When “Just-in-Time” Falls Short: Examining the Effects of the Suez Canal Blockage

When “Just-in-Time” Falls Short: Examining the Effects of the Suez Canal Blockage

  • Case
  • Teaching Notes
Abstract

A six-day hold-up on the Suez Canal, set in motion by a stuck container ship that blocked passage on one of the world’s busiest waterways, had experts rethinking the “just-in-time” approach that has come to define modern supply chain strategy. The Suez Canal blockage only further exposed vulnerabilities in the just-in-time technique that had been revealed as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted supply chains around the world for the better part of 2020. This case looks at the blockage and asks students to discuss whether it points to any needed changes in supply chain models.

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