As you all know, there is a major supply chain crisis in our country right now. Between winter weather, energy and fuel scarcity, and vaccine mandates driving up labor shortages; getting product from supplier to consumer has become cripplingly difficult and we’re reaching a pinnacle where some areas across the country are simply out of basic supplies and there are no reinforcements on the horizon.
I don’t know if this phenomenon is isolated to my experiences or is more global but: lately, I have been hearing many people say things like “There isn’t a supply chain issue, it’s a distribution problem.” Enter me: Jennifer Zilla, MBA (Monster Boss American also Master of Business Administration). Apparently, there is some
leftist plot confusion about what exactly “supply chain” means and I’m here to help. Below is a very simplified graphic representation of what a supply chain is:
Distribution literally is supply chain. It’s almost synonymous. The supply chain is not “supply.” America has no shortage of shipments coming from overseas or production of our favorite goods (for the most part) but for a myriad of reasons we’re having a hard time moving those products down what’s called the “supply chain” to the final consumer re: packaging, shipping, stocking and retailing. Primarily shipping is our issue which is of course known as distribution. Below is a more focused representation of how the supply chain works as we understand it as a consumer for most basic products and an example for domestic products and imported goods (roughly speaking). In all cases, every product and service differs and the chain looks a little different for each. These are simply representations of a generic example.
Domestic Chicken Example
Imported Tomato Example
So when someone says “it’s not supply chain, its distribution” they are both wrong and right. It is supply chain and it is distribution. If any one piece of that chain has a problem, the chain is impacted. Keep in mind that the end user or “the consumer” (us) represents demand and that demand sends an invisible signal all the way back to the top of the chain to indicate how much supply is provided. So the more we want something the more it has to be made and shipped.
So looking at current conditions with the example of the tomatoes (totally fictional I have no idea how Del Monte sources tomatoes): If tomatoes on a cargo ship reach the port and there is a huge line (because millions of Americans are at home making chili since they now work from home/can’t work because of vaccination status which means the South American farmers produced a lot more) they get stalled and it costs them time and money. So after being stalled at the port, they need a trucker. The price of fuel is soring. Independent truckers are being priced out of the market and company truckers have vaccination rules limiting laborers. So the tomatoes wait for their turn for a trucker. “Del Monte type company” processes the tomatoes (cans them, packages them, whatever) but they have a vaccine mandate and/or employees ill at home are not able to come in for 5 days due to COVID-19. They aren’t moving their line as quickly and their cost of operation (labor) is a lot higher. Now the hypothetical “Del Monte” also needs trucks. Same issues as before. Finally retailers are now receiving shipments sporadically and not when they plan for them because of all the delays and they do not have the right team in place to manage the logistics of stocking – not to mention their own issues with vaccine mandates and sick workers. All of these lead to an empty shelf with no tomatoes and no chili back at our houses or the chili cost us four times what it did prior to the Biden administration.
The left seems to either not understand the supply chain or not want to understand it. Take for example this idiotic article in leftist media rag, Bloomberg. The article states that there are not supply chain issues because the real problem is increased demand and increased port shipments with no increase in labor and equipment to manage the shipments. The lack of increase in labor and equipment to deal with increased demand is literally a supply chain issue. Its the definition of a supply chain problem. When people say that the supply chain is breaking under the weight of the pandemic they literally mean increased demand and no increase in ability to manage demand (recall the toilet paper crisis of the early days). This is just the left’s way of trying to take responsibility away from Pete Buttigieg.
Recently, Pete Buttigieg spoke at the Port of Long Beach after giving them $200 million to fix the supply chain issue he then claimed did not exist. The Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, literally claimed that he “saved Christmas.” Meanwhile, the people of the United States who have actual eyes and go shopping for their families every week were happy to provide these delusional leftists with the evidence on the contrary which persists today. Breitbart put together a great list of examples shared on Twitter:
The lesson may seem complicated but really it is simple. The left is trying once again to redefine words in order to relinquish they’re direct responsibility for depriving the once greatest nation in the world of basic goods. America is facing an extreme supply chain crisis no matter which link of the chain the left wants to blame.