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Guidance to public and private stakeholders on mitigating and adapting to logistical disruptions to supply chains resulting from regional, multi-regional, and national adverse events, both unanticipated and anticipated, is provided in NCFRP (National Cooperative Freight Research Program) Research Report 39: Freight Transportation Resilience in Response to Supply Chain Disruptions.

The report makes a significant contribution to the body of knowledge on freight transportation and system resiliency and also includes a self-assessment tool that allows users to identify the current capability of their organization and institutional collaboration in preparing for and responding to supply chain disruptions.

Disruptions to the supply chain and their aftermath can have serious implications for both public agencies and companies. When significant cargo delays or diversions occur, the issues facing the public sector can be profound. Agencies must gauge the potential impact of adverse events on their transportation system, economy, community, and the resources necessary for preventive and remedial actions, even though the emergency could be thousands of miles away.

Increasing temporary or short-term cargo-handling capacity may involve a combination of regulatory, informational, and physical infrastructure actions, as well as coordination across jurisdictional boundaries and between transportation providers and their customers. For companies, concerns can include such issues as ensuring employee safety, supporting local community health, maintaining customer relationships when products and goods are delayed, and ultimately preserving the financial standing of the company.

Suggested Citation

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Freight Transportation Resilience in Response to Supply Chain Disruptions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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Publication Info

162 pages |  8.5 x 11 |  DOI:
Chapters skim
Front Matter i-x
Summary 1-6
Part 1 - Improving Freight Transportation Resilience in Response to Supply Chain Disruptions 7-8
Chapter 1 - Research Motivation and Approach 9-12
Chapter 2 - System Performance and Supply Chain Resiliency: Review of the Literature 13-31
Chapter 3 - System Resiliency Scenarios and Case Studies 32-35
Chapter 4 - Synthesis of Results of Case Studies and Interviews 36-55
Chapter 5 - Analysis Tools and Models for Supply Chain Resilience 56-69
Chapter 6 - Guidance for Stakeholder Mitigation and Adaptation of Supply Chains to Disruption 70-73
Chapter 7 - Implementing the Results of This Research 74-75
Chapter 8 - Future Research 76-79
Chapter 9 - Conclusion 80-81
Bibliography 82-87
Appendix A - Inland Waterway/Locks Scenario 5 88-98
Appendix B - Responding to Surge in Freight Traffic Caused by Military Deployments 99-109
Appendix C - Case Study of Grain Supply Chain from Illinois to New Orleans 110-116
Part 2 - Guidance for Stakeholders to Mitigate and Adapt to Disruptions on Supply Chains 117-118
Chapter 1 - Introduction 119-120
Chapter 2 - Supply Chains and Resilience: Definitions 121-123
Chapter 3 - Supply Chains and Resilience: Stakeholder Roles 124-125
Chapter 4 - Characteristics of Disruptions 126-129
Chapter 5 - Framework for Making Supply Chains More Resilient 130-132
Chapter 6 - Step-by-Step Guidance for a Supply Chain Resilience Self-Assessment 133-140
Chapter 7 - Strategies for Enhancing Supply Chain/Transportation System Resilience 141-148
Chapter 8 - Bringing It Together 149-154

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