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Supply Chain Woes

Retailers and manufacturers have been warning about a shortage of products in stores due to gridlock in the global supply chain. The concern goes beyond a shortage of gift options for the upcoming holiday season. Supply chain problems could affect corporate profits and raise prices.

Some executives and market experts suggest this bottleneck will work itself out over the next few months. But others see the potential for these challenges to linger beyond that.

Ports are backlogged with containers and simply trying to empty these ports may prove difficult. On October 13, President Joe Biden announced the Port of Los Angeles will move to 24/7 service. Along with the Port of Long Beach, which is already working on a 24/7 schedule, these ports handle 40% of container traffic in the US. But increasing port hours may not fix the problem because truckers may not have enough capacity to take these products from the ports to warehouses and local stores.

The supply crunch is causing inflation to increase because of the surge in demand for products. Lack of product could encourage people to put off purchases. These troubles could end up hurting investors because of lower corporate profits and hurting consumers, who find themselves paying more for just about everything at the supermarket.

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