Supply Chain Expert Says Order Christmas Gifts Now, Or Else…

Statewide Iowa — Iowans might be wise to order their holiday gifts now — in July — if they hope to have plenty of presents under the tree come late December, according to a logistics and supply chain expert at the University of Iowa.

Jen Blackhurst, a U-I professor of business analytics, says many retailers simply aren’t recovering from the pandemic nightmares and a perfect storm is developing that will mean more shortages to come.

Blackhurst calls it the bullwhip effect, where a small change or glitch in demand or in the supply chain can quickly grow in severity.

We’ve seen it repeatedly during the pandemic where certain items simply are unavailable and shelves are empty. Think toilet paper, cleaning products, and hand sanitizer early on, while later it was webcams, furniture, lumber, video game consoles, and countless other products.

Many areas of the world are facing severe supply chain issues and it’s affecting a wide range of products, and she says it probably won’t be fixed by Christmas.

Blackhurst says one report tells how the price to purchase space on a shipping container from China to the U-S has risen 200-percent or more just in the past four months. She predicts we won’t see supply chains fully functioning again until mid-2022 at the earliest.

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