As we look back on the breaking supply chain news throughout September, there is a lot to unpack. Between the non-stop chip shortages, the delta variant, labor issues and the looming holiday season, the supply chain chaos continued.
Join us as we take a look back at the biggest headlines to hit the stands in September 2021.
In our In the News: July Supply Chain Edition, we looked at how the chip shortage was affecting multiple industries across the world. This shortage only got worse in September.
For some Mercedes-Benz models, the waiting times can be over a year long, according to Chief Executive Ola Kallenius. As of early September, General Motors announced it would halt production at several North American plants for a few weeks, while Ford reported their sales declined 33% in August, both because of the chip shortage.
COVID-19 continues to create chaos across global supply chains. Shipping delays, labor shortages and higher prices are wreaking havoc on business and consumers alike.
For example, Texas construction companies are getting ‘hammered’ by covid-related supply shortages and an increase of sick construction workers due to the Delta variant.
The United Kingdom is currently experiencing fuel shortages partly due to the pandemic disrupting the truck driver qualification process, according to Reuters correspondent, William James (@WJames_Reuters). With no new truck drivers entering the workforce, companies cannot deliver fuel to stations. In fact, BP says nearly a third of their UK fuel stations are currently running on empty. This adds costs and delays to an already tight and expensive freight market and has cascading impact on manufacturers, procurement teams, carriers and more.
With the holiday season quickly approaching, retail brands are worrying about shipping delays, staffing shortages and increased prices. Some companies are even urging consumers to start their holiday shopping now. CBS News Correspondent Carter Evans (@carterevans) spoke with Port of Los Angeles director Gene Seroka, who says shipping traffic is up 50% from pre-pandemic levels. Seroka tells Evans that “if you’re shopping for the holidays, start now.”
Or, as Dan Johnston, CEO of WorkStep, a startup whose software helps companies hire and retain supply-chain workers, told the Wall Street Journal: “When companies are looking ahead to peak season…the word I’m hearing most often is ‘terrified.’”
Even Christmas trees are on the chopping block this year, as growers are seeing an increase in demand. Some artificial tree manufacturers have already reported increasing prices due to higher than usual shipping costs. CEO of Balsam Hill, California said they “paying as much as 300% more per shipping container this year,” forcing them to raise prices.
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