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Wed Jul 28, 2021, 05:42 PM

From ports to rail yards, global supply lines struggle amid virus outbreaks in the developing world [View all]


By David J. Lynch
July 26, 2021 at 6:46 p.m. EDT
Washington Post (paywall)

Fresh coronavirus outbreaks are forcing factory shutdowns in countries such as Vietnam and Bangladesh, aggravating supply chain disruptions that could leave some U.S. retailers with empty shelves as consumers begin their back-to-school shopping.

The overseas work stoppages are just the latest twist in almost 18 months of pandemic-related manufacturing and transportation woes. The new infections come as two of the largest U.S. railroads last week restricted shipments from West Coast seaports to Chicago, where a surge of shipping containers has clogged rail yards.

Supply headaches stretching from Asian factory towns to the American Midwest are intensifying as the economic recovery tries to outrun the highly infectious delta variant. Aftershocks from earlier limits on a major Chinese port following a rash of covid-19 cases are expected later this month to worsen backlogs at U.S. West Coast facilities.

Chronic shipping delays also are feeding inflation, just as consumers prepare to stock up for the coming school year. Spot shortages of clothing and footwear could appear within weeks, and popular toys may be scarce during the holiday season. Even as the U.S. economy is slated to enjoy its fastest growth since 1984, supply lines now are expected to remain snarled through the first half of next year or longer, according to corporate executives.


My daughter saw an unusual number of empty shelves at the Giant supermarket yesterday.

I couldn't get a new filter for the kitchen faucet water filter. Customer service said they were all out and had no idea when or if it would be available again.

Been trying to buy a new refrigerator for months, but the brand and model remain unavailable.

I'm getting a worried feeling.

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Reply From ports to rail yards, global supply lines struggle amid virus outbreaks in the developing world [View all]
Wicked Blue Jul 2021 OP
roamer65 Jul 2021 #1
Ocelot II Jul 2021 #2
marybourg Jul 2021 #6
Lars39 Jul 2021 #3
Ron Green Jul 2021 #4
NightWatcher Jul 2021 #5
ananda Jul 2021 #7