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America is Choking Under an 'Everything Shortage'

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America is Choking Under an 'Everything Shortage'

Unread postby BrianC » Wed 13 Oct 2021, 17:03:41

America is Choking Under an 'Everything Shortage' (theatlantic.com) 231
Posted by msmash on Wednesday October 13, 2021 @12:22PM from the closer-look dept.
The global supply chain is slowing down at the very moment when Americans are demanding that it go into overdrive. The Atlantic:
Is it just me, or does it feel like America is running out of everything? I visited CVS last week to pick up some at-home COVID-19 tests. They'd been sold out for a week, an employee told me. So I asked about paper towels. "We're out of those too," he said. "Try Walgreens." I drove to a Walgreens that had paper towels. But when I asked a pharmacist to fill some very common prescriptions, he told me the store had run out. "Try the Target up the road," he suggested. Target's pharmacy had the meds, but its front area was alarmingly barren, like the canned-food section of a grocery store one hour before a hurricane makes landfall.

This is the economy now. One-hour errands are now multi-hour odysseys. Next-day deliveries are becoming day-after-next deliveries. That car part you need? It'll take an extra week, sorry. The book you were looking for? Come back in November. The baby crib you bought? Make it December. Eyeing a new home-improvement job that requires several construction workers? Haha, pray for 2022. The U.S. economy isn't yet experiencing a downturn akin to the 1970s period of stagflation. This is something different, and quite strange. Americans are settling into a new phase of the pandemic economy, in which GDP is growing but we're also suffering from a dearth of a shocking array of things -- test kits, car parts, semiconductors, ships, shipping containers, workers. This is the Everything Shortage. The Everything Shortage is not the result of one big bottleneck in, say, Vietnamese factories or the American trucking industry. We are running low on supplies of all kinds due to a veritable hydra of bottlenecks.
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archi ... ge/620322/
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Re: America is Choking Under an 'Everything Shortage'

Unread postby Newfie » Wed 13 Oct 2021, 19:33:16

Yes, I had seen that story and others describing the general JIT delivery breakdown.
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Re: America is Choking Under an 'Everything Shortage'

Unread postby Pops » Thu 14 Oct 2021, 10:46:35

The thing is, any "everything shortage" out there is because retail sales are through the roof. Typical misdirection, it is demand not supply causing the stress. The stutter-step of shutdown then stimulus is what emptied the shelves. Another artifact of an overly optimized JIT system that only works if everything is predictable and can't cope with the unexpected.

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Not sure why this isn't more apparent to the talking heads. I worry far more about the economy tripping up, "Sovereign Debt Bubble", corporate bond defaults after this dust settles etc.
The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but can not do, at all, or can not, so well do, for themselves -- in their separate, and individual capacities.
-- Abraham Lincoln, Fragment on Government (July 1, 1854)
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Re: America is Choking Under an 'Everything Shortage'

Unread postby Newfie » Thu 14 Oct 2021, 11:38:13

Pops,

O saw that as well, demand up 5%. Yet there is no doubt shipping is playing a role.

Where are folks getting all this money?
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Re: America is Choking Under an 'Everything Shortage'

Unread postby Plantagenet » Thu 14 Oct 2021, 14:44:38

Don't worry so much people.

Joe Biden is on the job.

Joe is solving yet another problem for us. He told those lazy longshoreman in Los Angeles to work 24-7 to get those ships from China into port and hurry up and unload all the plastic christmas toys to solve the "everything shortage."

Of course Joe Biden first issued executive orders on supply chains back in February. Oh well.......Obama warned us Joe would $%^$ thins up. Now supply chains are can be added to list of Joe Biden #$^%-up.

Thank goodness.....its good to know that Joe Biden will fix the "everything shortage" just like he fixed Afghanistan, and the border, and the Congress and Covid and the divide in the electorate and racial equity and those evil border patrollers using whips on the poor Haitians and whatever else is wrong......

biden-confronts-supply-chain-crisis-stretching-beyond-his-grip

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No worries.....Joe Biden has been personally interfering in the supply chain since February 2021....No wonder everything is ##$$%#$-up now. Obama was sure right about Joe.....no one can $%^$ thing sup like Joe Biden!!!

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Re: America is Choking Under an 'Everything Shortage'

Unread postby Plantagenet » Fri 15 Oct 2021, 16:50:25

In addition to Biden screwing up the supply chain system, we also have to put some of the blame on the liberal Ds who run California.

There are 70+ ships loaded with goodies just sitting off Los Angeles and Long Beach, but they can't get unloaded thanks to the Ds in California who passed new laws designed to phase out diesel trucks in the trucking industry to encourage a shift to electric trucks.

