- THE MAGAZINE
Inside World Trade
I’m fond of a long passage from Adam Smith, penned in the 1770s, that describes what we now refer to as supply chain management. His quote begins with the end product, a woolen coat, but quickly shifts to the manufacturing and sourcing of the components and then to the logistics of delivering those elements to the point where the garment was created.
Judging by the apparent surprise many of the Nobel Prize recipients express at being selected for the honor, they had no expectation of receiving that call from Stockholm. This year’s award for medicine may be as close as the logistics and supply chain communities come to such a prestigious acknowledgement.
The economic downturn, mergers, acquisitions and consolidation are all changing the landscape of logistics providers, requiring shippers to stay on top of who’s who.
In the 17th century Sir Isaac Newton told us “to every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction,” but he didn’t warn us about the rule of unintended consequences.