Top 10: Extreme Supply Chain Locations
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10.) Manaus, Brazil
Thanks to two federal highways and the Eduardo Gomes International Airport, the city of Manaus isn’t as difficult to reach as it used to be. Situated in the middle of the Amazon Rainforest, the Amazon River was the only realistic way to move goods in and out of the city in centuries past.
9.) Kabul, Afghanistan
Sitting in a country that has been ravaged by war for the past decade, Kabul isn’t exactly the easiest or safest destination in the global supply chain. As the largest city in Afghanistan, Kabul does have a reasonably large airport, but lacks even a primitive rail network.
8.) Nuuk, Greenland
There’s a reason nobody leaves on Greenland. It’s cold. Despite the inherent difficulties in supplying such a location, Nuuk’s location near the southern tip of Greenland makes supplying operations not too difficult. That’s about the end of the good news, however, as Nuuk’s average high is a shade above freezing. Not exactly supplier paradise.
7.) Arlit, Niger
One of the largest cities in the Sahara Desert, the industrial city of Arlit gained notoriety following allegations in 2003 that Saddam Hussein was seeking to purchase uranium from the city. Despite its unyielding heat and remote location, the city is serviced by a world-class airport to serve its uranium industry.
6.) Yellow Knife, Canada
As the capital and largest city of the Northwest Territories, Yellowknife is certainly no picnic to get to. The town’s road construction is a constant challenge due to the presence of permafrost, which forces the local government to resurface roads every 10 to 20 years.
5.) Alice Springs, Australia
Quick, find a map of Australia. Now, put your finger exactly where you think the middle of the continent is. Chances are, you landed on the town of Alice Springs. The only major road that cuts through is the Stuart Highway. Sure, there’s a train schedule, but it’s only stops twice a week in each direction.
4.) Norilsk, Russia
Lying on the shore of the Arctic Sea, Norilsk holds the honor as the second-largest city north of the Arctic Circle. The city’s renowned nickel mines hold the world’s largest nickel-copper-palladium. All that mining hasn’t been healthy for the environment, as Norilsk is one of the most polluted cities in the world.
3.) Chongqing, China
Just how isolated is Chongqing? Located in the center of China, the city served as the wartime capital of China during Japan’s invasion at the start of World War II. With four mountain ranges surrounding the area, Chongqing has historically relied on air freight to handle its supply chain needs.
2.) Easter Island
As a special territory of Chile, Eastern Island is perhaps the most remote inhabited location on the planet, with the closest landmass at Chile lying 2,336 miles to the east. Not exactly around the corner. The region is serviced by the Mataveri International Airport, which began operations in 1967.
1.) Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, Antarctica
Was there ever any doubt who would be No. 1? Antarctica presents some of the most difficult supply chain problems in the world, thanks to its remote location and environmental challenges that are unlike any other. The Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station is located at the southernmost place on earth, smack dab in the middle of Antarctica. The station is the only place on the land surface of Earth where the sun continuously is up for six months and continuously down for six months. Temperatures are capable of dropping below -100 degrees Fahrenheit and blizzards have gale-force winds. Between October and February, the United States military schedules several flights per day from the McMurdo station on the coast supply the Amundsen-Scott station, with these operations codenamed Operation Deep Freeze. It doesn’t get much cooler than that (pun intended).