Bangkok floods reveal inadequate risk assessment by multinationals

October 23rd’s Financial Times article on the current flooding in Thailand tells us that the global supply chain of auto-parts and hard-disc drives has been interrupted by the inundation of the industrial heartland to the north of Bangkok.

A quick online search reveals that Bangkok is known to be highly vulnerable to flooding. A 2009 paper by the East-West Centre states that flood protection in Bangkok is inadequate for even a 30 year flood event.

Water related risk, which can result from too much, too little, or the wrong quality water, needs to be taken seriously by any multinational with a global supply chain. However water related risk makes it into the risk section of very few financial reports.

Incidentally, both Shanghai and Guangzhou are listed in the top ten list of global cities vulnerable to coastal flooding…both favourite locations for multinationals in China. Do you know what the water related risks are to your supply chain?