Canadian Trucker Protests Show the Importance of Proactive, Flexible and Transparent Supply Chain Management

Chris Tomas  Chris Tomas 

    Lead Intelligence Analyst at BSI

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February 18, 2022 As the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve and leads to an increase in social unrest and demonstrations against new regulations, so too does its complex impact on the supply chain. The latest widely reported supply chain disruptions come from trucker protests that have been initiated around the globe, with the biggest disruptions happening in Canada. The drivers protested Canada’s vaccine mandate for truckers who travel to the United States and then re-enter Canada. The movement expanded from its original location in Ottawa to other cities including Toronto and Calgary, with drivers using trucks to bring city traffic and major highways that cross the Canada-US border to a standstill, among other demonstrations.

These protests underscore how it’s critical for organizations to find ways to more effectively respond to social unrest for similar incidents in the future.

To help mitigate future interruptions like this, our supply chain risk intelligence team here at BSI has outlined recommendations within the operational, business continuity planning and personnel spaces.

Maintaining Continuity

In terms of business continuity planning, the truck driver and other types of protests force companies to look at how their supply chains can more effectively respond to social unrest, underscoring how crucial it is to evaluate their business continuity plans. Businesses can evaluate current or develop initial business continuity plans by:

  • Understanding the quality of the information they are gathering, ensuring it is building a reliable, accurate, and timely foundation of knowledge from which they can make effective strategic decisions.
  • Understanding their supply chain and establishing transparency throughout the entire network, from raw materials to manufacturing and finally on through to the consumer. Identifying and understanding the limitations of service providers, the pinch points that could occur in the supply chain, and the unique business continuity risks across geographic locations.

  • Proactively manage the supply chain, subcontractors and stakeholders at all levels, identifying pinch points and mitigating all risks.

Reemphasizing Personnel

Also, when looking at the current scope of personnel, it’s important to realize and appreciate the value of your team as a resource. If organizations have the correct people, who are trained effectively and have a good understanding of the organizational direction and goals, a clearly defined road map of progressive objectives, as well as support from robust two-way lines of communication, then the human resource aspect of their business becomes a tremendously powerful capability for generating and implementing effective action. The key to unlocking this human potential is effective training, timely information and guidance, as well as a culture of empowerment to make appropriate decisions at all levels.

With these priorities in mind, businesses can set themselves up to maintain logistics efficiency no matter what new challenges protesters – or any other supply chain disruptions – may bring in the coming weeks and months.