Automakers worldwide felt the heat from January’s fire at the Wuxi Welnew semiconductor manufacturing plant. Although no injuries were reported, the destruction forced Wuxi Welnew to stop production and shift output to a second plant. The disruption impacted operations at major automotive companies including Nissan and Bosch, and electronics companies including Infineon, Vishay, Toshiba, and Seiko Epson.
Many companies were caught off-guard by the disruption, not receiving notification of the January 6 fire until nearly two weeks after it happened. They were forced to scramble and warn customers of potential shortages and delays.
But some operations got alerts within 24 hours after the fire occurred, gaining valuable planning time over competitors.
Wuxi fire timeline
The Wuxi fire threatened automotive, electronics, and other manufacturing operations. Chinese media covered the event immediately, and Everstream’s Chinese-speaking supply chain experts monitoring the region caught the significance and knew to share the information.
English-speaking media didn’t publicize the event until nearly two weeks after the fire occurred. Here’s how the timeline unfolded.
January 6, 2023
Fire breaks out at the Wuxi Welnew Micro-Electronic company, halting operations and delivery until further notice.
January 7, 2026
Everstream Analytics’ Intelligence Solutions team in Asia discovers the first Chinese-language media reports about the fire. The team fact-checks the report, enriching the information with the appropriate geocodes, asset tags, and industry sector information to share with clients via the Everstream platform.
January 7, 2026
Fewer than 24 hours after the fire, impacted Everstream clients receive urgent notification of the major semiconductor manufacturer shutdown.
January 12, 2023
Six days after the fire, Everstream clients begin to hear about the fire from their affected Tier 1 suppliers.
January 18, 2023
Eleven days after Everstream notifies clients, a second supply chain risk management company retroactively adds the Wuxi fire and shutdown to their risk alert platform. They send out the first notification to their network.
January 20, 2023
Despite the huge impact this incident will have on industrial supply chains worldwide, it is only now that the first English-language media report on the incident finally emerges. Widespread awareness among supply chain managers takes nearly two weeks after the fire.
Do you know how much a day’s disruption costs your supply chain operation? Each day you can get ahead in planning is a day that saves time, money, and other resources. Make sure you know the costs and benefits of effective risk management, and start optimizing your organization.
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