From chips to truck drivers, shortages hit stores, consumers

ORLANDO, Fla. — We have seen what type of impact the on-going pandemic has had on the new car market. Due to a shortage of chips for cars, production has slowed down tremendously.

However, it is not just a chip shortage causing delays for everyday products you see in stores.


What You Need To Know

  • Chip shortage was caused by factories shutting down during the pandemic
  • Now there is a backlog of cargo ships trying to make port in California, partially because there are no truck drivers to transport the goods from the ships
  • Some forecasts say the product delay could last into 2023
  • RELATED: GM, Ford halt some production as global chip shortage worsens

Walking in to Southeast Steel Appliance Warehouse in Orlando, you’ll find business owner Stu Kimball talking to potential customers.

“We got 50 of each one not too long ago, I think they are out,” the business owner of 40-plus years tells a customer.

Business, Kimball will admit, is good, but an ETA for your next new appliance could make your head spin.

“It’s never been like this where we never had it,” Kimball said. “The thing is based on forecast from some of the leading manufacturers, this is going to go until May 2023.”

A big reason is due to a chip shortage, which happened when chip makers were forced to close their facilities during the pandemic. That closure created a back log.

“It’s a ripple effect,” UCF Marketing Professor Dr. Axel Stock explained. “The first demand was for computers.”

Which then led to a shortage in cars, which then impacted Kimball’s business.

“You plug the hole with your thumb, but then all of the sudden there is another hole,” Stock says.

But it’s not just the chips either. 

Kimball in his office has a map of dots in the Pacific Ocean. Each dot, and there are dozens of them, represent a cargo ship waiting for its turn to dock.

Shipping containers that have everything from chips, to cars, toys, and even Kimball’s potential appliances to sell to you, are on those ships.

“These ships are out there, have been out there for weeks and months,” Kimball said. “They are all just waiting to be unloaded.”

What Kimball does have is what the ports in California need.

“They can’t get drivers,” Kimball said. “They can’t get trucks to move the products off the ship and out to the people.”

Kimball says this is the time of year business heats up for the holidays, but folks need to cool down their expectations on a potential delivery date.

Depending what product and brand you are buying, Kimball says the appliance could be delivered anywhere from the next day to sometime next year.

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