Global supply chain disruption affects all of us Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Tuesday, November 09, 2021 03:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

One year ago, words like supply chain and logistics were rarely used by the average consumer or member of the public. But beginning when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and consumers were unable to get toilet paper or safety supplies, those terms became part of everyday conversation even if the average person did not fully understand how the global supply chain works. How did we get here?

To put it simply, the problem is that goods that the green industry needs to do its work have been in higher demand and is in shorter supply. Production, manufacturing, and delivery of goods has been slowed or stopped.Workers are also in high demand and shorter supply.

Many landscape professionals are unable to meet the demand for their services and have had to turn down work. A shortage of materials or delay in shipping materials is just one factor. An ongoing worker shortage which has worsened in the last year has kept companies from being able to fill their crews. A short supply of equipment and vehicles prohibits them from providing their expanding workforce with the tools needed to get the job done.

By now, many of us have heard about the shortage of computer chips needed to build vehicles, making it difficult to find a car or truck for purchase—even used. Pandemic-related shutdowns and labor shortages have also contributed to a backlog of equipment production and delivery. Increased demand led to scarcity of plant material, forcing consumers to make compromises or choose alternate plants, hardscape materials, and other landscape goods.

Shipping available materials to distributors and end-users was delayed or stopped due to a wide variety of factors including: COVID-19 restrictions on production and on travel; wildfires and weather events that affected travel routes; availability of packaging for products (also due to shipping issues), and a shortage of labor that has affected every industry. The Ever Given ship, which was stuck in the Suez Canal and delayed worldwide shipping, continues to have a ripple effect as well.

It doesn’t appear that the situation will improve quickly. Many of the issues we face today are the ongoing result of shutdowns in 2020. Some nations continue to restrict production and shipping due to the pandemic or political issues. Those producers and distributors that have been able to return to business as usual will need time to return to pre-pandemic levels of productivity, if at all. And the game of global “catch up” continues, requiring patience and creativity in responding to the obstacles.

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