In 2020, the coronavirus had been an important catalyst to the start of supply chain troubles. By 2021, supply chain disruptions have become a norm as port shutdowns, shipping restrictions, and shortages become norm for shippers around the world. Now, it seems the worst is not over as new data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) show a trend of growing disruptions looming over the holiday seasons.
In the graph provided by Statista, we see a huge spike at the beginning of 2020 in the supply chain as countries quickly moved to close their borders against Covid-19. The Eurozone was hit worst, followed by the US, then China; however, we can see the supply chain quickly bounced back as demand for shippers grew exponentially. Now, the trouble started when a labor-strapped supply chain across all segments (ie. rail, maritime, air) started to need to take on more and more demand as people ordered items from home.
From 2020 to 2021, we can see supply chain disruptions increase linearly as shipping volume grows exponentially. Of course, there are a few major catalysts to the disruptions like the Evergreen- Suez Canal incident, Vietnam port shutdown, or the port congestions plaguing the West Coast. These incidents have all contributed to the snowball-like effect of disruptions; especially port congestion. In October, US President Biden took swift action to solve the current port congestion dilemma because of how impacted the US supply chain had been from the pandemic.
Today, long time industry experts are predicting the impact these disruptions will have on the global economy and how consumers may be affected. With 2022 only a few months away, it looks like supply chain problems will continue to be in the spotlight of mainstream media until after the holiday seasons.
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