Q4 is here, and the pandemic-related supply chain shortages are still in full effect—and in some cases, worsening. Here’s an update and an outlook for the months ahead.
Supply chain woes have plagued companies, procurement professionals, transportation providers, and logistics companies for much of the year, and it doesn’t look like the challenges are going to fade anytime soon. And while some of the issues have ebbed and flowed—lumber and chicken wing shortages one month, followed by a dearth of ketchup and gas the following month—core problems like the semiconductor shortage have largely remained in place throughout the year.
Feeling the Strain Down the Line
For some sectors, the current supply chain challenges may not wane until the ongoing labor constraints are solved. The everyday items and services we’ve all come to take for granted have been disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, and more specifically, the unpredictable delta variant. Lack of workers is further fueling supply chain woes.
As we’ve all been forced to acknowledge over the past 18 months, when one point in the supply chain gets disrupted or delayed, the reverberations are felt down the line.
Labor shortages at every part of the supply chain are having an impact on companies and also impacting economic growth.
In the meantime, companies are coming to terms with fact that the pandemic will have long-lasting implications for how supply chains function. Technology-led platforms that utilize advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning will help companies identify potential problems before they disrupt the flow of goods.
Supply headaches that were viewed as temporary when the coronavirus pandemic began now are expected to last through 2022.
The cargo vessels anchored off California’s coast—waiting to get into port and unload their goods—serve as one very visible example of just how difficult it may be to get the world’s supply chains back on track. It’s going to get worse again before it gets better. Global supply chains are not built for this. Everything is breaking down.
Sneakers to Furniture to Cars
Facing these realities, both organizations and governments alike are looking for new ways to mitigate the problem sooner rather than later. Supply chain problems are getting worse resulting in shortages and higher prices for everything from sneakers to furniture to cars.