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Supply chain nightmare rages on

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 7:47 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 13, 2021 at 7:51 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The supply chain nightmare rages on making it harder to find certain items at the grocery store, higher gas prices, and delays in deliveries.

Experts say things will likely get worse before they get better.

The supply chain refers to all of the people and processes involved in getting goods and services from a manufacturer to the consumer.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused a breakdown in that process, and just as things were starting to look like they were getting better, the Delta variant showed up.

Professor and Chair of the Department of Accounting and Finance at UAB, Dr. Stephanie Yates, said the process of reopening after the world shut down because of COVID is taking longer than expected, and while the U.S. and other countries are working to get back to normal, that isn’t necessarily possible in some other countries we do business with.

Dr. Yates said some parts of Asia have had to suspend production, manufacturing, shipping, and assembly lines as they continue dealing with COVID-19 and its variants, which means some items we use on a regular basis are either unavailable or there’s a limited supply. When that happens the price of nearly everything goes up causing inflation.

“That’s causing a kink in our supply chain and we’re not able to get goods and services and so often times it’s those high-tech products like those semiconductor chips that are made overseas. Maybe an entire port is shutting down, so they’ve manufactured those raw materials that we need for our end products, but we can’t get them because they’re stuck in a port somewhere, and so, we’re having lots of shipping problems,” Dr. Yates explained.

Dr. Yates is choosing to look at the bright side saying because many supply chain issues boil down to shipping or transportation, now is a great time to get into the trucking industry and you may be able to negotiate the salary you want because demand is so high.

As for when these supply chain issues may subside, Dr. Yates said she doesn’t have a crystal ball, but she anticipates it could be the end of next year before we start to see any relief.

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