The law is doing a good job phasing out diesel trucks in California....the problem is there aren't any electric trucks available yet to replace them....so there is a shortage of trucks and truckers in California

empty-christmas-stockings-dont-blame-covid-blame-california

Yes....the MSM isn't reporting it but the supply chain system problem in the USA is partly caused by environmental laws passed by the Ds in California .....why am I not surprised?

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The well-meaning but not very smart Ds in California passed environmental laws to shut down diesel trucks to encourage more use of electric trucks......but they forgot that there actually aren't any electric trucks available yet. This has resulted in a shortage of trucks and truckers and huge delays in unloading ships at California ports.

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Re: America is Choking Under an 'Everything Shortage'

Unread postby evilgenius » Sat 16 Oct 2021, 10:12:40

Pops wrote:The thing is, any "everything shortage" out there is because retail sales are through the roof. Typical misdirection, it is demand not supply causing the stress. The stutter-step of shutdown then stimulus is what emptied the shelves. Another artifact of an overly optimized JIT system that only works if everything is predictable and can't cope with the unexpected.

Image

Not sure why this isn't more apparent to the talking heads. I worry far more about the economy tripping up, "Sovereign Debt Bubble", corporate bond defaults after this dust settles etc.

We are up against people who deliberately sow discontent. It doesn't mean OP was doing that. Or, even the Atlantic. But there is a cohesive operation running to bring this kind of doubt before the people. It is essential to get a certain party into power. They have an idea of whom it should be that will lead them into the next foray. I'm not so sure they should be operating under that much certainty. Their current guy may fade. They could, instead, get a real baddie in his place. You see, they have failed to ensure themselves against such a thing happening. In fact, they have given such a character all of the levers.
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Re: America is Choking Under an 'Everything Shortage'

Unread postby Pops » Sat 16 Oct 2021, 16:03:44

evilgenius wrote:We are up against people who deliberately sow discontent. It doesn't mean OP was doing that. Or, even the Atlantic. But there is a cohesive operation running to bring this kind of doubt before the people. It is essential to get a certain party into power. They have an idea of whom it should be that will lead them into the next foray. I'm not so sure they should be operating under that much certainty. Their current guy may fade. They could, instead, get a real baddie in his place. You see, they have failed to ensure themselves against such a thing happening. In fact, they have given such a character all of the levers.

Yeah, I have no idea what Brian thinks, not sure I've ever read his opinion on anything, so I just take what he posts as his opinion.
By misdirection I didn't mean to imply there was some nefarious plot, more like the media finds value in this narrative and just goes along with the pack. Even The Atlantic and I subscribe.

The Supply chain is breaking!!! Ruuunnnn!

I get a little twitchy from time to time about the self-organizing system of profit taking that our lifestyle is based on. You know? the baker doesn't bake to feed you, he does it to feed himself? The invisible hand and all that. But especially since 2015 or so, panic sells more than ever. I had to go look for the underlying reason for delivery backing up. Turns out that in addition to shut downs and sick days, just a heck of a lot of people had money they once spent on restaurants and bars burning a hole so they filled it with online purchases. That isn't the sole reason but it is a $100 billion of it... way more than the dive in the recession.
The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but can not do, at all, or can not, so well do, for themselves -- in their separate, and individual capacities.
-- Abraham Lincoln, Fragment on Government (July 1, 1854)
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Re: America is Choking Under an 'Everything Shortage'

Unread postby evilgenius » Sat 16 Oct 2021, 17:50:29

That's a good observation. I work at UPS. Work has been steady. We get a huge package count for the number of us, every day.

When I first went to work there, a few supervisors ago, I heard talk of expecting things to cool down after Christmas. Things didn't cool down. They have only recently hit the kind of numbers that would justify a slightly larger number of people than we have right now, so it is hard to feel the difference. I know there is one, though.

Oh, sorry, I load the trucks, so that the drivers can take them out. My work is hard, but those people, men and women, they really work hard. My fellow loaders know what it is like to develop a good relationship with the drivers they service. It's part of a brotherhood, in the overarching way of meaning it, so that it doesn't exclude women.

UPS does not discriminate against women. But I can only say that of my location. All kinds of brave enough women to apply to work there have come and gone. Many have stuck. Some are in management! But I am a Teamster, screw management, big huzzah! No, not the double intention, I can't spell the true French. I do not mean to imply any sexist alternative. I should make that clear because I think similar things to what I sometimes say have been said by fringe nutters. Yes, I admit that. It happens as often as random chance permits it. I often get docked by algorithms and plain old application stencils over such thinking. It can suck to be an egalitarian. Even more so, to be one and come from my generation, with our vernacular.
Last edited by evilgenius on Sat 16 Oct 2021, 18:12:59, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: America is Choking Under an 'Everything Shortage'

Unread postby Plantagenet » Sat 16 Oct 2021, 18:08:20

Pops wrote:I get a little twitchy from time to time about the self-organizing system of profit taking that our lifestyle is based on. You know? the baker doesn't bake to feed you, he does it to feed himself? The invisible hand and all that.


