Businesses have faced unprecedented challenges ever since the pandemic hit the globe. The global supply chain has witnessed sharp peaks and troughs during these times. The fourth and the ultimate quarter of the year is dedicated to retail and the retailers are keeping their fingers crossed that no supply chain issues should emerge ahead of Christmas. With all eyes of customers on the retailers, the pressure on them to perform well irrespective of persisting supply chain challenges is paramount.
Problems persisting in global supply chains
1.Shortages of goods: This has been one of the primary issues faced by global supply chains as a consequence of pandemic. The sourcing of goods has become a huge constraint due to Covid-19 border restrictions. Shedding light on the current situation of China who is the major exporter of goods, it won’t be wrong to say that importing countries might as well look for alternative sourcing destinations this Christmas. International shipping from India looks like a promising alternative to many countries now, especially in the European continent.
2.Shortages of workers: Recurring lockdowns in different parts of the world have adversely affected the production and transportation of goods across the globe. There have been severe shortages of workers in Asian countries due to Covid-19 restrictions and regulations. Most of the countries are reliant on Asia when it comes to the production of goods. Packaging and warehousing services in India and other Asian countries have faced the crisis of workers due to which there has been a massive imbalance in the global supply chains. Very recently, the US and the UK have faced the heat in terms of the truck driver shortage.
3.Transportation issues: Adding to the shortage woes, congested ports and lack of shipping containers are contributing to a chaotic scenario for everyone in the global supply chains. Consequently, retailers and customers are experiencing unusual delays and skyrocketing prices. This has shifted the reliance on air and rail freight due to which both the freight services are facing space constraints and backlogs.
Governments can play the role of Santa Claus in saving Christmas. To ensure smooth supply chain operations, governments of different countries need to communicate with the private sector. In order to avoid any supply chain issue from emerging around Christmas, their policies should encapsulate regional, domestic, and global supply chains. Their leaders should be in a position to offer a solution if any supply chain issue emerges abruptly.
Customers too have a pivotal role to play if they are actually hoping for a supply chain miracle this Christmas. They should not get into panic buying because it only makes the supply chain crises worse. Instead, they are strongly recommended to go for early buying so that the usual rush of buying Christmas goods in December could be avoided. Flexibility is the key to having a smooth and happy Christmas. Understanding the fact that getting the desired thing at the desired time might not be possible always would help them save their as well as everyone else’s Christmas.
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