Managing lithium battery and supply chain security risks

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In this episode of the TT Live podcast, Mike Yarwood and Peregrine Storr-Fox discuss two key risk areas impacting the global supply chain - lithium battery dangers and cargo/freight crime.

The rise of lithium battery risks

Lithium batteries, particularly lithium-ion varieties, have seen a proliferation across industries due to their high power density and use in rechargeable electronics and electric vehicles (EVs). This widespread adoption has elevated concerns around potential fires, thermal runaways, and toxic gas releases.

Risks span the entire supply chain from manufacturing to transport, storage, and end-of-life recycling. Poor quality components, electrical/mechanical abuse, and high temperatures can trigger battery failures. Misdeclaration by shippers compounds risks.

Regulatory bodies are working to enhance safety standards, but objective scientific input is needed to fully assess the changing battery chemistries. Raising general awareness among supply chain stakeholders and the public is crucial.

Supply chain security landscape

Cargo theft remains a major challenge, with criminals displaying increasing sophistication. Access to logistics data, insider threats, and targeted attacks at rest areas heighten risks on the road.

Economic instability is driving more opportunistic, diverse theft of commodities like electronics, clothing, food/beverages to serve broader criminal markets. Geographic hotspots fluctuate but include the U.S., parts of Europe, and emerging areas like Chile.

Mitigating measures

To enhance supply chain security, TT Club emphasises:

  • Robust data sharing/collaboration across industry stakeholders
  • Physical security devices, tracking technologies, and deterrents
  • Award programs recognising supply chain resilience best practices
  • Frequent risk bulletins analysing evolving threats/solutions

Fostering an integrated, proactive approach to managing dynamic cargo crime tactics is vital for protecting global freight movements.

Mike Yarwood

TT Club

Peregrine Storrs-Fox

Risk Management Director