Supply Chain Security

By Matthew Harwood

Although skeptical of the strategy, Coughlin does have a suggestion for the federal government if it wants to help create a safer and more secure supply chain: concentrate on sharing relevant threat information with stakeholders. “The government doesn’t do this very well, because the government thinks everything is a secret,” he explains.

The White House strategy lists as one goal the need to refine government understanding of threats and risks associated with the supply chain, but it’s silent on whether a better understanding of those threats and risks would be shared with stakeholders.

Stodder says the government has gotten better about sharing best practices with industry, but he acknowledges that stakeholders still don’t get the actionable intelligence they crave. “It’s a consistent theme,” he says, and a problem that government will need to address.

And that’s important because Holdeman says terminal managers, shippers, and port directors, in his experience, have become skeptical of threats that involve the global supply chain. “They don’t think an attack is ever going to happen and see all the money that’s being expended as just plain overhead and a waste,” he explains.

After DHS finishes its outreach to private and international stakeholders, it will begin to work that feedback into the strategy’s implementation plan, which is due January 2013.

Supply Chain Standard

ASIS International is currently developing a standard for Resilience in the Supply Chain, which would extend the scope of the Resilience Standard. To learn more about these standards, go to



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