The recent effects of the supply chain have started to become more noticeable by the day, contrary to when it first started (which was more than a year ago). Although this problem has barely begun to draw the public's attention, it has been going on for quite some time. Not enough workers, lack of raw materials, and port congestion have all been factors contributing to the supply chain issues that both consumers and merchants are being forced to face today.
The question is: Why did these problems arise in the first place? As everyone knows we are currently going through a pandemic which has definitely caused several problems and conflicts to surface. However the pandemic has also had an effect on the economy being the first domino to fall. Vaccine mandates have pressured workers to quit their job because of their situation in which they can or will not be vaccinated, and the recent stimulus checks of $1,400 have encouraged people making minimum wage to quit their jobs seeing it as an easy way out. These things being the reason why we are going through a shortage of workers.
The shortage of workers has been one of the biggest factors contributing to the supply chain crisis. Without anyone to transport and handle the goods, the restocking of stores ends up taking a while. Therefore leading to the rise in prices, a good example being how the “Pocky” at the store “Daiso” has gone from costing $1.50 to $2.00 due to this crisis. The amount of workers currently assessing the problem aren’t enough to deal with the amount of goods being brought in, this ends up setting off a chain reaction of some sort by then having too many cargo ships at sea unable to do anything. With the many cargo ships unable to do anything at sea, another problem arises being wasted resources or items with very little time to be consumed before they go bad. This then forces the companies to then send another shipment to make up for the wasted products which would then have the possibility of repeating the same things because of the congested port.
Port congestion being one of the factors which prevents the supply chain from getting better and continues to build. With the multitude of cargo ships at sea making it increasingly difficult for the very few workers as the amount continues to grow. Shipping prices have increased as well as shipping time because of the congestion delaying the goods reaching the customers. What used to be a week or two shipping time has increased to three to five weeks. The delay in delivery has also taken a toll on shops' stock and ability to restock. Leading to their inability to continue their businesses and meet the customers demand. Mayfair Highschool student Sienna Navarro claims that, “I started to see the snack brand I really like not being there anymore or like there’d not be a lot of it at the store or the ones that’d be there would be the flavor i dont really eat that much.” Another student (Marisol Herrera) expressed that she felt frustrated because, “They don’t have the shirt I want in store and then I have to wait like three months for it to come if I order it online. So it’s just really annoying. “
Raw materials becoming scarce has consequently put most factories out of service in addition to COVID-19’s aftereffect. With the amount of factories closing, the delivery of goods has been backed up. The lack of raw materials has not only limited the amount of products being made, but has also prevented stores from being able to find their products at the pricing most affordable and profitable for them, which also amounts to an increase in prices on their merchandise. Resulting in the issues we're facing today to remain as they are.
Currently President Biden is working on solutions to put an end to this dilemma by calling for more resilient supply chains, and creating built-in redundancies and stockpiles. In attempts to end these supply chain issues he has also decided to facilitate domestic production. The supply chain issue may be wreaking havoc over the economy, however with time and good plans put into motion it can be solved.