Saturday, October 30, 2021

Supply chain failure-- the common denominator

For weeks-- maybe months-- now, I've been hearing people giving the reason behind the supply chain failure. But I'm hearing many different reasons, not one. All of them sound plausible, even when they are different.

Ordinarily this would indicate that they are all probably wrong.

But not this time. Not if you dig a little deeper.

Every reason I've heard comes down, at its root, to government caused this problem

It's been a long time coming, but the Covid overreaction brought it to a head.

Regulations, rationing, licensing, legislation, handouts... they all came together to cause this mess. It won't be solved by mixing in more of the same. Getting government out of the way is the only permanent solution, but it's one you'll not hear from the mainstream or from government (but I repeat myself).

I hate to sound like a parrot, repeating the only phrase he knows. But, yes, government caused this problem. Government is the problem so often it can't be coincidence.

(After writing this, I decided I might expand it and turn it into a newspaper column. If so, I apologize for the repeat.)


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  1. Exactly. Who, after all, changed the regulations on what trucks could be used at California ports, contributing heavily to the ongoing problem with container ships backing up and not being unloaded in a timely fashion? I can think of so many ways governments have screwed things up. And yet... if I say anything about this to most of my acquaintances/colleagues... yeah. Exactly.


    1. You have a superpower your acquaintances don't have and can't relate to.

  2. And there is "efficiency". The involved companies didn't hire workers that they couldn't employ, therefore there was little or no surge capacity. The not hired employees of the ports, the railroads, the intermodal yards, and the end users [warehouses, big boxes, etc] found other jobs and now there is no one to call on. The system will adapt, but it will take awhile. Everyone likes to point at California, but Savanah is also back-logged. If the "distribution centers" don't have the staff to unload containers, the chassis and the driver are trapped. The back up to the ports is inevitable. Prolonged "just in time" builds an inelastic supply system. Efficient but non-responsive to change.

    1. I once had a boss who strove for 100% efficiency all the time. I tried to point out to him how this drive for efficiency was hurting the business-- how much time he was wasting trying to get perfectly efficient. He wouldn't listen.