The alternative idea that people will happily bake bread and do all the other necessary jobs for little or no pay in order to help their fellow man and build a socialist utopia is pretty thoroughly discredited by now.

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Re: America is Choking Under an 'Everything Shortage'

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 18 Oct 2021, 19:49:12

Looking at the shipping shortage from a different angle.

What are we doing about it?

https://gcaptain.com/biden-maritime-mar ... -phillips/
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Re: America is Choking Under an 'Everything Shortage'

Unread postby yellowcanoe » Wed 20 Oct 2021, 15:23:25

Newfie wrote:Looking at the shipping shortage from a different angle.

What are we doing about it?

https://gcaptain.com/biden-maritime-mar ... -phillips/


Pretty disappointing that recent administrations don't take MARAD seriously. However, I was puzzled at the suggestion that if MARAD was on the ball they would be redirecting ships to ports with spare capacity. Given the cost of having a ship sitting idle, I find it hard to imagine that shipping companies would knowingly send their ships to a congested port when there are other ports with spare capacity. Of course there needs to be some lead time to change the destination port as it isn't simply a matter of unloading the ship -- the containers the ship is supposed to load also have to be located there. There is also the problem that it isn't just ports that are dealing with congestion -- the railroads that transport containers to/from the ports are also dealing with capacity problems. Railroads in Canada and I assume also in the US have in recent times been very focused on improving their operating ratios and this has resulted in the disposal of locomotives and rail cars that were no longer considered necessary to handle normal traffic loads. As a result the railways have been ill equipped to handle an unexpected surge in demand.
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Re: America is Choking Under an 'Everything Shortage'

Unread postby Newfie » Wed 20 Oct 2021, 16:53:06

Yup, agree.

Everything is always more complicated than it first seems.
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Re: America is Choking Under an 'Everything Shortage'

Unread postby Plantagenet » Wed 20 Oct 2021, 17:17:45

Now it looks like we are going to see food shortages in some items and empty shelves in the grocery stores in the US pretty soon.

I'm truly amazed at how quickly the Biden administration has screwed everything up....and my exceptions were very low to start out with.

Living up here in Alaska this makes me a little nervous, because we are waaaaay at the end of the food supply chains for the US.

On the bright side, we're used to paying high prices for groceries.

Image
Hey Joe
Stop sniffing all the girls
And get the supply chains
Up and going
We need food
We need food a lot
So get off your throne
And help the people
Of our great country
As you promised
As you promised
Or were you lying
When you made all the promises?


Cheers!
250 million thousand people have died of covid---Joe Biden
Never underestimate the ability of Joe Biden to f#@% things up---Barack Obama

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Re: America is Choking Under an 'Everything Shortage'

Unread postby evilgenius » Thu 21 Oct 2021, 06:00:05

My friend asked me how bad it was over here. I had to tell him, not too bad. Steak is really expensive, until it goes on sale. If you don't eat only steak, you won't go hungry. There might be shortages in some other things, but they are no more trouble than waiting for steak to go on sale.

I know that isn't a good story. It's not adding to the anxiety. It is what it is, though. Fuel prices are high, like in other places. Alcohol is plentiful.

I work at UPS. Incidentally, a lot of the stuff you aren't seeing on the shelves is being shipped directly to people's homes. I think that approach, not unlike the one we are talking about here, does have something to do with people paying for the things to get there. There are a lot of Hello Fresh and other boxes. There is a lot of alcohol.
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Re: America is Choking Under an 'Everything Shortage'

Unread postby FamousDrScanlon » Thu 21 Oct 2021, 15:19:44

Planty, I've been shopping twice in the last week & there are no shortages that I can see, nor has my shopaholic mom said anything & we all know how quick Boomers are to complain about their shopping rights & freedoms bring infringed upon.

I had always viewed a supply chain as a complex system, but now that you've taught me it's success or failure hinges on the decisions of our respective national team leaders, I guess that means I have to present lib-tard Supreme, Justin Trudeau with the 2021 Supply Chain Medal of Honour.

Hey kids, did you know that thanks to the tireless efforts of prime minister Trudeau our groceries make it to the store's shelves 'Justin' time...ha ha ha lol omg I slay me ha ha.



Grocery giants in Burnaby see sales dip as people slow hoarding habits

https://www.burnabynow.com/local-busine ... ts-4455835
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Re: America is Choking Under an 'Everything Shortage'

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Thu 21 Oct 2021, 15:36:51

Just a simple observation from Houston. Every time I roll thru a supermarket not only are there no empty shelves but packed shelves with more inventory sitting unpacked in the way. Why? Houston has a major shipping container port. So we don't need long haul drivers to fill the shelves: we have plenty of "day jobbers" (IOW cheap transport) to haul from the docks to the stores. Long haul truckers, like my step son, is where we're hurting. He recently changed companies for a big sign on bonus and better pay/perks. But he also drives about 27 days out of every month. But no home/rent: stays with us. So with high income and little outgoing he can retire in his early 50's.

