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Author Topic: 2021 Supply Disruptions  (Read 23476 times)

ZLoth

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2021 Supply Disruptions
« on: April 13, 2021, 03:31:44 AM »

Is it my imagination, but does it seem that the during 2020 and 2020+1, the supply disruptions seem to be more pronounced than usual? Yes, Covid has been one of the main factors, but other factors are coming into play now. Consider:
At least we're not talking about toilet paper, paper towels, headsets, and webcams at the moment. Maybe this will lead to a boom in fixing stuff up when it's broken rather than tossing it away and replacing it.
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Re: 2021 Supply Disruptions
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2021, 07:44:33 AM »

I was under the impression the toilet paper issue wasnít a capacity production issue but rather the demand dramatically increasing over a short time span?
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Re: 2021 Supply Disruptions
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2021, 08:32:41 AM »

I was under the impression the toilet paper issue wasnít a capacity production issue but rather the demand dramatically increasing over a short time span?

You are correct.  Before COVID, the primary demand for toilet paper was industrial-sized commercial rolls used in hospitals, office buildings, factories, etc.  Over time, the value of that product grew such so as to add smaller shoppes and restaurants.  After COVID, the primary demand shifted to traditional household size rolls.  Which are not only made in other factories, but so is the packaging (including the paper core).  I believe there was also a transportation issue here, but I hesitate to discuss without the detail.
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Re: 2021 Supply Disruptions
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2021, 08:36:28 AM »

Bicycle parts. Been like this since last Spring.

Apparently extra demand is the bigger issue than crimped supply.
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GaryV

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Re: 2021 Supply Disruptions
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2021, 08:40:30 AM »

It confounds me still that there are some temporary but wide-spread shortages as you walk the grocery store aisles.

OK, I understand why TP and sanitizer and other products were in short supply when demand surged.  (Ironically, we now often see BOGO on hand sanitizer and wipes - the supply chain overreacted and now people are buying less, as they use up their hoarded supplies.)

But why some weeks is nearly the entire spice section is empty?  A shortage of a few things I can understand - shipment of cinnamon or pepper or something got delayed and the supply ran out.  But suddenly 80-90% of all spices are sold out? 

Other commodities follow this pattern from time to time.
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webny99

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Re: 2021 Supply Disruptions
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2021, 08:45:31 AM »

Yes, supply chain disruptions are popping up seemingly in every industry.

I'm surprised we made it this far without mentioning the elephant in the room, er.. ship in the canal, rather.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: 2021 Supply Disruptions
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2021, 08:59:05 AM »

...But why some weeks is nearly the entire spice section is empty?  A shortage of a few things I can understand - shipment of cinnamon or pepper or something got delayed and the supply ran out.  But suddenly 80-90% of all spices are sold out? 

Other commodities follow this pattern from time to time.


My wife has noticed this, especially with McCormick spices.  It's a seemingly odd issue.  Sure, people are cooking more at home, but the supply for other things has mostly been OK.  Maybe a few hiccups on occasion.  Or a run on Mac & Cheese...which isn't exactly something associated with spices.

...A related story shows at least a one year lead time if you want to construct a pool.

Yep - there was quite a run last year on pools.  Up my way, one person I know is finally getting a pool installed now...after putting down the deposit on it last April or May.  I've had a pool, and at first with no one allowed in the pool store for water testing and such, you had to have them come out.  They got to some people, but not everyone, and when the stores opened back up for water testing and purchasing it was a fairly big cluster for a while.  I stopped in my local pool store the other day for something unrelated to the pool but I knew they had the product, and talking with them they said there appears to be a lot of people opening their pools early this year.

Quote
Maybe this will lead to a boom in fixing stuff up when it's broken rather than tossing it away and replacing it.

With replacement being so easy via the internet, and repair places few and far in between, we'll continue to be a throwaway society.
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webny99

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Re: 2021 Supply Disruptions
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2021, 09:08:13 AM »

...  I stopped in my local pool store the other day for something unrelated to the pool but I knew they had the product, and talking with them they said there appears to be a lot of people opening their pools early this year.

If anything that has to do with the weather, not the pandemic. Spring appears to be arriving a full month earlier than normal here.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: 2021 Supply Disruptions
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2021, 09:23:14 AM »

Weight sets and exercise equipment mostly disappeared during COVID.  It is becoming common again to see parts in stores but they still move relatively fast. 
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jeffandnicole

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Re: 2021 Supply Disruptions
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2021, 09:51:09 AM »

...  I stopped in my local pool store the other day for something unrelated to the pool but I knew they had the product, and talking with them they said there appears to be a lot of people opening their pools early this year.

