There’s not much more that can be said about supply chain finance (SCF) beyond what’s included within this publication – GTR’s first ever annual supplement dedicated entirely to the increasingly popular financing technique, packed with in-depth reports from our editorial team and a wealth of contributed content from partner institutions.

Since the start of last year, GTR has been tracking the deleterious impact of Covid-19 on physical and financial supply chains, reporting on the fragilities that were exposed and the efforts to inject liquidity where it was needed most.

In this publication, we delve deeper into the increased demand for SCF, taking a look at measures implemented by public and private financial institutions together with large corporate buyers and their suppliers to shore up access to funding, as well as the recent push to address deep-tier financing.

We also examine the actions companies have taken to overcome Covid-related challenges and boost their supply chain resilience. These include efforts to shift and diversify sourcing and manufacturing locations to reduce concentration risk – the practicalities of which are often complex and costly.

A major Covid-era industry theme has been enabling the supply chain as a whole to become more sustainable, and there have been a number of initiatives aimed at designing appropriate finance strategies to engage and influence all players in the ecosystem. In our environmental, social and governance (ESG) report, we provide an overview of some of the recent developments driving ESG improvements in supply chains.

Away from the pandemic – as readers of GTR’s online news feed and quarterly publications will know – since March this year we have been providing in-depth coverage of the Greensill collapse and the finance company’s controversial use of receivables financing – without fail some of our most popular content according to website traffic. Our feature in this publication ‘Greensill and GFG: uncovering a scandal’ takes a closer look at the company’s business model, particularly its exposure to the GFG Alliance group of companies.

More widely, it’s been said that the future of SCF will rely on more alternative, innovative financing that leverages technology and data to reach deep into the supplier base. But what will this technology look like, what are the risks, and who’s going to be providing these solutions? Elsewhere, and rounding up our coverage of top SCF themes in this publication, our technology report takes a look at the practical applications of artificial intelligence – long touted as the industry’s most progressive innovation.