Shipping delays and supply chain woes impacting this year's holiday shopping

Jimmy2x

Posts: 23   +3
Staff
Bottom line: Manufacturers, retailers, and consumers have all been plagued by chip shortages since the introduction of Covid-19 last year. These shortages are now being compounded by shortages of products ranging from plastics to the shipping containers used to move goods around the world. As a result, consumers who rely on online shopping to ensure availability may be losing their advantage.

Many consumers have come to rely on the web to ensure desired products are available and delivered on time for the holidays and other special occasions. Unfortunately for these consumers, this year's online shopping experience may not provide the convenience, advantages, and savings they're typically accustomed to.

Since 2020, the world's semiconductor shortage has severely impacted the ability to consistently manufacture and purchase goods ranging from computer hardware to automobiles. Not to be outdone by 2020, 2021 has introduced several additional factors that have further strained the already struggling global supply chain. It's no longer just a semiconductor shortage; consumers are now battling pandemic variants along with a shortage of skilled workers, plastics, containers to ship manufactured goods, and even the ports needed to bring these goods to market.

At this point, pandemic-related shortages and worker availability come as little surprise to most. The other factors, however, continue to stack up and compound an already painful situation. Steel shipping containers, for example, have become a commodity themselves. But it's their availability, not quantity, creating the issue. Early in the pandemic, canceled trade routes contributed to containers being stranded and unavailable. Today, the ongoing demand to replenish inventories to pre-pandemic levels has driven a spike in container utilization.

While this utilization sounds like a good thing, the increase in container use is bottlenecked by the previously stranded containers as well as 2021's ongoing shipping disruptions that frequently leave hundreds to thousands of containers stranded at sea. Some ships that do reach their destination unimpeded find themselves anchored with nowhere to unload their cargo due to backed-up sea and inland ports already operating at capacity. The result? Goods and materials have no way to move from point A to point B, further straining an already hamstrung global supply chain.

Erratic weather patterns have also impacted supply chain availability. Raw materials required for some plastic production, such as polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), and monoethylene (MEG), have been in short supply since 2020. Chemical supplies were further constrained following this year's Gulf Coast ice storm, which adversely impacted the world's largest petrochemical complex, located in Texas. These chemicals are used to produce anything from consumer electronics to food packaging, and the impact from their lack of availability is still being felt across several industries today.

Given the number of factors impacting product availability and delivery, consumers are urged to plan ahead, order early, and be prepared with domestically produced alternatives to their desired but unavailable goods.

Image credit: Online shopping image by Pete Linforth, cargo containers by Alexander Kliem

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Dimitriid

Posts: 1,118   +2,116
We're seeing 1 or 2 distinct stories per day about why the supply chain is disrupted, at this point it's pretty hard to believe absolutely everything that could go wrong with the supply chain is going wrong at the exact same time.

I don't have my doubts supplies will be constrained for a long period of time, but it's just so many different stories about it on basically all possible angles having multiple, unforeseen failure or weak states right now, it just seems like all of the east manufacturers are biting back against the domination by the west markets that decided all people would just accept being placed in a subservient place in the economy as the manufacturers while the western world gets incomprehensible rich based on that manufacture economy by just being huge service economies.
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 5,288   +6,016
I just came back from my Mercedes Benz dealer. Nothing to sell but a handful of pre-owned cars. Never seen it this bad.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 17,384   +6,130
I just came back from my Mercedes Benz dealer. Nothing to sell but a handful of pre-owned cars. Never seen it this bad.
Are you trying to pass that off as a, "humble brag"?

Well, I just got back from my Aston Martin dealer, and they didn't have a damned thing on the floor with machine guns coming out of the headlights...:p
 
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captaincranky

Posts: 17,384   +6,130
Not a problem. I'm giving an IGA Steak Knife to everyone on the list :)
Beings as that I'm a bachelor, an orphan, an only child, a misanthrope, and a sociopath, I don't even have a list. That said, , I'm buying myself whatever I want for Christmas, at the beginning of October.

(Yeah, I'll probably open it as soon as, (or if), I get it, so what)?
 

umbala

Posts: 413   +586
We're seeing 1 or 2 distinct stories per day about why the supply chain is disrupted, at this point it's pretty hard to believe absolutely everything that could go wrong with the supply chain is going wrong at the exact same time.

I don't have my doubts supplies will be constrained for a long period of time, but it's just so many different stories about it on basically all possible angles having multiple, unforeseen failure or weak states right now, it just seems like all of the east manufacturers are biting back against the domination by the west markets that decided all people would just accept being placed in a subservient place in the economy as the manufacturers while the western world gets incomprehensible rich based on that manufacture economy by just being huge service economies.
Umm, yeah, you got some of that backwards. You didn't mention any countries by name, but it's easy to deduce that you're talking about China. You believe China is trying to take revenge on the West because we're all getting rich off them, correct? Well, China is the second richest country in the world behind the USA. You don't get to that position by letting other countries take advantage of you. Believe it or not, China actually needs the US more than vice versa. All these sporadic disruptions to the supply chain are happening because of scattered outbreaks of Covid that is forcing parts of the supply chain to shut down. Some of these supply chains are highly complex and shutting down even a tiny part of it will disrupt many other areas. You can believe whatever you want, but to think that China is shooting themselves in the foot to spite the US is just silly.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 1,118   +2,116
Umm, yeah, you got some of that backwards. You didn't mention any countries by name, but it's easy to deduce that you're talking about China. You believe China is trying to take revenge on the West because we're all getting rich off them, correct? Well, China is the second richest country in the world behind the USA. You don't get to that position by letting other countries take advantage of you. Believe it or not, China actually needs the US more than vice versa. All these sporadic disruptions to the supply chain are happening because of scattered outbreaks of Covid that is forcing parts of the supply chain to shut down. Some of these supply chains are highly complex and shutting down even a tiny part of it will disrupt many other areas. You can believe whatever you want, but to think that China is shooting themselves in the foot to spite the US is just silly.
Well kind of but not really: I don't believe in conspiracies so I don't belive there's any deliberate attempts coordinated by the CCP or any government body or anything of the sort. This is also I was careful to not specifically say "China" btw.

