Supply Chain Issues 2022 - What to Expect and How to Prepare
Recent news has been mentioning a lot terms which are foreign to many of us - such as supply chain disruption, supply chain logistics, and more. To the regular consumer, what does this mean, that the global supply chain is disrupted? Can it largely affect an individual or does it only concern governments and business owners? To answer these questions firstly, yes! We are all affected by the recent events involving the global supply chain.
In this article, we will be diving deeper into the global supply chain disruptions in 2022 and the factors that enabled this to occur. Moreover, we will be discussing what you should expect during supply chain disruptions and what you can do to prepare for the effects of it. Keep reading to learn more.
What are Supply Chains?
Before delving into the factors and effects of disruptions on the global supply chains, you may ask: “What even are supply chains?” Supply chains are networks of corporations and individuals who are part of the production of goods and delivery to consumers. Supply chains are responsible for bringing goods and supplies from all over the world to your retailers and eventually to your tables at home. Thus, any interruptions or challenges that happen to the supply chain will cause an interruption to an individual’s purchase of goods.
Today, the world is experiencing a supply chain crisis that causes challenges for global supply and the world economy such as the short supply of food, labor disruptions, and other problems. These problems are a chain reaction from the problem that stemmed from various problems affecting the global supply chains.
What is the Current Status of the Global Supply Chain?
Supply chain disruptions are defined as the interruptions or blocks of the free flow of materials, consumer goods, and products. Historically, the worst supply chain crisis was during 1972 under the Nixon administration. But at the start of the pandemic history has forever been altered and we are experiencing the worst global supply chain crisis yet. Now, it is getting out of hand to the point where China, one of the major suppliers in the world, has been closing down its production facilities thus causing a ripple effect all over the globe.
Since July of the year 2022, the United States of America has experienced two quarters of GDP decline consecutively, thus a shift in the economic activity in the country specifically interest rates. Economists predict that recession in the next 6-12 months will have an unexpected effect not only on the country but also on the global economy. Prices continue to be at an all-time high as fuel prices are still high caused of ongoing Russia's war against Ukraine forcing countries to seek other sources of fuel.
As a strategy to cope, data shows that many manufacturers are aiming to bring long-term resiliency to the supply chain despite the creation of short-term challenges. However, labor shortages are still seen to be the greatest challenge lately with all-time low unemployment and low labor participation which is significantly affecting the supply chain. Lead times are also expected to remain extended and 80% higher compared to pre-pandemic levels. However, it is significantly higher with 140% in lead times of electrical and gas utility segments. These are all affected by labor shortages, shortages in materials, transportation costs, container rates, and consumer demand.
Disruption in logistics is one of the main causes of the disruption of the global supply chain. Labor is one of the main pillars of the supply chain and thus a labor shortage will greatly affect the movement of the economy. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the movement of people has been limited which has created a ripple effect on major logistics and then eventually across the global supply chain. This has caused massive backlogs in the flow of goods—piling up and eventually posing challenges to various companies and businesses.
The lack of labor has also caused production delays during the COVID-19 pandemic where manufacturing facilities have competed for the supply of raw materials and logistics leading up to significant shortages—empty shelves and long lead times for consumers.
Supply chain issues create greater problems such as the risk of an economic recession in the country which then will affect food security and the safety of the people. Supply chain issues are expected to continue for another year and are expected to end once world problems such as the pandemic and the war end.
What Should you Expect During a Supply Chain Disruption?
During a supply chain crisis, a conflict between companies and businesses will arise as competition for logistics, raw materials, supplies, and many more factors heighten. This will eventually cause a rise in the prices of most goods that consumers and customers usually buy, especially our basic needs. We see this now with the inflation that we are currently experiencing as a nation and the whole world. Instability in markets—consumer demand and supply in food, fuel, technology, and other consumer goods.
The lack of global resilience in the supply chain is causing disruption in global economies. This also greatly affects the sustainability that customers expect. Moreover, operations and production become significantly more expensive causing inflexibility in the systems of production.
Because of how largely scaled the problem of a supply chain crisis is today, we as individual consumers will significantly feel the shift and inflation in the economy as well. We have heard of various food shortages, fertilizer shortages, and even fuel shortages in the news. This then greatly puts us and our families at risk, especially when it comes to our basic needs.
What can you do when there is a Supply Chain Disruption?
Panic buying is not the solution when dealing with the effects of inflation caused by the supply chain crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us how much people can be when dealing with the demand and sense of urgency. However, this is very inefficient in the long run. Dealing with the prices and the costs of our basic needs, and even for a food shortage, will need a lot of planning and budgeting.
Researching is a very useful method that serves as the first step towards your preparedness. You may start with what types of food you can include in your prepper pantry you and your family can enjoy while still being prepared. Buying emergency food in bulk with a reliable shelf life can also benefit you in long-term emergencies. You may also start with planning how much food you need to store to survive certain periods of emergency, whether it may be bug-out SHTF situations or long-term emergencies. You may also apply methods such as learning how to DIY food prep. Canning, freeze-drying, and preserving your own food can help with this one.
Learning various skills such as basic handyman work is an investment and can benefit you when times come when you have no one to ask to do it for you. Being self-sufficient in fixing appliances or repairing your home can significantly put you at an advantage in times of emergency. The key here is to be self-independent and remove yourself from a lifestyle of being reliant on services offered by businesses. You may also learn how to grow your own food resources such as farming for your own greens—making you less reliant on the currently fragile global supply chain.