56% of retailers believe eco-activism poses a bigger risk of supply chain disruption in 2022

56% of retailers think environmental activists pose a bigger risk of supply chain disruption this year than in 2021.

Research by international logistics company Advanced Supply Chain Group (ASCG) highlights concerns as pressure group Extinction Rebellion announces new plans for more climate change protests.

Last year, the environmental campaigners targeted large e-commerce warehouses and industrial parks, creating blockades to disrupt Black Friday trading. The group has just warned that it is planning more roadblocks in April, targeting oil refineries nationwide and transportation routes in central London.

ASCG’s research found 20% of retailers had low or no confidence in supply chains stabilising in 2022, following recent years of delays and disruption. A third (33%) had medium levels of confidence in supply chains returning to some level of normality.

Research also showed that retailers are prioritising the earlier ordering of stock, improving supply chain efficiencies, and investing in new supply chain software to address the impact of unpredictable events on the timely and cost-effective movement of goods.

Caroline Ellis, Commercial Director at Advanced Supply Chain Group, commented: “Retailers have faced many different causes of supply chain disruption in the past couple of years, which has heightened the focus on more accurate forecasting and dynamic scenario planning.

“Sophisticated stock inventory management software is being increasingly utilised to pull data that helps retailers to create contingencies and better prepare for uncertainty. This can also help to optimise transportation space and routes, reducing carbon emissions and improving sustainability.”