Data-Driven Defense: Exiger’s AI Tools Help Fight the Fentanyl Crisis

This post was written by Katie Arrington, Vice President of Government Affairs


The United States is facing an unprecedented public health crisis at the hands of a potent synthetic opioid: fentanyl. Originating primarily from illicit labs in China, this substance enters through the southern U.S. border, bringing with it a wave of overdose deaths — and an imperative for supply chain visibility.


In 2022, a staggering 68% of drug overdose deaths in the U.S. involved fentanyl, according to the CDC. The Biden Administration’s recent budget proposal urged the need for a concerted effort to disrupt the fentanyl supply chain.


This complex threat in supply chains remains a challenge for both law enforcement agencies and companies whose supply chains include chemicals that go into making fentanyl. The problem requires a multilateral and advanced technological solution.

The Effort Includes Trade Sanctions and Intelligence Sharing

The challenge of stemming the flow of fentanyl across the U.S.-Mexico border is monumental. Despite not being an intentional facilitator, Mexico’s geographical position makes it a conduit for fentanyl trafficking. Strengthening border security, enhancing intelligence sharing, and fostering law enforcement cooperation are vital to the solution. It’s a delicate balance of maintaining robust trade and diplomatic relations while protecting the health and safety of citizens.


One of the strategic actions the United States can employ is the imposition of targeted trade sanctions on entities involved in the fentanyl trade, such as the proposed FEND Off Fentanyl Act. Coupled with diplomatic maneuvers and collaboration, particularly with China and Mexico, these sanctions can strike at the heart of the supply chain. Regulatory control over precursor chemicals needs tightening, and enforcement measures must be stringent and relentless.

The Need for AI and Data-Driven Solutions

The infiltration of fentanyl into the United States is not merely a border control issue; it’s a sophisticated network of illicit trade that requires a nuanced understanding of its flow dynamics. Traditional methods of interception are no longer sufficient. This is where Exiger’s supply chain risk management tools come into play.


With the ability to analyze vast amounts of data, the AI-powered technology in the 1Exiger platform can identify the manufacturing origins of fentanyl precursor chemicals and map out their intricate distribution networks, acting as a digital bloodhound tracing the scent of these deadly shipments.

Identifying Manufacturing Origins and Tracking Distribution

Fentanyl precursors often have legitimate industrial and agricultural uses, which presents an additional layer of complexity for U.S. authorities. Exiger’s tools can dissect this complexity by leveraging data analytics and forensic techniques. They can pinpoint the exact manufacturing origins of precursor chemicals, aiding in the identification of illicit labs and their suppliers. This is more than just law enforcement; it’s about dismantling an ecosystem that fuels the fentanyl crisis.


It’s not enough to know where these substances begin their journey; it’s also about understanding where suppliers intend to end it. Exiger’s platform analyzes shipping records, financial transactions, and communication patterns to forecast the potential final destinations of fentanyl shipments. Such predictive insights allow for more strategic interdiction efforts and a proactive rather than reactive response to fentanyl trafficking.


The scourge of fentanyl demands a sophisticated, multi-layered response. Exiger’s supply chain risk management tools are at the forefront of this battle, offering key abilities to decipher the production and trafficking patterns of fentanyl. These AI-driven solutions, in tandem with policy measures, hold the promise of not just reducing operational costs for agencies but also saving countless lives.


For a demo of how Exiger can track and dismantle fentanyl trafficking in the supply chain, contact us.


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