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Who Is to Blame for the Supply Chain Disruption?

We are! That is the “big we.”

This has been a topic of discussion here on the blog many times before. Remember Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and “onshoring” those supplies? How is that working for you? Back to just importing, you say? Want the cheapest price? OK, China/Asia it is!

Listen to “The Great Supply Chain Disruption” from the The Daily podcast. One of the topics covered is who is to blame and who can fix the issues that exist? The answer for fixing the issues is simple — there is no single entity, government or private organization that controls the supply chain. Don’t blame President Biden, he doesn’t control the ordering, manufacturing, shipping, receiving and acceptance of goods. There are private-sector players in all of the above steps. Now, if you want him to place a tariff on something, he can do that.

As written about many times before, it’s lean, just in time, save a nickel or dime, even a penny, just to give the customer a better price. You the customer have demanded it and industry has provided the solution.

Thus we are in the pickle that we are in with no end in sight. Disruptions will certainly extend into 2022 and maybe beyond.

As for being able to influence the ocean shipping industry, the United States has 218 U.S. flagged ships. Panama has 9,367 ships. That shows the scale and lack of maritime capacity here in the U.S. The other top nine countries have a total of 30,280 ships. The word “minuscule” comes to mind in describing our maritime shipping industry. (Note: I looked up the definition of minuscule and another descriptive word meaning is “itty-bitty.”)
Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.
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