The United States is in a Christmas supply chain crisis: cream cheese and champagne beer are out of stock, Christmas trees are hard to buy

A worker stocks milk at a grocery store during the blackout after Hurricane Ida in New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S., on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021. The electric utility that serves New Orleans has restored power to a small section of the city after Hurricane Ida devastated the region's grid. Photographer: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg

December 24 – “The United States struggled to survive 2021 due to the lack of understanding of the supply chain.” The Guardian quoted a survey on the 23rd, 45% of Americans admitted that they had never thought about how the goods they bought were made and delivered before the coronavirus pandemic. USA Today also published that during the Christmas holiday in 2021, there was a shortage of a large number of goods in the United States, such as cream cheese, candy snacks and alcohol drinks, and even Christmas trees and holiday decorations.

According to the report, due to the continuous impact of the COVID-19 epidemic for two years, the supply chain is facing a crisis of interruption. Cargo ships are congested with ports, warehouses are full of cargo, and truck drivers are in short supply, resulting in empty shelves for U.S. supermarkets, and online shopping information shows that they are out of stock. Patrick Penfield, professor of supply chain management practice at Syracuse University, said that cream cheese, mint candy and foreign food were one of the commodities in short supply on the eve of the Christmas holiday.

According to a new survey by KPMG, an international consulting company, 71% of American consumers said they were some or very worried about being out of stock; 35% said they would buy other brands instead of their favorite goods. USA Today lists a food shortage: cream cheese, mint candy, ham sausages, champagne beer, toilet paper… The Washington Post also posted that some American families may not be able to buy Christmas trees due to supply chain bottlenecks and labor shortages.

Kili Crockerton, a professor of logistics at Ohio State University, said: “You have a supply chain based on lean and efficient conditions, which will work well when everything goes well. But once there is a failure, the supply chain will become fragile and broken. U.S. companies rely heavily on a supply chain model called timely production. In this mode, companies rarely store raw materials and only order when needed. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the timely supply chain model conflicts with the surge in consumer demand.

As consumer demand increased, the United States had to import more goods from Asia, causing serious congestion in California’s two major ports, and many goods could not be unloaded and piled on board ships. In addition to the port problem, the United States is also facing a shortage of truck drivers. Truck transport agencies assess that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the retirement and departure of a large number of drivers, and there is currently a gap of 80,000.