The Supply Chain Global Struggles = Local Troubles —How This Impacts the OOH Industry
Global Struggles = Local Troubles
The global supply chain been hit hard over the past two years. First the pandemic interrupted supply from China as the country grappled with the first viral waves. And then, as things were improving; massive flooding throughout British Columbia, Canada, cut off access to one of the largest North American ports. The port of Vancouver saw connecting roads and railways swept away. Efforts have been made deal with the disruption, including re-establishing or redirecting routes in and out of the island port, redirecting land routes, and rebuilding miles of track. Unfortunately however, making up for the damage is not a quick fix. With 60 ships still waiting to make berth, it may be long into the New Year before the port sees equilibrium.
On top of that, the supply chain is dealing with a shortage of over 80,000 truck drivers, international vaccine requirements, looming port worker contract negotiations, and potential driver strikes. All indications show this situation may last for over a year.
How This Impacts the OOH Industry
Ocean shipping costs have risen amid a shortage of workers and closed ports. And the backlogs have caused both air and ground shipping times to increase, with supplies taking longer to come in and go out. For OOH companies, this can mean delays in receiving essential items from vinyl sheeting and paint to steel poles and lighting.
All facets of the OOH industry use electronics in one form or another. Digital displays, computers, monitors…even a replacement for a burnt-out office microwave are manufactured overseas these days. Shortages have meant that the units that are available often cost more.
Whether it’s parts for a mobile advertising truck or the company car, parts supply stores and dealerships are already reporting empty shelves and emptier lots. While automotive manufacturers have been trying to make do without certain parts, the scarcity of semiconductor chips coming from electronic suppliers overseas have left auto manufacturers out of gas.
As demand increases and the supply plummets due to shortages, costs rise. While there are no fears around toilet paper shortages this time, everything is expected to cost more. This year, inflation was at a 39-year high of 6.9%. Everything from heating costs to printer ink is increasing in cost. Especially for smaller scale enterprises, all those small increases add up.
The best advice? Try and wait it out. Avoid buying at inflated prices, investigate local solutions for what you need, and above all, plan ahead.
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