Published: Oct. 28, 2021

If you’ve listened to the news in the past few weeks, you’ll no doubt have heard countless reports about “the supply chain.” Those reports usually state upfront that there is a big problem. Then there’s an interview an expert of one sort or the other who mentions one or two of the major challenges facing a broken system. But here’s another perspective: If you overload a car, hitch on a trailer, and gun it up a steep mountainous road in 35-degree Celsius weather, what do you think is going to happen?



The COVID pandemic started a series of events that strained so many parts of the system, it simply couldn’t manage the load.

First, goods and component parts that are manufactured in Asia, stopped being produced when the factories shut down. Second, panic buying and hoarding by consumers and businesses, resulted in unnecessary shortages, that spurred on more panic buying.

Third, when everyone was shut-in at home, buying trends changed much faster than they usually do. The demand for laptops, tablets, exercise equipment, and home improvement supplies, all went through the roof, depleting inventories of those goods. And, consumer spending in general shifted from services that couldn’t be accessed, to products they wouldn’t usually buy. Buyers were also purchasing from different companies than they did before, with no option to cross the border, or shop in person at all. E-commerce stores that depend on home delivery, added more demand. And, while all of this was happening, the supply chain’s priorities had already changed to focus on the medical supplies that were critical to saving lives. So, there was a huge upswing in consumer demand, while the supply chain was basically off-line for any non-essential goods.

Now, there’s a backlog. Yes, it’s a huge one. And it’s being exacerbated by labour shortages. Everyone knew the aging workforce was going to have a global impact eventually, but values changed during Covid too. So, catching up on everything – manufacturing, assembly, finishing, order processing, and delivery – faces the additional challenge of finding workers when many opted for retirement or a change that would add value, rather than just money, to their lives.

Since we’re not over the COVID disruption yet, things are going to continue to be out of whack for a while. But it will get better. Many manufacturing plants have reopened. Changes are being made to help clear the congestion between Asia and North America, like ports running 24 hours a day. Domestic and cross-border transportation companies like ours, as well as local delivery companies, are working hard and doing a great job.

We don’t think the supply chain is broken. From our perspective, everyone has been, and continues doing the best they can to deal with a problem that no one saw coming and that has changed the world in more ways that anyone expected. Perhaps it will also teach us patience.


Ameri-Can Logistics Ltd. is a trucking company servicing shipping ports, railroad depots, and communities throughout North America. Operating 24/7/365 with continuous dispatch services, businesses have relied on Ameri-Can to distribute their products to buyers in Canada, the United States, and Mexico, for three decades.

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