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Globalisation could be going into reverse, logistics expert warns conference delegates

Logistics and global trade could be moving to a new economic order, Alan McKinnon, Professor of Logistics at Kuehne Logistics University, told delegates during his keynote speech at Logistics UK’s Supply Chain Resilience Conference in London yesterday (30 March 2022).

And, he asserts, this will have a significant impact on the way that goods are moved around the world.

“The feeling is that the economic order that has been in place for the last 30 years, which is underpinned by globalisation, is breaking down,” McKinnon said, “We see that in the case of the current Ukrainian crisis.”

The hope that globalisation, trade liberalisation and the internet would have promoted democracy across the world just hasn’t happened, he argued. But it has stoked up geopolitical tensions and that has impacted supply chains and has effectively weaponised connectivity in supply chains. Countries threatening to stop the supply of critical materials, for example, can become a surrogate for military action.

“This will change the nature and scale of the threats to our global supply chain,” McKinnon said, “because if we’re moving into a new world, we are going to have to completely reconfigure our supply chains. There will be a lot of strains and stresses in that process and that will be disruptive in the shorter term.”

Chaired by Phil Roe (the incoming Logistics UK President) the Supply Chain Resilience conference armed senior business leaders with the insight required to protect their operations against global and national supply chain pressures, and was sponsored by Quincus, Port of Dover and WTW. Almost 100 attendees discussed key issues affecting the sector, including the resilience of international supply chains and resilience whilst reaching net zero during the one-day event.


Published On: 31/03/2022 16:00:36


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In brief


The Commonwealth Games this summer will be located across the West Midlands and Logistics UK has been working with Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) to keep the region moving in the run up to and during the Games.

TfWM is hosting an introductory online webinar on Tuesday 5 April at 10am to tell businesses more, including the latest information on how logistics businesses can continue to operate across the area during the Commonwealth Games. 

Sign up to the webinar here.

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