Updated: Sep 11
In the span of a year, supply chains moved from obscurity outside the industry to becoming a subject of conversation at friends’ gatherings and dinner parties. My pals now approach me and ask if they could have a new bike or the PlayStation 5 before Christmas. What began as a problem in the logistics sector has now spread to millions of businesses and consumers. In many regions of the world, everything from gasoline, children's toys, Christmas gifts to new automobiles, and electronic devices. Logistics department who would be a hidden super tall, now it is sitting at the boards' table. Broken supply chains are now front-page news and consumers and companies are worried about the busiest shopping season of the year.
Why are the supply chain issues causing so much concern?
A lot of issues are affecting the supply chain, which has been strained since the beginning of the pandemic, as individuals have purchased more products. We were all at home purchasing goods on Amazon, and it generated a massive spike in demand for products, especially from China. Thousands of shipping containers are now waiting to be unloaded from cargo ships, as dockworkers fight to keep up with the backlog.
The possibility of COVID rising in countries and potentially shutting down factories still exists and labor shortages have been reported as a result of the outbreak.
However, this isn't the only problem. Once the products have been unloaded, there aren't enough truck drivers to pick them up. Warehouses are struggling to hire more employees too. In addition, cardboard cartons are in shorter supply than usual.
Which industries are suffering more during this year?
Experts suggest that putting off holiday shopping might make it tough to find everything from books to ugly Christmas sweaters to Nike sneakers. This year's toys may also be more expensive.
Automobile manufacturers have long advertised autos with ribbons as the ideal present, but car costs, both new and secondhand, are higher than ever.
Electronics are being impacted by the computer chip shortage that is hitting the auto sector. The PlayStation 5 and the Nintendo Switch both have stock shortages. Some laptops, televisions, and cellphones may be hard to come by. Maybe you won't get picky about the color of your new iPhone, most likely you will just grab the model you like and get your hands on it.
To answer the main question, Yes the supply chain issues will somehow affect the Christmas shopping season, but not to worry. Customers will still be able to find the products they like on the shop shelves.
On the other hand, the supply chain industry should get worried, as these current problems go beyond overburdened ports and a lack of cardboard. That aspect is momentary, but the way transport, logistics, and urgencies are operating is an issue that is permanent and needs to be revisited in terms of how it is actually being handled. We can't expect our lives to adapt to rigid transport schedules, on the contrary, we should embrace rapidly evolving and customer-focused supply chains without forgetting to be risk-averse.