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Better logistics for better supply chain connectivity

It is hard to find anyone who has not experienced supply chain disruptions during the pandemic, be it an exercise bike or a computer sitting in a container on the ship waiting to be transferred onshore for distribution; construction materials on the dock waiting to be loaded onto the ship, or a car sitting on a factory conveyor belt waiting for a chip needed for final assembly. By Mia Mikic & Sherry M. Stephenson


Hopefully, you were not the one in need of a vaccine, medicine or other health essentials waiting for customs clearance, delayed due to staff shortages. But you are likely among those whose carefully chosen gifts for family members and friends were not dropped at their front doors on time as couriers were overwhelmed. One day we will be watching a comedy, or a drama (or both) based on these experiences. Movies are enjoyable, but we do not want to see such scenes repeated in real life. It turns out that we have the means and tools at our disposal to - if not prevent - then minimize the problems described. These means and tools come under the broad name of logistics. The APEC region took the lead in 2022 in pushing forward a better understanding of these important but often underappreciated logistics activities to examine their role in moving essential goods across borders. A major outcome of this work has been the agreement by APEC economies on a common definition of a group of 10 logistics activities labelled as “logistics related services”.

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