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Shortages 2021: Have You Noticed Something’s Missing?

Have you heard of all the shortages lately? In the past few months, we’ve been noticing some hiccups in the production chain. The world turned upside down, and it’s still working its way to being upright(ish) again. 

6 products you may have noticed are missing

Chip shortage

Don’t worry; your kettle chips aren’t in danger (yet). Car chips have run short since the pandemic. Once the shutdowns began, manufacturers started using key parts of these chips in consumer electronics. Then, that created a kink in the very intricate supply chain.

You didn’t know your car had a chip? Most of us didn’t until the new car supply started to decline. These semiconductor chips are the core of many functions, the more basic ones being power steering and brakes – you know, essentials. It’s actually a big deal, as AlixPartners expects the global automotive industry to lose $60.6 billion this year. And it’s not easy to make more.

Rental car shortage

This one is easy to track: People stopped traveling. Remember learning about supply and demand? The rental car companies were getting no demand, so how could they stay afloat? Selling the supply of cars. Unfortunately, now people are venturing out in droves, and these companies can’t keep up.

Lumber shortage

If you’re remodeling right now, you might have noticed your Home Depot bill is a little pricey. Many sawmills decided to shut down production around this time last year. In addition to health and safety concerns, they thought the housing market was headed toward a slump. Now, according to the National Association of Home Builders, prices are sky-high because of additional reasons, such as unexpected demand and tariffs on Canadian lumber.

Furniture shortage

We all were at home for quite some time, and staring at the same space for months made us think we were suddenly interior designers. So, one reason the furniture industry is experiencing a shortage is because of the high demand. But also, it’s because of a chain reaction caused by a global shipping container shortage

Chlorine shortage

Here’s something you thought you’d never live through: the worst chlorine shortage in history. In September 2020, chlorine manufacturer BioLab in Louisiana had a fire, and the supply chain has been slower since. Business Insider said the price for chlorine has doubled. Lucky for us pool-goers, there may be more saltwater pools for the summer. How will water parks survive?

Chicken shortage

As The Wall Street Journal reported, “Chicken wings are flying off the shelves.” Restaurant owners are having a hard time finding chicken, and when they find it, it’s not cheap. Wingstop told WSJ it’s paying 26% more for bone-in chicken wings. What’s the deal? First, there has been a chicken sandwich war over the past few years, so demand is higher; therefore, the price shoots up. Second, suppliers are having trouble keeping enough employees


Hopefully, these industries will adapt to the situation and grow through it. But some worry that these shortages will cause companies to raise prices, therefore risking inflation.

Which products did we miss? Let us know in the comments.

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