“It’s a little more complicated than it first seems.”
That’s the assessment of the economy’s supply-chain woes by Guy Williams, president of Gulf Coast Bank & Trust.
With businesses desperate to dig out of canyons’ worth of demand for goods that they aren’t able to get on their shelves, will the shortages brought on by the shipping challenges wrought by COVID see any relief in 2022?
The outlook isn’t great, and the first issue, Williams told Newell Normand on WWL Radio, is that there’s a lot less competition than there used to be.
“There used to be 30 big shippers. That’s consolidated down to seven,” Williams said. “So you don’t have as many options to ship.”
But the larger issue lies in China, where another wave of COVID is ravaging the country.
“Their approach to coronavirus is to absolutely lock down a city, a province, a port,” Williams said. “And so, that is really challenging the supply chain for things coming out of China. And a lot of things still come out of China. We really haven’t diversified away from China very much. People are trying, but it takes quite a while.”
With all these issues combining, the forecast is grim.
“The supply chain is still constrained,” Williams said. “Probably this is going to be a very tough year.”