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29 May 2020

Policymakers should resist the urge to make kneejerk and wholesale changes to supply chains and global trade policy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, an economist with the UK Trade Policy Observatory has warned.

Professor Michael Gasiorek, a trade policy expert at the University of Sussex Business School, is advising governments against making trade policy responses to the Coronavirus crisis which could have longer-lasting and potentially negative implications in the post-pandemic future for the global trading system. (more…)

May 29th, 2020

Posted In: UK - Non EU, UK- EU

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28 May 2020

Sam Roscoe is a Senior Lecturer in Operations Management and Research Leader for the Supply Chain 4.0 Hub at the University of Sussex. He is an Associate Fellow of the UKTPO.

Boris Johnson has drawn up plans (codenamed Project Defend) to reduce the UK’s reliance on foreign countries for products that are deemed critical to the wellbeing of the nation. This follows a recent Fox News interview with President Donald Trump, who said “these stupid supply chains that are all over the world…..we should have them all in the United States”.  And, a recent article from The Economist (May 16th-22nd, 2020) that declared the end of globalisation, noting that the push to bring supply chains back home in the name of resilience is accelerating. Indeed, the pandemic has exposed that global supply chains are only as strong as their weakest link and is prompting a move from low-cost, overseas production towards the localisation of manufacturing.  (more…)

May 28th, 2020

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Erika Szyszczak28 April 2020

Ian Clarke is CEO of Excalibur Managed Services Limited and Professor Erika Szyszczak is a Fellow of UKTPO.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of global supply chains and the need for robust public procurement policy and procedures. (more…)

April 28th, 2020

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16 April 2020

Peter Holmes is a Reader in Economics at the University of Sussex and Fellow of the UK Trade Policy Observatory.

At the time of writing the UK is seeing food supplies returning to normal. It is worth asking what the experience of the first three weeks of lockdown can tell us about the causes of the apparent shortages and the implications for the future.

There is a hope that now everyone’s spare rooms are full of toilet rolls and cans of beans and the supermarkets are fuller, stocks will get back to normal. But it may not be quite as simple. Are shortages just due to excessive stockpiling or real supply constraints? And if the latter how does trade fit in? (more…)

April 15th, 2020

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24 March 2020

Guest blog by Dr Sam Roscoe, Senior Lecturer in Operations Management and Research Leader for the Supply Chain 4.0 Hub at the University of Sussex.

COVID-19 has exposed a number of fundamental issues in grocery and pharmaceutical supply chains.  The grocery sector has been particularly hard hit because of its ‘lean’ just-in-time delivery supply chain model, panic buying and labour shortages. Over the past two decades, the UK grocery sector has adopted the lean, just-in-time, supply chain model from the automotive sector. This rapid replenishment model focuses on minimizing inventory and delivering new products to store shelves as soon as a product is purchased at the tills. The advantages of this system are lower inventory carrying costs, reduced product handling and smaller store rooms. The disadvantage, as seen today, is that any unforeseen surge in demand makes it difficult for stores to quickly replenish shelves as inventory is not readily at hand. (more…)

March 24th, 2020

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