Supply chain 'to continue to be shaky into 2023,' experts warn

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Thursday, April 21, 2022
Supply chain will be 'shaky' into next year, experts warn
Having trouble finding things at the grocery store? You're not alone, and things aren't likely to improve anytime soon, supply chain experts say

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Supply chain shortages continue and could go longer than anybody could've imagined.

"I couldn't find bacon bits," said Gina Lyons, a shopper at the Food Lion in southeast Raleigh. "All I can say is we gotta pray through it and pray things get better. They say this is going to be the normal but I hope not really."

Experts like Dr. Robert Handfield say it's likely not to get better until next year.

He's a professor of supply chain management at NC State University.

"We have to be patient, we have to be more flexible in terms of looking for things we want or need," Handfield said.

He's especially concerned about electronics with COVID-19 lockdowns in Shanghai.

He said he believes it's potentially an opportunity to regrow the manufacturing base in the country.

"Overall there's a lot of bottlenecks at different points in the supply chain," Handfield said. "As I said, you have high transportation costs, you have higher labor and material costs, too."

Doug Baker is the vice president of industry relations at the Food Industry Association.

It represents retailers, wholesalers and product suppliers, so think of them as middlemen.

Baker is adamant that manufacturers and retailers are doing all they can.

"It's going to be shaky into 2023," Baker said. "Unfortunately it's a bouncing ball. It's really hard to predict and analyze this because everything continues to change. When you think you have figured one thing out, something else happens so it's tough."

He said retailers are adding more space to hold inventory and leaning in on technology to deal with labor challenges.

"One week it's one thing, one week it's another," said Temikia Williams, who was also shopping at the Food Lion in southeast Raleigh.

She couldn't find the kind of hamburger meat she wanted Wednesday night.

"You just gotta compromise and substitute," she said. "That's all you can do."