The Supply Chain’s Many Challenges

Since 2020, the pandemic has put an enormous pressure on the supply chain. A little less than two years later, consequences still arise as entire cities are suddenly put on lockdown and mandatory quarantines for those infected are enforced to help stop the spread of the virus. These measures, put into place for safety reasons, considerably weigh on the supply chain, which happens to still be significantly disturbed.

As factories shut down for indefinite periods of time and/or restrictions on port activities are imposed, it is the whole supply chain that suffers as it is the case here, in Canada, as our main ports experience major bottlenecks. Delays in unloading ships cause cargo to be stuck in port for unpredictable periods, resulting in additional costs for many parties involved. Plus, these factors generated a blank sailing increase, which caused a capacity reduction throughout the supply chain. 

Moreover, port congestion is not the only supply chain struggle nowadays; workers also play a big role in the supply chain health, and lately, workers do not feel valued nor listened to, in addition to experiencing serious pressure from their employers. The last years have been especially difficult for workers as already understaffed companies were seriously put to the test when Covid and the quarantines it implies hit. The workforce then had to work twice as much to compensate for their colleagues forced to stay home for a while. 

Now that we have learned to live with the virus and that quarantine time has been cut back, workers want more from their employers, after having held the fort for close to two years now. They ask for a better work-life balance, a higher pay and benefits, which companies struggle to offer, causing growing discontent among the workforce that turned into strikes, which in turn contributed to adding, again, more pressure on the supply chain. 

The situation is intricate as the supply chain faces several challenges, from factory lockdowns, port congestion and labour issues, which deeply complexify logistic solutions.

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