Social Media Manager/Online Custodian
10 February 2022
Toilet paper, coffee, and diamonds; three very random objects that all have been affected by the supply chain. If you have been grocery shopping this year then you know how scarce certain items are in stores.
Supply chains are the systems between companies and their suppliers that make and distribute products to buyers. When certain parts of this system are shut down or limited, it’s difficult for products to be transported to buyers.
One of the business teachers at Atholton, Mr. Lathroum explains the issue best. “Most of our products come from the U.K and China, and they are [also] shut down from COVID so they aren’t producing products. The products that they are producing and putting on ships, we don’t have the port capacity right now to get them into the country, so they are just floating out in the ocean right now not even able to get in here. We are also missing truck drivers nationwide because there is that shortage going on as well. So we cant move the products around.”
The biggest thing affected by supply chain shortages is chips. Not the ones sold by Lays or UTZ, but the ones found in cars, computers, and gaming consoles. The demand for microchips has prevented the advancement–and distribution–of most technology because they are unable to make any new electronics without these chips. The lack of supplies is also predicted to cost the U.S. economy around $240 million in 2021 (According to CBS News).
Another thing that the supply chain shortage has affected is the distribution of packages. Amazon alone delivered over 4 billion packages in 2020 (According to Statista). The high demand for the service combined with the lack of workers due to COVID-19 has caused packages to be extremely delayed. Keegan Fife, a sophomore at AHS, commented on how he “ordered a package recently from China, so its ability to ship here is taking way longer than expected.” His package has been in transit for 12 days as of January 26th.
Fife also mentioned their knowledge on how the diamond industry is affected by the supply chain shortage.“There’s a lot less diamonds coming in that are able to be shipped, and even less of them being able to be shipped here. So that type of jewelry spiked in price and they are now harder to get.”
Inflation is also at an all time high because of the shortages. With the scarcity of most products, prices have increased heavily. Mr. Lathroum explained that,
“Most of the tools that the federal reserve has to deal with hyperinflation usually discourage spending, and that’s how you stop inflation. So the federal reserve doesn’t really have the tools to deal with this, it’s kinda like the federal reserve is going into a battle without any weapons.”Mr. Lathroum
But there is some hope on the horizon. Mr. Lathroum predicts that after this crash ends, we will hopefully, “get better with dealing with the supply chain. The hope would be that we would make changes so that if anything like this happens again we would be more prepared. Like for instance, finding those other avenues for suppliers ahead of time incase. I would hope we create contingency plans, because we are creeping out of this now.”