Criminal Activity Could Worsen Supply Chain Issues, Experts Warn

Criminal Activity Could Worsen Supply Chain Issues, Experts Warn

( – A new report from the UK warns that the crisis in global supply chains could be about to get worse – because pirates and other criminals could over-stress an already creaking system.

The British Standards Institute (BSI), a nonprofit that’s one of the world’s largest certifiers of product standards, has released its annual report on risks to worldwide supply chains. It warns that shortages of goods and reliance on poorly qualified staff, especially truck drivers, are putting huge stresses on global logistics networks – and criminals are already starting to exploit the situation.

The rising cost of shipping space, and the lack of qualified truckers in many countries, are forcing businesses to move more freight by air. The expanding volume means customs officials are struggling to cope, and smugglers are taking advantage of the situation. BSI reports that in February, one in five air freight shipments contained illegal drugs; by June that had risen to one in three. Criminals are also threatening supplies more directly. In Ukraine, two criminals impersonating licensed truckers managed to steal $200,000 worth of goods from a supplier. This is likely to happen more often as the under-pressure staff takes shortcuts to meet shipping deadlines.

BSI warned that multiple threats are combining to make supply chain issues even worse, and businesses need to act now to avoid disruption. Will these warnings be heeded, or are the supply problems we’re facing just the start?

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