisdom in terms of the tipping points that we should be looking out for? And is there such a thing as a return to normal on the horizon?

Answering these questions and many more beside this week are Xeneta’s chief analyst Peter Sand and Jan Hoffmann, chief of Unctad’s Trade Facilitation Section.

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