Challenges to the supply chains in the context of COVID-19 pandemic
Proceedings of the International Conference on Business Excellence
Global supply chains have been an important factor in changing the organization of the global goods production and global economy. The pandemic has also brought negative effects on global supply chains, as we have seen a shortage of workforce and transport systems (maritime, air, land), while demand for mandatory products, such as sanitary ones, was rising. The blocking of supply chains has also affected the process of economic recovery, unbalancing the production sector, and fueling inflation.
... During this time, the European Union's reliance on the foreign imports it had both before the pandemic and after periods of trade imbalance, were brought to light, considerably amplified. Increasing autonomy has been a necessity of these conditions, and in order to optimize the resilience of its supply chains, the European Union is applying politics aimed at a wide diversification of suppliers, development of internal capabilities, support for a multilateral business environment based on a set of well-defined rules, and a good cooperation with the United States of America. The study carried out an in-depth analysis of relevant literature in order to identify the challenges for both the member-states of the European Union, and for other states such as Japan, the United States of America, South Korea, and Australia in terms of imbalances in the supply chains and dependencies on imports from China. We also identified the best practices and measures adopted during the pandemic that led to major trade imbalances. The research questions to which this study provides detailed answers to are: "How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected global supply chains?" and "What measures were taken globally in order to overcome the imbalances caused by the pandemic?" This study offers a clarification on the situation of global supply chains and brings, in the same analysis, a series of good practices and strategies to solve supply chain blockages and reducing the dependency on foreign exports that most states had before the pandemic.