Will The Supply Chain Ever Go Back To Normal?

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been a disease that’s been threatening our well-being ever since 2020. A year later, in 2021, we still have yet to go back to how our lives used to be. From changes of dining, travel, and events people are stuck wondering: will it ever go back to normal? Many have been pondering this question over the past 2 years. In this article I will provide my findings from research to articulate an inference on whether or not the supply chain will revert to standard we had before COVID-19.

One of the newer, yet main problems we are currently facing is the supply chain. The supply chain has been undergoing issues of inflation ever since the start of COVID-19. Lockdowns halted the flow of raw materials and finished goods, disrupting the manufacturing companies as a result of that. While on lockdown, Americans were in disarray as we had limits on the number of household products (such as toilet paper) we could buy. Unfortunately, this was due to us not being able to receive the products fast enough; this is a problem that comes directly from the supply chain. Shipping costs from China to the United States have climbed over 500% from just a year ago. Shoppers have resorted to digital shopping, creating an influx of demand from companies to fulfill orders creating a supply shortage as well. Not to forget that in March 2021, we had the Suez Canal obstruction. A large container ship blocked the Suez Canal for 6 days, halting all traffic going though there, further delaying the supply chain.

In more recent news, it seems like the supply chain is getting even worse. Cargo Ships are now backlogged at the California coast due to a shortage of energy, labor, and transport. Simply put, there’s not enough workers to meet the constant surge of demand. Container ships are having to deal with a four-week delay before being allowed to dock and unload goods. The world’s largest shipper, A.P. Moller-Maersk warned that bottlenecks “might be longer than expected”. Shippers such as UPS and DHL have also warned that supply chain problems could leave a “permanent scar”. It seems that if there is a future in which things go back to being like what they used to, we cannot begin to predict when that will be. We have a long road to recovery ahead of us.