Supply Chain Disruptions
Posted on 01/19/2022 at 01:17 PM by Blog Committee
Your questions about the supply chain disruptions, answered.
In recent months, the trucking industry (and everyone else) has been shaken by pandemic-induced supply chain disruptions around the world. Industry leaders and market experts are still working on a solution. For now, here’s what we know:
What’s causing the disruptions?
At the beginning of the pandemic, factories around the world (especially in parts of Asia and Europe) were forced to close or reduce production as workers were contracting the virus. Some shipping companies responded by dialing back their own operations. But customers have not stopped buying goods. So now, those factories and shippers are struggling to catch up to pre-pandemic demand.
What effect does this have on the public?
Bottlenecks at U.S. ports and backlogged production at factories around the world have created a short supply of some items. That scarcity has caused some prices to rise and shipping delays on many products, especially around the holidays. In potentially life-threatening instances, shipments of food and medical equipment have been delayed in South Asia and Africa.
What goods are in short supply in the U.S.?
Stores have been short of just about anything you can think of: athletic gear, household goods, electronics, etc. In the fall, MarketWatch reported that shipping issues have largely affected the distribution of toilet paper (notably the first pandemic shortage), toys, furniture, bicycles and consumer electronics like TVs, laptops and smart watches.
When will it end?
Honestly, nobody knows. Experts have said that disruptions will get worse before they get better. And U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has said issues will persist through the duration of the pandemic.
“There are definitely going to continue to be issues, especially as long as the pandemic continues, right? If you have, for example, the third largest container port in the world in China shutting down because of a COVID outbreak in late summer, you’ll feel that in the fall here on the West Coast,” he told reporters in October.
How does this affect truck drivers?
In early 2020, professional drivers were getting fewer miles due to the slowdown in operations at factories and decreased demand for shippers. As factories begin ramping up production to meet increased demand and ports around the world try to address bottlenecks, truck drivers are a hot commodity. Driving schools are recruiting more students and existing CDL-A truck drivers are seeing pay raises, added incentives and more miles.
Don Hummer Trucking, for instance, offers Class A truck drivers scheduled positions where they can earn guaranteed weekly pay and regular home time. If you’re looking for a better truck driving job, learn more about our regional, dedicated, OTR and teams opportunities today!