If anything that has to do with the weather, not the pandemic. Spring appears to be arriving a full month earlier than normal here.

The timing of spring seems normal for down here, and no one is swimming in 60 degree weather. Since people are continuing to work from home, they'll rather look out at a nice swimming pool rather than a tarpped piece of plastic, which is accounting for the earlier openings.
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catch22

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Re: 2021 Supply Disruptions
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2021, 10:38:36 AM »

It confounds me still that there are some temporary but wide-spread shortages as you walk the grocery store aisles.

OK, I understand why TP and sanitizer and other products were in short supply when demand surged.  (Ironically, we now often see BOGO on hand sanitizer and wipes - the supply chain overreacted and now people are buying less, as they use up their hoarded supplies.)

But why some weeks is nearly the entire spice section is empty?  A shortage of a few things I can understand - shipment of cinnamon or pepper or something got delayed and the supply ran out.  But suddenly 80-90% of all spices are sold out? 

Other commodities follow this pattern from time to time.


There hasn't been a single weekly trip to our grocery store since last April where we haven't come up empty on at least one item on our list.  That's not to say we've been seriously inconvenienced since we can usually find a different brand/type/quantity or whatever, but it is frustrating at times.
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Dirt Roads

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Re: 2021 Supply Disruptions
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2021, 11:26:09 AM »

I'm surprised we made it this far without mentioning the elephant in the room, er.. ship in the canal, rather.

It was the funniest thing I've ever heard.  After a radio news update in Raleigh about pulp supply delays for Kimberly-Clark due to the ship lodged in the Suez Canal, the announcer commented that "everything was getting blamed on the Suez Canal".  His producer came on and blurted over top of him "Yeah, the Suez Canal is why Roy Williams retired from UNC".
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vdeane

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Re: 2021 Supply Disruptions
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2021, 12:59:42 PM »

I think it's safe to say that the pandemic thoroughly discredited the idea of "just in time" shipping, which basically relied on the concept of nothing ever happening to change demand or disrupt the ability of a product to get somewhere on time.  While it led to greater corporate profits, it basically hollowed out our capacity for dealing with any kind of disruption to anything, and IMO it should be illegal.

It confounds me still that there are some temporary but wide-spread shortages as you walk the grocery store aisles.

OK, I understand why TP and sanitizer and other products were in short supply when demand surged.  (Ironically, we now often see BOGO on hand sanitizer and wipes - the supply chain overreacted and now people are buying less, as they use up their hoarded supplies.)

But why some weeks is nearly the entire spice section is empty?  A shortage of a few things I can understand - shipment of cinnamon or pepper or something got delayed and the supply ran out.  But suddenly 80-90% of all spices are sold out? 

Other commodities follow this pattern from time to time.


There hasn't been a single weekly trip to our grocery store since last April where we haven't come up empty on at least one item on our list.  That's not to say we've been seriously inconvenienced since we can usually find a different brand/type/quantity or whatever, but it is frustrating at times.

Unfortunately it seems grocery stores never recovered fully from March 2020.  Even when items are their, there's usually a lot less available, meaning that any shipping disruption or demand increase results in bare shelves.  Take the bread I buy - the store I go to has capacity for 12 loaves on the shelf of the brand/variety I get, and pre-pandemic, usually had around 9 at any given time.  This past year, they almost never have more than 3-5, which they disguise by pushing everything to the front.  It's a similar story for eggs - what used to be a shelf 5 rows deep is now only 2, with everything pushed to the front.
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Takumi

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Re: 2021 Supply Disruptions
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2021, 01:00:16 PM »

Itís been more and more difficult getting cheap tires in stock at my shop.
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jayhawkco

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Re: 2021 Supply Disruptions
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2021, 01:08:46 PM »

The weirdest one I had was Worcestershire Sauce.  We normally order our groceries online and then the app lets us know what isn't coming and/or needs substitutions, but I wasn't offered any subs for the Worcestershire.  Thinking clearly that had to be some kind of mistake, I went into the store, but sure enough, no Heinz, no Lea & Perrins, etc.  Another grocery store nearby had some, but I thought that was one particularly odd one to be out of.

