The World Struggles with the Supply Chain

This is the Port of South Louisiana in New Orleans. It’s one of the largest ports in the United States and an important part of the supply chain.

Many people are having a hard time finding things they want to buy. Some items cost more than they used to. Some experts blame problems with the supply chain for these problems.

The supply chain is the way resources become products that are sold. You might wear sweaters. Sweaters are made from wool. Farmers sell the wool to wholesalers, and wholesalers sell the wool to factories. Workers in factories use the wool to make sweaters. Then the sweaters are transported to stores. Imagine there were no truck drivers to take the wool to the factory. That would mess up the whole supply chain.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the supply chain ran pretty smoothly. But the pandemic caused a lot of problems. Many countries made people stay home, so some factories closed.

In some places, ships were not allowed to pull into docks. People worried that ships might bring COVID-19 from one country to another. Some workers still have not returned to work because of the pandemic. With fewer truck drivers and dock workers, it’s harder to get products where they need to be.

Some countries are trying to solve these problems by hiring more workers and keeping important ports open 24 hours a day. Other countries are focusing on making their most important products, such as microchips. Experts say that it will take some time for the supply chain to return back to normal.

What Do You Think? How do you think problems with the supply chain have affected you and your family?

Photo Credit: Ed Metz/Shutterstock