Supply chain shortages impact businesses in East Texas, nationwide

Published: Oct. 7, 2021 at 10:21 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 7, 2021 at 10:32 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - We all experienced the toilet paper shortage at the beginning of the pandemic, but now you might notice plastic cup shortages, price increases to more items, and shipping delays.

UT Tyler Associate Professor of Marketing Dr. Kerri Camp said the supply and demand chain disruption affects almost every product, from cups, to paper, to plastic.

“We are seeing significant supply chain disruption and this is due mostly in part to the labor shortages that we have,” Camp said. “When we don’t have enough workers at the plant to manufacture the items, when we don’t have enough drivers in the transportation industry to be able to transport those materials, we are going to see some problems within the supply chain which will cause shortages in all different product categories.”

Midway Restaurant supply manager Shane Noble recognizes the supply chain disruption.

“Last three or four months, it’s really slowed down to get things, and then the price increases really kicked in,” Noble said.

Dr. Camp said manufacturers normally have a seven-day lead time to get packaging boxes. Now, nationwide, they see a 45-day lead time just to get the boxes, to then be able to ship the products.

“We’ve been able to meet our customer needs and have been very busy, but it just takes a lot more hours, and effort, and conversations,” Noble said.

Camp said a step towards normalcy is addressing the labor shortage, but even so, prices will most likely continue to rise.

“Unfortunately, one of the things manufacturers are having to do to get workers to come back is increase those wages,” Camp said. “And so those increases in wages, eventually we will see those passed on to the ultimate consumer. "

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