What is happening with the supply chain: A huge clog in the supply chain pipeline is causing major delays in imports of goods such as toys, clothing, electronics, and other items. No one knows how to fix it or what to do. 

  • 80% of goods are transported overseas 
  • Covid outbreaks in Chinese ports also affects shipping status 
  • Inflation is increasing as demand outpaces supply 

How does this affect businesses and companies: The median cost of shipping has almost doubled since July, which was already twice what it cost in January. Businesses are having to order ahead of time to avoid running out of goods, which is only making things worse by increasing the shipping backlog. Companies are not receiving their products on time or in the quantity they need, leading to a shortage of goods, which then leads to disappointed and frustrated customers. 

How does this affect shipping costs: Prices of container goods are rising as demand for goods are increasing drastically, not enough ships are available to carry goods, and low supply of truck drivers and sailors are also affecting the shipping process. This increases shipping costs and prices for goods. 

How does it affect materials that are desperately needed? Dozens of cargo ships that are carrying goods are at anchor and will be for 2-3 weeks. This lessens the room and space of trans-pacific shipping lanes, causing more traffic in the boat route. Crucial Covid-19 materials are taking much longer to reach areas that need them most, and are coming in quantities that are far too small. 

How will this get fixed? This issue will go into the next year, as the pandemic continues. Shipping companies and ports need more employees to work on moving and unloading goods. Until every step of the supply chain catches up, we’ll continue to see expensive bottlenecks. 

Conclusion: 

The Covid-19 pandemic has drastically impacted all aspects of our daily lives. Coming up on almost two years since the first identified cases of Covid-19, our world is as different as ever. As we reintroduce the concept of indoor dining, head back to the gym to workout, and enter a grocery store at full capacity, it’s a huge adjustment not just for customers, but for the business owners and employees as well. As we try to ease back into what “normal” life was for us, small businesses, restaurants, grocery stores, and large corporations are struggling to find their way back to “pre-pandemic” ways when it comes to product and stock supply. 

The supply chain has been undergoing major delays and difficulties since the pandemic has begun. The import status of goods such as toys, clothing, and electronics have all been majorly affected, and no one knows how to fix the problem. Average shipping costs of a standard container have risen dramatically to $20,586 (twice of what it cost in July, which was even more than what it cost in January). Because of the time it’s taking to receive orders, companies are having to place cautionary orders to avoid running out of supplies, which is just leading to more traffic in the trans-pacific shipping lanes due to the increase in ships. 

Prices of container goods are also increasing as shipping costs increase. This means that as more disruptions occur across supply chains, shipping rates are going to increase due to lack of resources (not enough ships, dockworkers, truck drivers). There are dozens of cargo ships anchored off the coast of California, unable to unload their cargo because of lack of dock capacity and dock workers. Some of these ships sit for weeks. David Lynch from the Washington Post states “For goods to move seamlessly from overseas factories to American addresses, the oceangoing vessels, shipping containers, cargo terminals, truckers, chassis providers and railroads all must work together, like runners in a relay race.” Any delays in equipment further cause further delays along the entire line. 

There’s no doubt that frustrations arise when experiencing these kinds of problems. This is something that affects us all. Consumers want what they ordered, and they want it on time. Businesses and corporations need necessary supplies and goods to keep their business afloat and to keep customers happy. The most important thing is to make sure we remain patient with one another, as we’re all trying our best to sort through this supply chain drawback.