Supply Chain Management and Bioinvasion

We all know that economic, ecological, social, and ethical aspects need to be considered when managing global supply chains. This includes topics such as resource scarcity, climate change, and labor conditions. So far, however, I did not associate bioinvasion with our field. This has changed now: An article by Seebens et al. (2013), recently published in Ecology Letters, discusses the risk of marine bioinvasion caused by global shipping. The authors argue that “the rate of biological invasions has strongly increased during the last decades, mostly due to the accelerated spread of species by increasing global trade and transport”. They demonstrate that forecasting of bioinvasions needs to take into account information about ballast water transport, biogeographic distribution, and environmental heterogeneity. Particularly, they identify “high-risk invasion routes, hot spots of bioinvasion and major source regions from which bioinvasion is likely to occur”. In sum, their model reveals a new aspect of ecological responsibility in supply chains.

Seebens, H., Gastner, M.T., & Blasius, B. (2013). The Risk of Marine Bioinvasion Caused by Global Shipping. Ecology Letters, 16 (6), 782-790 DOI: 10.1111/ele.12111

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About Andreas Wieland

Dr. Andreas Wieland is an Assistant Professor of Supply Chain Management at the Department of Operations Management, Copenhagen Business School. His current research interests include supply chain risk management and international logistics strategies.

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