A two-part shortage spotlight

If there’s one thing that there's no shortage of right now, it's the use of the word “shortage” as we enter the holiday season. Will packages even arrive as supply chains continue to break down? Are there really enough stranded shipping containers to stretch from LA to Chicago? Are we all, frankly, buying way too much? In today’s CD we’re bringing readers Part 2 of our special Cassandra Daily mini-series, read on as we talk supply shortages.


Supply shortages are rampant as labor, time to action climate policies, and physical supplies just plain run out. Now, we’re hearing of a magnesium shortage that could essentially shut down the auto industry worldwide by end of year and paper shortages that means consumers' next physical book could be very very difficult to get! We recommend keeping an eye on how these supply shortages will inevitably affect brand affinity, which often starts with consumers' ability to predict where, how, and when they can expect to find their favorite products.


Don’t think these issues stop at supplies, now the Federal Reserve chair says supply chains (as in, the process that gets products from one place to another) could have continued issues well into 2022. With global worldwide shipping of PPE equipment mainly from China leaving crates abandoned all around the world, we’re seeing crates piling up at ports. These container pile-ups means even if companies don’t have a supply shortage, they may have shipping issues preventing products from reaching consumers. While these supply chain issues aren’t new, the heightened challenges amplified by COVID-19 will likely be felt throughout the holiday season.


But hold on, what if it’s not really a supply issue? What if it’s a demand issue?What if consumers are just buying way more and therefore creating some of these shortages themselves? With $10.4 trillion global stimulus provided worldwide to increase spending, it’s no shock consumers went out and bought more. In America alone, 2021 saw an increase in retail sales of 14.5% from the same nine-month period in 2020, a year that also saw a jump of 8% over 2019. While there is no doubt that supply chains need revamping, maybe the solution is to listen to Gen Z and Millennials and their shouts for more sustainable living. Should we just, simply, buy less?