News & Media

SUPPLY CHAIN CHAOS NETS ALL KINDS OF CONSUMER GOODS

As any shopper can attest, the entire globe is experiencing supply chain disruptions the likes of which has never been encountered before.  

From lettuce shortages to new car delays, it’s a perfect storm of shipping interruptions, price rises, labour shortages, extreme weather, continuing fall-out from the COVID-19 pandemic and geopolitical events in Europe.

HOLD UP…WAIT

In Australia, we’re seeing extraordinary price rises in goods as varied as iceberg lettuce, diesel fuel and timber trusses for housing construction.   

Supermarket shelves are sporadically empty as a combination of increased demand and/or hoarding and transport delays creates a shortage of everyday essentials such as toilet paper, tissues and even cold and flu medication.  

Customers are also experiencing delayed deliveries on imported or import-reliant items as varied as caravans, jet skis, car parts, white goods, furniture and the humble bicycle. 

GEOPOLITICAL EVENTS

Before the Russia-Ukraine conflict, analysts were expecting supply chain disruptions to ease this year. But now the problems are expected to extend well into 2023 as a result of the disturbances caused by the conflict and embargoes..  

According to the World Bank, Russia is the world’s largest exporter of wheat, pig iron, natural gas and nickel, and it accounts for a significant share of coal, crude oil and refined aluminium exports. Russia and Belarus are important suppliers of fertilizers, while Ukraine is a key exporter of wheat and sunflower seed oil. 

EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING

The World Economic Forum notes a slew of widespread and severe impacts from the pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine, including:   

  • Car production in Germany down 32 per cent in the first months of this year due to ongoing microchip shortages 
  • Container shipping rates remaining 10 times above June 2020 levels; and an estimated shortfall of 425,000 heavy goods vehicle drivers in Europe 

Research consultancy firm Drewry report said the average door-to-door shipping time for ocean freight had increased from 41 days in October 2020 to 70 days in October 2021.

A LITTLE PATIENCE

When it comes to trucks, there’s not one brand in the market that has not been able to escape being snagged in the web of global supply chain disruptions. 

In Australia anyway, most are continuing to collaborate closely with parent companies overseas and local supply chain partners, especially body builders, to implement a range of updates to support prioritisation, production, and delivery of customer vehicles.  

Our penchant for immediacy in every shape and form continues to take a big hit as we’re forced to wait for our products.   

We can however take some solace in the fact that everyone in the entire world is in the same situation and normality will make its triumphant return at some point.

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