How the supply chain may steal Christmas


Daniel Golovakha

The global supply chain has been under immense pressure due to struggles with COVID and lack of workers leading to shortages and prices increasing in many regions, only getting worse as Christmas approaches. In America, poor conditions and dissatisfaction with their jobs has led many truckers to quit their jobs. According to Kelsey Koburg of Fox Business, “The worker shortage that has plagued nearly every industry has resulted in a shortage of 80,000 truck drivers.”

The severe lack of drivers, delays from Chinese ports due to COVID , and increased consumer spending has created a perfect storm for mass delays in the supply chain system. In many regions of the United States, products are missing from shelves and common goods have seen large increases in price due to low supply and high demand. Panic from the crisis itself has caused the situation to worsen as many buyers stock up on groceries, causing shortages in regions of the US where supplies are low to begin with.

Increasing prices worry many and consumers across the country prepare for the situation to worsen by buying goods while the prices remain relatively low.According to shipping expert Peter Sand, the crisis will only worsen as we approach the holiday season and may last “Until the early parts of 2023.” If the crisis continues, holidays like Christmas may be cancelled for many as demand for gifts will increase and the supply cannot keep up with the demand and many American families may go without certain gifts they want.

Tan Weizhen of Yahoo! News said “As the holiday season approaches, those in the supply chain industry have warned that there’s likely to be a shortage of goods, or prices will rocket due to high demand and low supply.”

Demand for products, especially online, has increased greatly as many Americans have received stimulus checks and are spending most of their time at home due to COVID restrictions. This has led to increased strain on an already troubled supply chain as all parts of the chain from factories to transportation have struggled with COVID restrictions.

For example, the port of Yantian in China closed after just one case of COVID due to strict laws regarding the pandemic leading to increased strain on other Chinese ports creating a domino effect that is now being felt here. Ports are currently running 24 hours a day every day to catch up, but this is not enough to resolve the global issue as all parts of the supply chain are experiencing difficulties doing their jobs. To stop the situation from worsening action needs to be taken immediately by the government to control prices and raise them to lower demand for products, reducing strain on the supply chain and allowing it to recover as the world continues to fight the pandemic. Setting price floors and ceilings on products will diminish demand for many products that are straining the supply chain and allow the industry to catch up with overwhelming delays that have been plaguing businesses and consumers across the world.


Koberg, Kelsey (2021) Supply chain experts weigh in on causes, solutions for backlog Fox Business

Swaminathan, Aarthi (2021) Supply chain issues could ‘last until the early parts of 2023’ shipping analyst explains Yahoo! News

Tan, Weizhen (2021) Panic ordering by retailers is making the supply chain situation ‘even worse’ CNBC