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Are you seeing more supply chain jankiness?

I had an odd experience the other day, and I’m wondering if you might be seeing other weird stuff. We grabbed lunch at Sonic and my son complained that someone had eaten his sweet and sour sauce. I took a look and the container was half empty. I then opened a fresh container, and it was half-empty as well!

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Of course, we’ve all been dealing with various shortages like toilet paper, cleaners, and ammunition, but this is the first time I’ve seen a sauce container not even half-filled. I’m wondering if it’s an anomaly or a sign of supply chain issues.

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  • Comments (28)

    • 6

      I noticed last week that all the drain cleaners were out at the local Target.  I also have seen 4′ metal fence panels be on backorder for months now.  Large reflective number stickers – like for house numbers = were nearly all gone from 2 or 3 different Lowes and Home Depots.  

      • 2

        Why do you think that was?

        Was there a reason everyone wanted to go out and buy large reflective stickers, or do you think that there was just a supply issue with the manufacturer? 

      • 4

        if we were still where we were when the latest pandemic started, I would have guessed that companies would prefer (possible even incentivized) to skip over the less profitable items (like address numbers) in order to prioritize the things selling off the shelves.

        Suppose a company like 3M makes A) respirator filters and B) oil absorbent pads. In the scenario where there is a huge demand for product A, and less demand for product B, it would make sense for them to temporarily stop producing B to put more resources into manufacturing A.

        and now we have a situation we are starting to look for product B again and there’s no real reason we should have a shortage, but supply just never got restocked. 

        Or it could be something completely different, I have no experience handling supply chain.

    • 7

      I’ve seen  shortages of essentials at the start of the pandemic which appear to have improved BUT CHOICE is greatly reduced, Example our store normally carrying about 15 different brands and types of tinned tomatos, now there is only 3. Shortages that are persistant appear to be stuff like lumber and hardware, bottled propane, guns and ammo, certain medical supplies.  We keep dipping in and out of our reserves but normally manage to replace them without to much difficulty. HOWEVER over in the US I have read that theft of shopping and burglaries targetting food stuffs have started to occur, something unheard of before.

      • 3

        I live in a small rural town of less than 10,000 and when covid hit, I heard that delivery trucks were getting robbed when they were unloading their supplies into the stores in the morning. 

        Luckily things have gotten better, and we have been able to find everything that we need today. I haven’t seen any difference or shortage of anything lately. 

        They even had a huge display of sanitizing wipe packs on sale for $0.25. So it looks like supply has gotten a bit larger than the demand for some things.

        -Be Prepared-

      • 3

        I read in the WSJ that manufacturers were purposely severely cutting down on different options to simplify their supply chains and make sure they don’t lose money, so your observation is accurate.

        Propane prices are going up due to the large increase in demand due to restrictions on indoor operations (so stuff like outdoor dining in the cold requiring a lot of propane to heat the area for customers).

      • 2

        Had read and experienced the same, Boris.

        Besides propane, the basic disinfectants used by consumers like bleach, added to list.  Since modified by their award-winning public service announcements, CDC said not that necessary for frequent disinfecting services.  Regardless, every organization with a budget and every household with children or the infirm, loaded up with bottles of bleach, ammonia and the envelop packets of disinfectant “towell-ettes”.

    • 8

      The worst happened. I bought a packet of Cadbury Cream Eggs on saturday and there were only 5! There used to be 6, sort of a play on real eggs. I know this sounds a bit lighthearted, but I have noticed a few packed items have been reduced in size.

      As Bill has mentioned, the choice has definitely been reduced in the UK. Well known brands were missing for some months as companies struggled to find stock to put on the shelves. 

      • 4

        Its worse than that up here, No Toffee Eggs.  I’m gutted.  Best thing we have done lately is get membership for a couple of Cash n Carries like Makro. so we are now buying TRAYS of beans, tomatoes, potatoes, sweetcorn, peas, corned beef, bacon grill etc.

    • 7

      I have noticed that some store brands of facial tissues (in the square box, not the rectangular box) seem to be 1/3 packaged air, much like your hot sauce.

    • 3

      It looks like the price of Mylar is going up with this company at least. https://usa.dupontteijinfilms.com/press-releases/dupont-teijin-films-announces-price-increase-effective-march-1-2021/

      They say it is due to “continued rising costs of raw materials, transportation, packaging materials, as well as additional costs associated with keeping our employees safe and healthy during the pandemic.”

    • 2
    • 2

      I’m struggling to find PURE not blended Mancuna honey for the house and medical kits, i keep finding blended but i want pure.

      • 3

        Is it Manuka honey?

      • 1

        Yeah it gets called both but I think your way is the best known.

      • 2

        I think we have it locally. Are you allowed to have it shipped in you?

      • 3

        Wife has found some thanks, should arrive in a couple of days.

      • 4

        Glad to hear it. Thank goodness it keeps well.

    • 2

      I have been unable to find (chemical) oven cleaners for months now.

      • 3

        Baking soda, vinegar and water can serve as a substitute.

        Some people use ammonia, but it is caustic and has very strong fumes that could cause respiratory issues. I have no idea why people ever used it.

    • 3

      Lumber and hardware prices have risen drastically. A friend of mine makes chairs, and the price of his materials has doubled (at least) since last spring. Lots of new subdivisions are under construction in the exurbs, and people are adding onto their existing houses as well.

      • 3

        I was seeing that too. Especially earlier last year with the lockdowns. Everyone and their cat were stuck at home and remodeling their bathroom with their stimulus check. And with the Home Depot being considered an essential business, it was one of the only things open that people could go to and do things at. It was always super crowded.

    • 2

      While I don’t think this entirely do to COVID or international supply chain issues, but I was just shopping for a pair of tire chains for my wife’s new car only to find availability was extremely limited.  Out of curiosity I checked portable generators and a few other popular winter-time preps and found supply low and prices high.  I suspect the winter storms in Texas has spiked demand for such products… it reminded me of trying to buy an air purifier this past summer during all the wildfires.  A great reminder to never wait until you need something to try to acquire it, because at that point it may be too late.

    • 2

      People in my town running around looking for masks. One store sold 1 mask for $5.00.

      • 2

        Wow, do you mean there are no surgical/paper masks? What about fabric ones? Where I live they sell them everywere now (but you can also find surgical masks too).

      • 1

        Hi Carlotta Susanna, It looks that way. I thought someone was selling fabric masks here also, but perhaps I was mistaken.

        I haven’t bought masks locally, nor would I. Most of my shopping is online or in the city. I buy those types of preps online and have used industrial suppliers when “retail” outlets were out of stock.

        I think that is a good point about prepping, too. Some people need to be taught how to source items. They go to 1 or 2 traditional sources, but don’t think outside the box. For example, welding supply companies sell masks as part of that industry. It is a good source and one I have used for reputable mask. 

        I didn’t have any extra clean masks with me or I would have just given them one.

      • 1

        You make a great point about being creative when sourcing things!