This Week in Logistics News (June 26-30, 2017)

Last call for riders and sponsors! We’re getting ready to print our Logistics Leaders for T1D Cure Team jerseys for this year’s ride (September 14-17) in Saratoga Springs, NY in support of JDRF International. If you’re a supply chain or logistics company interested in sponsoring the team, or if you’re a supply chain or logistics professional with a direct or indirect connection with T1D, or you’re an avid cyclist or someone looking to take on a challenge for a great cause, please contact me for more details on how to join the team. We’ve raised over $43K so far, but we’re short of our goal. Join the team and our quest to turn Type 1 into Type None!

Moving on to this week’s supply chain and logistics news…

“It’s only a question of time, I believe, before these words from Matthew Mather’s book CyberStorm becomes an actual headline: ‘FedEx and UPS have ground to a complete standstill today due to what they say is a virus in their logistics shipping software.’”

That’s what I wrote last December in my supply chain and logistics predictions for 2017, and last September in The Day a Cyber Attack Brings the World’s Supply Chains to a Halt. My prediction started to come true in May with the WannaCry cyber attack, which caused significant disruptions around the world (see The WannaCry Cyberattack: Another Warning for Supply Chain Executives). This week another cyberattack — via a computer virus dubbed Petya that apparently infected a Ukrainian tax software product — disrupted supply chains around the globe, including operations at FedEx and Maersk. According to Reuters:

Package delivery company FedEx Corp said on Wednesday operations in its TNT Express unit were disrupted after its information systems were hit by a virus attack.

The company said it was unable to measure the financial impact of the service disruption at TNT, but it could be “material”.

Global shipping is still feeling the effects of a cyber attack that hit A.P. Moller-Maersk two days ago, showing the scale of the damage a computer virus can unleash on the technology dependent and inter-connected industry.

The cyber attack was among the biggest-ever disruptions to hit global shipping. Several port terminals run by a Maersk division, including in the United States, India, Spain, the Netherlands, were still struggling to revert to normal operations on Thursday after experiencing massive disruptions.

South Florida Container Terminal, for example, said dry cargo could not be delivered and no container would be received. Anil Diggikar, chairman of JNPT port, near the Indian commercial hub of Mumbai, told Reuters that he did not know “when exactly the terminal will be running smoothly”.

His uncertainty was echoed by Maersk itself, which told Reuters that a number of IT systems were still shut down and that it could not say when normal business operations would be resumed.

I’ll just reiterate what I’ve said many times before: The sooner companies embed supply chain risk management within their corporate DNA, the sooner they’ll be able to adequately address this growing threat of cyber terrorism. Mitigating the threat will also require greater collaboration between the IT and supply chain functions, not only within companies, but across all stakeholders in global supply chains.

Last week, in response to the news that Walmart was telling tech vendors that if they want to work with the retailer they can’t use Amazon Web Services, I wondered what’s next. “Will Walmart start asking their tech vendors how many of their employees are Amazon Prime members,” I asked. Well, it seems that what’s next may or may not be related to trucking.

According to transportation consultant Satish Jindel (as reported by The New York Post), “Walmart is escalating its war of words with Amazon by sending veiled messages to the trucking companies that haul its merchandise from its distribution centers and stores, telling them if they do business with the web giant, it may not want to work with them.”

Walmart, however, says this is completely false. As reported by The Street, “It would be illegal for us to tell them who they can do business with,” a Walmart spokesperson said.

Jindel said, Walmart said. You decide.

Better yet, if you’re a trucking company that works with Walmart, are you getting any signals (veiled or otherwise) from Walmart that working with Amazon might cost you doing business with them? Post a comment or send me an email and let me know.

And with that, I’m out of time and space. Have a happy weekend!

Song of the Week: “Jackie and Wilson” by Hozier