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Re: 2021 Supply Disruptions
« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2021, 01:52:42 PM »

Lumber prices are incredibly high right now because of high demand. Lots of people being forced to stay at home gets people thinking "Hey, I'd like to add a wing onto the house".
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Re: 2021 Supply Disruptions
« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2021, 02:44:51 PM »

Unfortunately it seems grocery stores never recovered fully from March 2020.  Even when items are their, there's usually a lot less available, meaning that any shipping disruption or demand increase results in bare shelves.  Take the bread I buy - the store I go to has capacity for 12 loaves on the shelf of the brand/variety I get, and pre-pandemic, usually had around 9 at any given time.  This past year, they almost never have more than 3-5, which they disguise by pushing everything to the front.  It's a similar story for eggs - what used to be a shelf 5 rows deep is now only 2, with everything pushed to the front.

That's not stores disguising, at least not directly. That's called facing the shelves so the product is at the front, easier for people to see and pick up.

I worked grocery last year up 'til I left for college and over last winter. It was chaos during mid-March and into April, but most products at the store I was at we had no trouble with, unless the producer or distribution center outright discontinued it.
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Re: 2021 Supply Disruptions
« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2021, 03:06:18 PM »

There's even a shortage of guitars! I went to buy a guitar with my youth pastor a couple of months ago and the first place we looked had no acoustics in my price range; they were only selling higher-end guitars because that's all the factories were making because they are more profitable. The owner of the shop said he's put out orders but they keep getting delayed or left unfilled. Eventually I went to a Guitar Center which had what I was looking for, but even there the shelves looked empty.
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hbelkins

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Re: 2021 Supply Disruptions
« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2021, 03:18:37 PM »

I was under the impression the toilet paper issue wasnít a capacity production issue but rather the demand dramatically increasing over a short time span?

You are correct.  Before COVID, the primary demand for toilet paper was industrial-sized commercial rolls used in hospitals, office buildings, factories, etc.  Over time, the value of that product grew such so as to add smaller shoppes and restaurants.  After COVID, the primary demand shifted to traditional household size rolls.  Which are not only made in other factories, but so is the packaging (including the paper core).  I believe there was also a transportation issue here, but I hesitate to discuss without the detail.

And there's definitely a quality difference between bathroom stationery meant for commercial use and what's meant for home use

At the grocery store last week, I saw a huge display of Heinz ketchup on sale. Later that day, I read about a supposed ketchup shortage.

One thing I noticed after the first stimulus checks went out last year; the Jackson Walmart was completely out of television sets. It was pretty easy to see what people spend their free money on.
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jayhawkco

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Re: 2021 Supply Disruptions
« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2021, 03:29:44 PM »

At the grocery store last week, I saw a huge display of Heinz ketchup on sale. Later that day, I read about a supposed ketchup shortage.

It's not actually a ketchup shortage.  It's a shortage of ketchup packets with all the takeout that's happened over the past year.  Bulk ketchup is not a problem.

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Re: 2021 Supply Disruptions
« Reply #20 on: April 13, 2021, 05:03:35 PM »

At the grocery store last week, I saw a huge display of Heinz ketchup on sale. Later that day, I read about a supposed ketchup shortage.

It's not actually a ketchup shortage.  It's a shortage of ketchup packets with all the takeout that's happened over the past year.  Bulk ketchup is not a problem.

Chris

Is there a corresponding shortage of mustard/mayo/horseradish/BBQ/etc. packets as well? All media accounts I've seen refer to a "ketchup shortage," not a "condiment packaging shortage."
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Re: 2021 Supply Disruptions
« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2021, 05:12:25 PM »

A/V equipment.  Not only was factory production in China disrupted for months, but there has been a concurrent demand spike since so many things are going online.  Just when churches are needing to upgrade their sound board and camera due to shifting online, for example, they're unable to do so because everything's out of stock.
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jayhawkco

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Re: 2021 Supply Disruptions
« Reply #22 on: April 14, 2021, 02:03:13 AM »

At the grocery store last week, I saw a huge display of Heinz ketchup on sale. Later that day, I read about a supposed ketchup shortage.

It's not actually a ketchup shortage.  It's a shortage of ketchup packets with all the takeout that's happened over the past year.  Bulk ketchup is not a problem.

Chris

Is there a corresponding shortage of mustard/mayo/horseradish/BBQ/etc. packets as well? All media accounts I've seen refer to a "ketchup shortage," not a "condiment packaging shortage."

Not that I'm aware of.  I've ordered them for my restaurant and not had a problem.

Chris

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Re: 2021 Supply Disruptions
« Reply #23 on: April 14, 2021, 02:52:30 AM »

It makes sense that ketchup packets would be short, because people dip things like fries in ketchup, which requires sending packets along with the order. Mustard/mayo/horseradish et al are more likely to be applied at the restaurant before delivery, and of course are bought in bulk containers by the restaurant.
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