However most of these companies, not only in China but around all of east Asia actually, are pretty clever and can clearly see how much the west is desperately trying to buy some sort of goods.

So if you were a small time or medium sized manufacturer of any kind of electronics and you see "Oh look, the chip companies are making a killing right now and are basically selling the same volume they were selling pre-covid shut downs but at much better margins" then why wouldn't you realize "Hey I can charge a lot more for the same volume of production too, specially if I come up with rumors and excuses as to why I might not be able to deliver enough volume"

And I must reiterate this doesn't require any kind of overt coordination between different companies as we see many different excuses. It's just everybody learning to cheat the market, even if the bigger companies did actually had the issues and were not explicitly all trying to manipulate prices in any kind of deliberate way. It's just an effect of being a tiny bit clever and observe how dependent western companies are on the goods you're producing and even then just seeing some competitors do it so doing it yourself is the smart move anyway to stay competitive and increase your margins by a lot even without major technological improvements or major investments to significantly increase output because well, they're all businesses and what business doesn't wants more money for no good reason now that the west is very clearly desperate?
 

pcnthuziast

Posts: 1,165   +891
Reconfiguring the class divide is all. Too many useless poor and far less ways and means to profit off them. The global elites have wet dreams about genocide.
 

Achaios

Posts: 208   +562
OP sounds like a whole lot of excuses and theories and scary stories about why we should be content paying 3X MSRP for GPUs.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 17,384   +6,130
OP sounds like a whole lot of excuses and theories and scary stories about why we should be content paying 3X MSRP for GPUs.
Despite your abundance of disdain for the topic, I honestly don't see where it's anything but factual.

Miners want the cards so they ca make more money. Gamers want the cards so they can, (ostensibly), slaughter their foes,

And if they have to pay 3X MSRP to screw Timmy next door out of his video card, they'll do it. Now whose fault is that?

I could go on about how minorities can present a monolithic front in support of a cause, but Caucasian males simply can't, It's simply not worth the trouble to type it out for you..
 

3volv3d

Posts: 409   +209
Not a problem. I'm giving an IGA Steak Knife to everyone on the list :)

What list? Sounds like you're hand delivering to a few people you are unhappy with after you snapped during covid.


hard to believe absolutely everything that could go wrong

I don't have my doubts supplies will be constrained for a long period of time, but it's just so many different stories about it on basically all possible angles having multiple, unforeseen failures

Welcome to the media and the propaganda it spews out. F ing up everything further by creating the news it can.
In the UK the media has moaned about supply chains, Xmas, food, fuel.
Can't get foods cause co2 shortage, apparently we can't just breathe into balloons.
But fuel oh Jesus let's believe them there and drain every fuel station dry in a day.
Mission complete. Even though ministers have said there's no shortage of fuel it's HGV drivers but they have a plan.
Alas now there is a fuel shortage.
But co2 still needed for the meat to return on the shelves.
Co2 creating mass extinction algae though so maybe we shouldn't be using it. I dunno.

And to the person who doesn't believe in conspiracies, a theory, an idea, a concept, that is unliked by the majority of enslaved system abiding muppets, usually gets called a conspiracy to give it 0 credibility out of the gate, so no one spends too much time looking into something they don't want you looking into.
You would think so that no one would want panic. But then the media can do exactly that with their lies or poorly sourced material.
While you shouldn't believe everything you read you should remain able to think outside their box.



 

Roddy_K

Posts: 12   +5
I read somewhere there's 88 ships right now waiting to be offloaded off the coast of Los Angles, in 2019 there was none. They go out so far they can't anchor their ships. Just drifting and waiting.
 

Lounds

Posts: 919   +814
Clearly it's an agenda to get manufacturing done at regional/continental based instead of Globally. This whole just in time distribution of parts and products clearly isn't working anymore.
 

NicktheWVAHick

Posts: 315   +477
You think THIS is bad? Just wait until the current generation of stay-at-home high school students graduates (by lowering the bar, once again…it’s the American Way) looking for the same high-paying jobs that the current supply of “I refuse to work because it’s beneath me” waiters, store clerks and hotel staff wants. We will become a socialist welfare country virtually overnight. Fortunately for me I will be retired by then (no more gravy-train from my taxes) demanding my fair share of this gigantic safety-net mess that the Dems created. It will be really fun to watch from my condo in Miami.
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 554   +426
You think THIS is bad? Just wait until the current generation of stay-at-home high school students graduates (by lowering the bar, once again…it’s the American Way) looking for the same high-paying jobs that the current supply of “I refuse to work because it’s beneath me” waiters, store clerks and hotel staff wants. We will become a socialist welfare country virtually overnight. Fortunately for me I will be retired by then (no more gravy-train from my taxes) demanding my fair share of this gigantic safety-net mess that the Dems created. It will be really fun to watch from my condo in Miami.

Choose your Condo wisely
 

captaincranky

Posts: 17,384   +6,130
Choose your Condo wisely
I was going to post something similar to this last night. I know it may be hard for some to believe, but I got tired of hearing myself talk, and the typing involved to do so.

That said, when you posted this meme, you should have done it up right, with photos:

merlin_189818946_a8b8c9b7-f22a-4277-ad7a-a53ae3179a83-mediumSquareAt3X.jpg