Global Food Shortages Could Be Permanent

Matt Lillywhite

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The United States is currently facing one crisis after another. Ports are congested. Prices are spiking in grocery stores. Also, empty shelves are becoming a common sight around the country. Everyone knows the supply chain chaos is getting worse. And unfortunately, many experts believe the global food shortages won't improve in time for Christmas. Quoting an article published by CBS:

"Cargo ships carrying as many as half a million shipping containers filled with goods from various countries in Asia await offloading at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Once they are offloaded, a shortage of truck drivers prevents those loads from moving out of ports in a timely manner. Railroad terminals, where trucks deliver goods for the next leg of the journey, are backed up with containers awaiting further transport, which, in turn, also block inbound trains. Should those goods somehow make it to a warehouse, worker shortages are limiting their timely processing. And, as if all that weren’t enough, the United States Postal Service has recently slowed its delivery times."

As the Christmas season approaches, supply chain experts predict massive shortages and skyrocketing prices due to a strong demand and poor supply of products. And unfortunately, food shortages could be permanent in some countries, according to industry experts. "The just-in-time system is no longer working and I don't think it'll work again," Food and Drink Federation (FDF) boss Ian Wright said in an interview with the BBC.

Even government officials in the Biden administration are concerned about the ongoing supply chain crisis around the world. "There are going to be disruptions and shocks to the system as long as the pandemic continues," Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told CNN. He's right. China shut down the third busiest port in the world after one person tested positive for Covid-19. As a result, Dawn Tiura, CEO of Sourcing Industry Group, said China’s zero-tolerance covid policy will lead to “severe” supply chain consequences, per CNBC. The reason? U.S. Government data shows China is responsible for over 40% of foreign imports.

Elsewhere around the world, companies are warning of further shortages due to the ongoing supply chain crisis. Quoting an article published by Bloomberg: "Retailers such as apparel chain H&M can’t meet demand because of delivery delays. In the U.S., Nike cut its sales forecast after Covid-19 triggered factory closures in Vietnam that wiped out months of production. And Bed Bath & Beyond’s stock plunged amid shipping woes, with Chief Executive Officer Mark Tritton warning that disruptions would last well into next year. “There is pressure across the board, and you will hear about that from others.”

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