Why Global Supply Chains Have Become So Snarled
This week, more than 60 container ships sat anchored off the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California, waiting for their chance to unload as makers of everything from board games to bicycles sweat the looming holiday season. How did the world’s supply chains get so snarled? In the first episode of the new season of Stephanomics, reporters, manufacturers and economists across three continents explain the myriad problems plaguing shippers and offer a sobering prediction for the near future.
First, Enda Curran, Bloomberg’s chief economics correspondent in Asia, takes us to Hong Kong, where a coffee machine manufacturer must wait up to nine months for key electronic components to arrive. Meanwhile, the cost of moving one container from Asia to the U.S. has risen from $2,000 at the start of the pandemic to $20,000. Next, U.K.-based economy reporter Lizzy Burden shares why one of the world’s most advanced economies could find itself with a shortage of fuel and food this winter, a problem exacerbated by Brexit and new rules on worker visas.
Finally, Stephanie Flanders gets a taste of how U.S. restaurants are coping with a shortage of both supplies and waiters. Celebrity restaurateur Willie Degel and HSBC trade economist Shanella Rajanayagam explain why supply shortages haven’t improved despite the accelerating reopening of the global economy.
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