Supply chain disruptions are defined as the interruptions of logistical movement of goods in the process of supply of raw materials from the supplier to manufacturer to retailer and lastly consumer. Supply chain is an important element in manufacturing and production to retail and consumerism in any economy. However, the pandemic has caused major disruptions across the world that has impacted the prompt and timely delivery of goods to different milestones in the supply chain.
The supply chain disruptions and crisis started with minute responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, which in turn snowballed into major supply chain disruptions. This was further exacerbated by the sudden surge in consumerism which created numerous issues, from logistical bottlenecks from port backlogs to customs clearances that were delayed due to employee shortages.
The added pressures from importers to send more cargo despite the lack of vessel movements, addition woes of labour shortages and factory closures has wreaked havoc in the manufacturing and retail world with supply chain disruptions being a core pain point. Figuring out what caused the supply chain disruptions is easy, with the crisis referred by many as the “shortages of everything” as the domino effect has been felt in almost all areas of industries. Raw materials, factory and labour, lack of logistics personnel especially drivers, congestions at ports due to COVID-19 regulations/restrictions, higher demand for ocean and air shipments to the lack of infrastructure needed to handle this type of emergency, you name it, it’s all to blame.
With certain country’s consumerism being at an all time high, the fact that most logistical requirements and vessels are not located logistically to keep up with demand and not to mention the rising logistics and freight costs because of it, there is really not a lot that can be done. These supply chain disruptions are increasingly causing inflation in different economies with rising costs of living hurting countries gravely.
Logistics experts encourage consumers to purchase goods earlier for seasonal items to avoid the bottlenecks and delays. This was seen in the last few weeks with Christmas deliveries being late. There were many retailers that pushed for marketing campaigns that called for early bird discounts and promotions.
Further logistics experts are finding it hard to predict when the global crises and supply chain disruptions will come to an end, though some expect it to be early 2022 or even 2023.