The student news website of Omaha Central High School

Supply chain issues hurt local businesses

March 31, 2022

The pandemic has changed so many aspects  of life from increased screen time  to not seeing  strangers’ mouths.  A more indirect change has been the strange  out-of-stock items.  Random products and goods are suddenly impossible to get.  Pet nail clippers, mason jars, pottery glazes, rollerblades, are a few of the products that have become sharply more expensive.   And its not just an inconvenience—supply chain problems that begin in Shanghai are hurting Omaha businesses. 

    Dinkers, a beloved neighborhood  diner has been feeling this  strain.  “It is very hard to be consistent right now with food products,” says owner Josh Mum.  “They are always out of  stock or a manufacturer quits because a lack of employees,” he explains.  The home of  “ Omaha’s Best Burger” is struggling to find chicken, paper, produce, and even ketchup.    The challenge with supply scarcity  is , “Its always something something  different” says Mum 

But what exactly is this mysterious  issue with the supply chain?  And what even is a supply chain? A supply chain is the series of steps needed to make and distribute something.   And its actually not one issue, but a perfect storm of annoyances. The obvious being increased worker quarantines meaning less production, especially in southeast  Asian countries like China who produce much of the world’s goods,  while at the same time having the strictest COVID protocols.  The second comes back to the beginning of the pandemic when certain suppliers slashed production in anticipation for losses and now that things are catching back up, still do not have the necessary inventory.   Also, since  demand for certain goods such as home workout equipment or gaming systems  has swung back into force, factories are ordering more from their suppliers who are buying more from their own suppliers.  This has led to the cargo ship problem of being stuck at ports, unable to be unloaded.  Not only is it  worker shortages, which are their own contributing problem, but a lack of any space to unload the unprecedented amount of goods arriving on these ships.  Its not a simple dilemma, but everything does come back to the pandemic.    Worker shortages from those on sick leave, inadequate supply of specific pieces, and most recently, shipping bottlenecks from increased demand,  are all to blame for your late Amazon package.   

 

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