Lots of products rolling into Houston with stores less than one hour from the docks. Not true for the vast majority of major US cities. Can't unload those ships sitting off CA coast very quickly if there's no space on the docks. And can't ship those container off the docks to make space without trucks to make those long haul runs.
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Re: America is Choking Under an 'Everything Shortage'

Unread postby Plantagenet » Thu 21 Oct 2021, 16:50:29

FamousDrScanlon wrote:Planty, I've been shopping twice in the last week & there are no shortages that I can see


Good to hear it, Scannie....some areas and some items are impacted more then others.

FamousDrScanlon wrote:I had always viewed a supply chain as a complex system, but now that you've taught me it's success or failure hinges on the decisions of our respective national team leaders


Please don't credit me for your education on this matter. Give the credit to Joe Biden, who has been issuing Presidential decrees on the US supply chain since last march and who a couple of weeks ago held a press conference specifically to claim he was fixing the supply issues that have appeared on his watch.

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Give credit where credit is due. Joe Biden is the one who claimed he could fix the supply chain

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Re: America is Choking Under an 'Everything Shortage'

Unread postby careinke » Thu 21 Oct 2021, 17:16:33

Plantagenet wrote:Now it looks like we are going to see food shortages in some items and empty shelves in the grocery stores in the US pretty soon.

I'm truly amazed at how quickly the Biden administration has screwed everything up....and my exceptions were very low to start out with.

Living up here in Alaska this makes me a little nervous, because we are waaaaay at the end of the food supply chains for the US.

On the bright side, we're used to paying high prices for groceries.

Image
Hey Joe
Stop sniffing all the girls
And get the supply chains
Up and going
We need food
We need food a lot
So get off your throne
And help the people
Of our great country
As you promised
As you promised
Or were you lying
When you made all the promises?


Cheers!


On the bright side, living in Alaska, you have access to plenty of meat. Humans are perfectly capable of living on a pure carnivore diet. As a matter of fact, your health would probably improve. Ever see a fat wild carnivore??

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Re: America is Choking Under an 'Everything Shortage'

Unread postby noobtube » Thu 21 Oct 2021, 17:54:50

The 2nd biggest population center in the United States is the Midwest (Northeast being #1).

Where I am, there are shortages of certain medicines I use. None in stock. Can't remember seeing that.

Potato chip bags went from $2.50 11 1/2 oz. bag to a $2.99 10 oz. bag.
Shortages of hamburger and certain juice drinks. The high quality stuff has been replaced with store-brand apple juice (garbage).
Shortages of cheeses for the past month finally ended. I stockpiled.
There was a glut of toilet paper and paper towels in 2019. Still haven't returned to those levels.
Higher grade meats are back in stock and the prices are much higher.
In my area, in 2014, the meat counter was incredible. The amount, variety, and quality was astounding. I wondered that people ate that much meat.
Fast forward to 2015, ALL the grocery stores drastically shrank their meat section. Some replaced it with bread, and lunch meat. Some replaced it with pastries and sweet junk food (twinkies, cupcakes, ho hos).
No shortages of cereal, candies, liquor, and soft drinks.

At my local store, I asked the butcher what happened. He said corporate just decided to make the switch. This happened nationwide. Yet, no one seemed to really care. No one seemed to be upset. I thought to myself, Americans are boiling frogs.

Big Box stores show prices going up on all sorts of things. Tools, lumber, equipment to name a few. A lot of things just seem to be missing. Last year, the stores were overflowing. Non-stop sales and the best merchandise in the front of the store. Just a glut. Now, I see Halloween and Christmas decorations and low demand items in prime front aisle, front row areas. There seems to be a glut of cheap LCD screens.

Lots of products have disappeared from EBay over the years. High quality/specialty clothing, certain electronics, and specialty equipment to name a few. The same for Amazon.

When you can't get to a supermarket, a restaurant is your next best option. Then comes the fast food/diner. Finally, all else fails, is the gas station/convenience store. A lot of restaurants and diners died in my area. What a change from 2019 when they were everywhere, with all kinds of selection and service.

As the meat vanished in 2014, I ate the cheap crap (cereals, pastries, and bread). Got so bad, I actually ate out of the frozen section. After a year of that, and it crushing my health, I had to pay the higher prices and search for the good food, wherever I could find it.

With 2021, prices are high as hell for decent food.

From what I am seeing, where I am, this country just keeps getting poorer (and fatter).
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