Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, consumers, stores and businesses are still facing shortages of chips, bicycle parts, construction materials and raw materials, among other things. Even though the situation has already lasted for 18 months, the shortages have still not been resolved.

The first signs of shortages were seen in China in early 2020. It was here that the production of articles and materials was first brought to a halt, after which other countries followed suit. In contrast, there was an increasing demand for raw materials and semi-finished products. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, people went shopping and worked out more often, they had more time for home improvements and more people worked from home. This situation required new electronics, tools and other means to adapt. This resulted in a disbalance in supply and demand from two sides.

Transportation costs

A third trend is the rising cost of transportation as the pandemic made shipping cargo more difficult. The outbreak lead to a temporary stop of overseas shipping, among other things. It will take a couple more months at the very least before this situation is resolved. In addition to higher transportation costs, there was a shortage of containers in China, as well as in other countries, for the simple fact that they weren’t being returned.

Things came to a head when the container ship the Ever Give was stranded in the Suez Canal. Due to the blockage, which lasted for several days, ships were queueing up. In addition, the Chinese government shut down an important port in the south of China in connection with the coronavirus outbreak, which exacerbated the issue. Last but not least, various ports also experienced personnel shortages.

A solution is nigh

Despite these adverse developments, experts -according to are expecting the worst to be over within the foreseeable future. Taking construction materials as an example, wood prices are dropping, among other things. Furthermore, businesses have increased their production capacity and transporters are employing more ships and lorries. It seems that we will need to sit this period out for a couple more months.

Source: Houtwereld – Marjolein