Shoppers looking forward to this year’s holiday season should prepare for higher prices, shipping delays and even the unavailability of certain items.
That’s because the global supply chain — the international production and distribution of goods and services — has been disrupted by a multitude of issues, including the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing consumer demand, storms and a shortage of everything from shipping containers to employees.
Just as the coronavirus has quickly spread around the globe, so too have economic disruptions to the global supply chain, according to Maciek Nowak, interim dean of Loyola University’s Quinlan School of Business.
“If a large manufacturing hub in China slows down, that is felt everywhere,” Nowak said. “If there’s an uptick in demand for a certain set of products, like toilet paper last year, that has an impact on everything else — all those products are traveling on the same trucks. So we’ve been battling supply chain uncertainty for well over a year now.”
Nowak said he expects companies to better prepare themselves from future disruptions by increasing their inventories if they haven’t already.
Lawrence Officer, economics professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Jeffrey Haushalter, partner at Chicago Consulting, join Nowak and “Chicago Tonight” to unpack the supply chain situation.