YORK COUNTY, S.C. (CN2 NEWS) – The COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause people problems across throughout the world and as things return to a new sense of normal some industries are struggling to get back on track.
Business leaders say more product delays could be on the horizon, but the reason why may be more complicated than you think. They say delays on the supply chain could be to blame. Supply chain describes the workflow between a supplier, a producer and the consumer.
Brady Buckley is with Rock Hill’s Distribution Direct — which is in-part an e-commerce fulfillment center. He uses the dress shirt company, Cooper and Stewart, to illustrate what’s happening on the chain.
Buckley says, “Our client has orders into Vietnam and we are receiving containers from them every couple of months – but their factory is shut down for 3-4 months at a time and it backed everything up.”
That delay means these shirts took longer to get from Vietnam, to the U.S., and ultimately to this center. Buckley explains that that backup has resulted in the need for more truckers and labor. Cost has also been impacted. Containers once costing $5,000 to ship, now cost $25,000.
“So all of a sudden you have to apply that 500% increase in the cost per container and somebody has to absorb that,” says Buckley.
The son and grandson of men in the trucking industry, owner of Proline LLC, Thomas Duckett, says he sees that the industry is on the decline — even downsizing his own business.
Duckett says, “We went from seven guys… I went from myself, I was driving as well, to one.”
Once hauling oversized equipment, and now focusing on smaller equipment, land clearing and demolition — he says drivers aren’t compensated for the labor and risk.
Duckett shares, “The rates stay the same to pay the trucking company and drivers, they all stay the same. But, insurance goes up, fuel goes up and the rates don’t reflect that.”
Johnstone Supply, which supplies HVAC & refrigeration equipment, have created its own model. The business has a store front, but also stocks products in a warehouse. Owners say this could be a new trend among businesses.
Johnstone Supply owner, Angie Woodberry, says, “You’re seeing inland ports, you’re seeing a lot of attempts by businesses to have product quickly or you know that are able to be shipped quickly.”
These leaders believe the ultimate solution will come from working together.
Woodberry says, “This is testing all of our patience, our sense of community, because you know we’re in an industry where people want what they want, and we just have to communicate about what’s going on.”
In the video above, CN2’s Rachel Richardson is taking a look at how a slow-recovering supply chain is impacting industry, here at home.