The 2021 supply chain issue

A supply chain is a network in which companies use to buy and sell products. It is also how we get all of our goods and services such as clothes, home essentials, and more. Only about 15% of goods are made in the US. In 2021, the cargo ships that supply everything were put into a traffic jam and were taking longer than usual to unload due to the shortage of workers. This could affect everything. 

One of the biggest sources that people use to buy things from is Amazon. Amazon especially became a number one source to buy from when quarantine hit. This was because people were not allowed to go outside and were extremely scared to catch the virus. Amazon reported that their sales had risen by $108.5 billion when people received their stimulus checks. 

The shortage of supplies even affected health care. Health care plagued by new supply chain shortages explains that the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) had been investigating some hospitals for reused gloves. “There are shortages of raw materials for manufacturing, including semiconductors, or chips commonly used in electronics, and plastic resins that can be used to make everything from car parts to heart valves.” 

Even local stores like Walmart, Target, and the Dollar Tree are being affected by the shortage. As a result, Target decided to plan ahead. Their inventory teams have been “working proactively” so they can move their products from sea quicker. Since they have been doing this, they have been able to maintain a stable supply within their markets. The Dollar Tree had raised their prices above $1. The article states, “Witynski also said last month that Dollar Tree is facing labor shortages in distribution centers and stores, which has forced the company to be more proactive in hiring through national events, sign-on bonuses, higher wages and paying tuition reimbursement, among other initiatives. But Dollar Tree is also battling some of the biggest names in retail in an attempt to court workers, with Walmart expecting to hire 20,000 people for its supply chain operations and Target looking to hire 100,000 seasonal workers. Amazon is also trying to hire for 40,000 corporate and tech roles across the U.S. in addition to “tens of thousands” of hourly positions in Amazon’s Operations network.” 

Some people have explained that the supply shortage actually caused a bit of distress in their daily lives, including workers who supply items that could not be sold. 

“Well, I do the online shopping at Walmart, so I shop for customers and a lot of times a customer will order an item and we don’t have it so we either try to give them something similar to it,” said Walmart employee, Marlena Divers. “Sometimes we don’t even have anything similar to it. But yeah, there definitely is a shortage.” 

Does the shortage have an impact on home life? Many things that we use in our daily lives have not been restocked. This can cause problems depending on what the item is and if it can be replaced. 

“Yes, I haven’t gotten any Caramel Frappuccinos,” said Valerie Divers. Valerie gets her Caramel Frappuccinos from Walmart which had been hit with the shortage.

“Not really, I mean there’s only one item that I know, like my favorite chips. But it’s not like a big deal,” M Divers said. 

For a while in the beginning of December, many popular news sources such as CNN10 have been addressing whether or not Christmas would be a failure this year. Many people who were interviewed said to buy gifts early and from small local stores. The question is, did this advice work? CNBC states, “Shoppers have shown an eagerness to spend on new clothes, electronics and jewelry, in recent months — and retail analysts are betting that splurging will fuel the holiday season.”  

“When I went Christmas shopping I believe I saw stores and commercial stores less stocked than the past years. I kind of had to get creative since I couldn’t find everything in one single store. I think the prices raised.” said Brianna Guzman. 

“I had found everything I needed. Yes there was a price change, most of the stuff that I wanted to buy as gifts were almost doubled the price but didn’t affect me as much,” said junior Tommy Moreno. 

“There was a lot less to buy for Christmas stuff this year,” said V Divers. 

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