How Shortages Have Turned the Logistics World Upside Down

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, most would say the world of logistics was pretty boring. Global, regional, and local trade pretty much ran as it should – submit your order and the package would arrive on time. Now, if you are running a small business, you might get half of the inventory you ordered or nothing at all. Shipping costs are soaring and delays are common. Items being out of stock are the norm instead of the exception. Global brands are slashing production yet demand for their products is stronger than ever. So, why are all of these shortages occurring? The answer is in the logistics. From test tubes and microchips to the latest Pokémon cards, it is difficult to get goodsright now. But the root cause is major disruptions in supply, labor, and demand.  

Supply

Many affluent households weathered the Covid-19 pandemic playing their Nintendo Switches and riding their Peloton bikes. They shopped on Amazon and sent gifts to loved ones via Etsy. Logistically speaking, this spike in consumption stressed the market by depleting supply and overwhelming delivery services. While many experts predicted the supply of raw materials and goods would bounce back, it never did. The supply side remains unpredictable and interconnected in ways we took for granted. Companies simply did not have enough products in reserve and many relied on parts or raw materials that could no longer be replenished. They hit a wall.  

Labor Market

Nicknamed “The Great Resignation,” the summer of 2021 marked a period where millions upon millions of people quit their jobs. The logistics field has been particularly affected. A lack of viable employees directly impacts areas of the supply chain like vendors, warehouses, and retailers. Trucks may reach the warehouse on time but sit without being unloaded. Boats can’t dock for weeks because crews aren’t available at port to work them. Entire ports can be shut down due to virus outbreaks. All of these factors make it difficult to attract and retain front-line logistics workers.  

Sky-high Demand

As the new normal of on-demand ordering from computers and mobile devices rises, so does the demand for logistics. Interconnected business units across far distances had to innovate in order to deliver. Worker shortages mixed with a short supply of raw materials and finished goods continue to create a logistical nightmare. Trying to meet the demand of a normal year is tough but what happens when millions and millions of people now work from home? Shortage. While there is no end in sight, logistics professionals across the globe have innovated like never before. Through technology and long manhours, production lines continue to move forward. Covid-19 forced many workers to stay home but perseverance is winning the fight. As virus outbreaks minimize and vaccination rates increase, the shortages lessen. The question we cannot answer yet is, has the world changed for good? Will households stock up on items in fear of running out? Is there another pandemic lurking around the corner? Regardless of these possibilities, Milano Courier is dedicated to high-quality logistics. Our focus on professionalism and safety is relentless. Call or email us today about how we can be your trusted delivery partner for the long term.

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