Wheeling, W.Va. (WTRF) – Bottlenecks. Shortages. Backlogs.
Words that are becoming increasingly common as a supply chain crisis hits America at the worst possible time.
You’ve seen the pictures on social media of empty store shelves, even for basic items like bread and toilet paper.
So where did all this come from?
One economist says one big factor is the federal budget deficit, which is increasing demand to the point where suppliers just can’t handle it.
So you begin to see bottlenecks here and there. It could be one port, it could be truck drivers, it could be anything.Juan Jauregui, Associate Professor of Economics, Franciscan University
And what’s worse—those shortages create more shortages.
Goods fly off the shelves because it’s not clear if they’re going to be there when people need them.
That also applies to businesses, who are often ordering things they don’t even need.
If you’re a purchaser or manager in a company, you buy whatever you can because you don’t know if you’re going to need it next month.Juan Jauregui, Associate Professor of Economics, Franciscan University
Throw in the ongoing shortage of labor, and you have a market mess that won’t sort itself out overnight.
That’s a problem for business owners like Jonathan Napier of Nail City Record, who ships vinyl worldwide.
He says the COVID situation and the economy has prevented him from getting his products to other parts of the world for months.
The cost of shipping even a flat, lightweight record is also going up.
There hasn’t been too many ways that we’ve been able to cut down on our shippingJonathan Napier, Nail City Record, Wheeling
costs, unfortunately that gets factored in to the cost of the product.
As far as timing goes, he says the earlier the better with your online orders.
The boom in internet sales is still ongoing, so keep in mind you’ll be competing with other customers for shipping speed.
So as we get closer to the holidays, we really recommend that people start to anticipate delays, try to have everything shipped by the first week of December if at all possible.Jonathan Napier, Nail City Record, Wheeling
Napier says in-person buying is still strong in the Friendly City—so keep in mind that you have shopping options.
And don’t get too hung up on the shortages—we’ve seen them before, and a few late shipping trucks have never stopped Christmas from coming.
Each of the bottlenecks will be taken care of. But that takes time.Juan Jauregui, Associate Professor of Economics, Franciscan University