July was another month of non-stop action across the supply chain. From the continued labor shortage, natural disasters and more, procurement and supply chain professionals had a lot to navigate.
Join us as we take a look back at the biggest headlines to hit the stands in July 2021.
While manufacturing job opportunities are available, the workers to fill those gaps aren’t showing up. According to Forbes, the labor shortage limits economic growth in local areas. Specifically, Industry Week tells us half a million factory jobs currently remain unfilled. And while the economy is recovering from the pandemic, the labor market “still has a long way to go,” says U.S. News.
Natural disasters are wreaking havoc on global supply chains. There are wildfires on the West coast and hundreds of uncontrollable blazes in Canada. Lumber producers are being forced to cut back which has sent prices skyrocketing. While prices have slowly come back down to almost normal levels in June and July, lumber production remains tight across North America.
Floods in Europe and China brought many businesses to a temporary halt. Companies like IKEA, Nissan, FedEx and more were impacted. In Europe, floods devastated parts the railway, which is causing major disruptions to local and globally supply chains.
We’ve all heard the news about the chip shortages affecting supply chains and manufacturers. Many industries are being affected including computers, automobiles, and other technology. According to Forbes, one modern car can have anywhere from 1,500 – 3,000 chips. That number will continue to increase as cars become “smarter.” Reporter Mayank Sharma (@geekybodhi) from TechRadar says severe chip shortages could drag on through the rest of 2021 and potentially even into 2022. So, what’s the potential solution? Gerald Seib (@GeraldFSeib) from The Wall Street Journal believes the critical infrastructure needed is American-made semiconductors.
July was filled with political action directed at strengthening United States supply chains. Specifically, U.S. officials are looking at ways to reduce congestion at ports to address the ongoing transportation issues. And President Biden is targeting shipping costs by calling on regulators to consolidate the shipping and rail industries.
How will all of this unfold in the coming months? Follow us on Twitter as we share the latest updates impacting supply chains and stay tuned for the next edition of In the News.