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Contrary to Some, Supply Chain Issues Are No Joke

I always enjoy when policy issues become the epicenter of focus for mainstream media; the ongoing supply chain issues we are currently encountering are certainly a great case study reinforcing this phenomenon. At any given time, you can turn on CNBC, Fox Business, or other cable news outlets and hear the breaking developments from some reporter who’s become the latest expert on the current supply chain mess.

I was highly entertained reading the thoroughly reductive op-ed from Washington Post Contributing Columnist, Micheline Maynard, who earlier this week wrote,  Don’t rant about short-staffed stores and supply chain woes. The premise of the piece of course being that Americans are spoiled and should stop buying as much stuff. Is there some truth to her opinion piece? Yes. But when columnists and reporters alike start painting the ongoing supply chain situation as, “Children won’t be getting Christmas presents this year because they are stuck on a container ship in San Pedro Bay,” frankly, I want to scream.

What about the products that are vital to everyday living? What would we do without chlorine cars being delivered to local municipalities for water treatment facility operations or liquid oxygen for ventilators to treat COVID-19 patients? And how about the liquid nitrogen that is frequently used in food preservation and as a coolant to operate machinery at American manufacturing facilities? Or maybe citric acid that is used in products varying from energy drinks to disinfectants to sanitizers. This issue isn’t entirely about people buying their convenience and inessential goods online.

I think what really sent me over the edge was when White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, during her briefing on Tuesday while addressing supply chain issues, casually poked fun at the “tragedy of the treadmill that’s delayed.” Being White House Press Secretary is as challenging a job as there is out there—no doubt. But Ms. Psaki’s comment underlines the concerns of many in our industry and others about just how uninformed this administration is on the supply chain crisis and how seriously they are going to address issues that slow down shipping movements. Making light of the situation does not invoke confidence nor trust that supply chain issue resolution is front and center for this administration.  

This situation must be addressed swiftly and seriously, otherwise this country will start seeing shortages of the things that DO MATTER, and then no one will be snickering about treadmill deliveries or presents under the Christmas tree this year.  

Do your part to help us bring this conversation to Capitol Hill, respond to our October Shipping Survey today.

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