In Short Story August 2021, August 20212 MinutesBy Dave McCoidSeptember 28, 2021

What a great moment in time to grab a quick comment from Icon’s Tony Gare, someone with scads of experience, operating at supply chain’s import and export frontier as Covid-19 toys with its fragile homeostasis.

“The general public has no idea what’s going on, not a clue, and won’t do until their stuff doesn’t turn up at Christmas. Then it’ll be in the media for a bit, and then it’ll die out and again.

“I’ve never known it like this before. The shipping times are all over the place, the ports are full, and containers can be hard to get. There’s huge cost being driven into business as producers relocate containers while they wait for ships. Some refrigerated containers are moving long distances just to get on a plug and wait. Customers with loaded containers are often having them rolled onto the next ship.

“Some of the big players have started chartering ships to get things going.

“In terms of imports, we’re seeing an increase in inventory holdings to buffer shipping delays.

“It’s all cost businesses hadn’t banked on having, and it will end up at the consumer at some point. We’re already noticing it with things like car parts and people may get a shock soon at how much things like a new TV go up in price.

“It’s difficult to see when it’s all going to calm down.”