Grinch: Global supply chain shortage causing shipping dilemmas

Marketing professor says docking delays, truck driver shortage are contributing factors

Biden addresses U.S. supply chain issues

ORLANDO, Fla. – Blame it on the chain: it has become the catchphrase we didn’t even know existed until the pandemic.

The global supply chain is a big beast that has to be fed 24/7. Turns out its appetite is insatiable and when it’s not getting fed, we all get hungry. Hungry for bikes, chicken wings, appliances, toys, cars and much more.

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Chances are you have heard some grumblings about the weak link in the global supply chain. If you haven’t yet then you’re about to if you are planning on ordering Christmas gifts this year. Don’t be surprised when you click “buy now” and the arrival date is some time in 2022.

It’s a grim reality. The supply chain is broken and there is no quick fix.

This week on Florida’s Fourth Estate, anchors Ginger Gadsden and Matt Austin talked to UCF Marketing Professor Dr. Axel Stock about the shipping crisis causing so much chaos right now.

The way things look right now, the supply chain shortage is going to make many of us yearn for the good old days when we couldn’t find toilet paper and paper towels.

Recently, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced the Sunshine State is stepping up to help with the national supply chain issue. DeSantis said our seaports are used to operating around the clock and moving cargo. In fact, DeSantis said some overseas companies have already rerouted cargo ships to Florida ports.

But is that enough? Dr. Stock said it’s a start.

California ports handle about half of all U.S. imports and those container ships approaching the West Coast could be waiting up to four weeks to dock.

“It’s not only that we have many ships at sea waiting to be able to dock, but we also have the problem that once they unload, the products are not being delivered immediately to their destinations, maybe directly to consumers, retailers or manufacturers, and that is because we have too few truck drivers,” Dr. Stock said.

Even if all the goods people are waiting on were delivered to ports today, there still has to be a way to get them onto trucks and right now, that’s a huge problem.

A record 80,000 additional truck drivers are currently needed to meet the nation’s freight demand, according to the American Trucking Associations. And it’s about to get a lot worse with the driver shortage expected to surpass 160,000 in less than a decade.

A quick Google search reveals it takes at least seven weeks to earn a commercial driver’s license.

Dr. Stock agreed this problem isn’t going away anytime soon but he dis say this holiday season we can solve our immediate shipping shortage dilemma and stave off the Grinch.

“Buy in the brick-and-mortar stores,” Dr. Stock advised. “Buy what is available on the shelves.”

To hear more from Dr. Stock on the issues plaguing the supply chain download Florida’s Fourth Estate from wherever you listen to podcasts.

About the Author:

Ginger Gadsden joined the News 6 team in June 2014 as an anchor/reporter. She currently co-anchors the 4 p.m. 5:30 p.m. and the 7 p.m. newscasts.