Press release

Transport leaders must invest in resilience to avoid further customer disruption

04 May 2023

Survey from PA Consulting, the company that’s bringing ingenuity to life, finds transport leaders need to do more to prepare their organisations for disruptive events

Despite the turbulence experienced by transport leaders over the last few years, the industry still needs to do more to prepare for future disruptive events, according to a survey from PA Consulting of 360 transport leaders across Europe. While almost eight in ten transport leaders recognise that resilience* needs to be a permanent – rather than reactive – capability, two thirds (65%) acknowledge that they have no plans to increase their investment in resilience.

The transport industry across Europe remains a tinderbox of potential disruption from industrial action, supply chain issues, extreme weather, and ever-growing threats to cyber, digital, and physical security. Yet many transport organisations are still relying on response plans for one disruptive event at a time.

According to PA’s report, ‘The always-on advantage’, three out of four transport leaders think that investment in resilience can drive a competitive advantage, and more than one third see loss of revenue as a direct result of not being resilient. However, their actions sometimes fail to match their ambitions, with over half (56%) believing the worst has already happened.

The report identifies three key areas that transport leaders must focus on to address the resilience challenge:

  • Transport boards need a Chief Resilience Officer. Resilience must be a board agenda item and transport organisations need a Chief Resilience Officer to spearhead progress. Nearly 80 per cent of respondents expect Chief Resilience Officer roles to emerge to support resilience, in the next three years.
  • Employees must feel free to report problems, errors, and near misses without fear. Workforces can be made more robust by creating the psychological safety for people to speak out. Leaders also highlighted other factors slowing down their response including, outdated or rigid processes (33%), lack of real-time data and insight (33%), and lack of accountability (32%).
  • Collaboration across modes of transport and the supply chain. Disruption spreads easily across transport modes and providers. That makes it critical to use the procurement process to vet suppliers’ resilience before contracts are signed. They should then be seen as partners, with increased collaboration and knowledge sharing to improve outcomes for customers. Leaders also need to collaborate further within and across all modes to develop shared resilience plans to deliver the seamless experiences customers expect.
Our research tells us that leaders recognise the need for an always-on approach to resilience. However, too many are still hooked on the disruption-response cycle, where resilience springs to life only in response to an event, which is challenging for both the transport organisations and their customers. There is a strong need to start investing in resilience as a strategic imperative and to start shaping a transport resilience agenda for change across all modes.”

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