Supply chain leaders warn of major shortages
The International Chamber of Shipping sent an open letter to the United Nations on Wednesday demanding changes to transport worker conditions. A worker shortage and constantly changing requirements have strained the global supply chain for more than a year. Ports shut down because of the pandemic, and many crew members have had to stay on shore leave due to travel restrictions. They have also had to get multiple vaccines for the coronavirus since requirements vary from country to country. Truck drivers face complex quarantine and testing requirements across the world, which delays deliveries. The challenges have caused burnout among shipping workers, many of whom have quit or are threatening to.
How bad are the bottlenecks? Companies usually start stocking up in October for the rush of holiday shopping, but the International Chamber of Shipping said the supply chain is maxed out trying to deliver overdue orders. A new S&P Global Market Intelligence report said vendors worldwide will struggle to pay the rising costs for goods that might not arrive in time for Christmas. Delays and closures have caused Asian factories to slow or halt production, especially of technology products and auto equipment. These shortages have contributed to rising vehicle costs and inflation.
Dig deeper: From the WORLD archives, read Daniel James Devine’s report about how COVID-19 has disrupted the supply chain.
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