Global Trade Lanes and Supply Chain Security


The Global Economy is an interconnected web involving physical goods, support services and information flows. As more nations are integrated into this commercial network, efficiency, agility and adaptability become key requirements. However, the tighter integration and interdependency of global supply chains make them very vulnerable to disruption and threaten the national security of all nations.


“In today’s economy, the oceans have increased importance, allowing all countries to participate in the global marketplace. More than 80 percent of the world’s trade travels by water and forges a global maritime link. About half the world’s trade by value, and 90 percent of the general cargo, are transported in containers. Shipping is the heart of the global economy, but it is vulnerable to attack in two key areas.
  • Spread across Asia, North America, and Europe are 30 megaports / cities that constitute the world’s primary, interdependent trading web.

  • Through a handful of international straits and canals pass 75 percent of the world’s maritime trade and half its daily oil consumption.
International commerce is at risk in the major trading hubs as well as at a handful of strategic chokepoints.”

Source - The National Strategy for Maritime Security – US Government September 2005

Greater collaboration between trading partners can help to reduce this threat and improve operational responsiveness.

Operational Risk Management

Supply chains are tightly syncronised, constantly active and involve large numbers of participants. Disruption at any point will impact the entire supply chain. As a result, the management of these operations is a crucial activity and the ability to respond swiftly to disruption can have a material impact on the stock price of the corporation concerned.

Recent developments in information technology have made the connection, capture and analysis of data much easier. In many organisations data is captured by a large number of different systems, but any advantages that might be gained from a shared view of this are few and far between.

This is not simply a case of systems integration; it is more one of 'understanding' and applying the relevant meaning or 'context'. Linking it together and applying the necessary context enables the exploitation of the real value of this data. The resulting information can then be shared across the organisation in ways not previously considered.

Natural disasters, accidents or deliberate action at a critical point in any supply chain can bring it to a halt.

Virtual-Partners have the expertise and track record to help you understand the potential threats and how the risks can be reduced.