Supply chain gridlock already causing shortages at stores, and likely to affect holiday season

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The supply-chain gridlock is having an effect on people in North Carolina.

"I've noticed shortages in fruits and vegetables, onions and potatoes and even meat shortages," said Carlos Caple, who was coming out of the Target by the Streets at Southpoint mall.

Inside, the store, there were shelves wiped clean of a lot of baby formula.

Shelves were also low on nutritional shakes, cat food and yogurt.

"We're dealing with the shortages and what's in the ocean is waiting to come in," Caple said. "We're going to be short this holiday season. I know that."

On Wednesday, President Joe Biden highlighted his work with two California ports as he tries to stave off yet another potential political headache from Americans facing delays that are threatening holiday gift-giving.

"There are definitely going to be shortages, there's no way we can get away without them in this time frame and certainly during Christmas," said Robert Handfield, a professor of supply chain management at NC State University.

Handfield sees increased prices on the horizon and also said labor is a huge problem.

"Unless we increase the amount of labor, we need these key nodes in the supply chain," he said. "It's not going to be fixed. Labor is the biggest problem right now."

There is also a crucial need to get vaccines to more countries with low immunization levels, such as Vietnam.

Why Vietnam? According to Handfield, that nation produces half of the apparel for Nike and Adidas worldwide.

His suggestion: Do your Christmas shopping early -- and be prepared to wait.
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