Coronavirus: supply chains

Categories: Salford Business School

Dr Jonathan Owens, logistics and supply chain expert from the University of Salford Business School comments on further problems with UK supply chains as a result of the coronavirus

He said: “As the Coronavirus hovers at containment stage while the UK continues to see steady climbs in daily cases reported, the next phase is delay. 

“What is evident is that the consumer is alarmed; just as in the financial markets; and demand is outstripping supply in some key supply chains.  Now the supermarkets have been enforced to control supply whilst they attempt to replenish stock from a under pressure supply chains. 

“The warning signs were already there last week with announcements from the pharmaceutical industry.  India is the supplier for about 20% of the global drug supply chain, and with the Hubei province of China being responsible for about 70%.  India is heavily reliant on the Hubei province, which is the centre of China’s pharmaceutical drug industry to supply the bulk of the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API’s) to manufacture different pharmaceutical drugs in India. 

“There is normally a steady flow of these API’s from China to India, however this has now been disrupted for some weeks.  These measures taken by the Indian government to restrict flow of drugs is to safeguard and control capacity levels, as evidence is showing in some areas of the world, but particularly Europe which India supplies, customers are panicked and developing stockpiling mindset which the supply chain might find difficult to sustain. with about three month supply.” 

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