Pandemic's Disruption Of Global Supply Chain And Delivery Of Products Not Likely To End Soon

There is a global supply chain issue that some experts say will get worse before it gets better. KDKA's Jon Delano has more.

Video Transcript

- It is the latest issue prompted by the pandemic. As Money editor Jon Delano reports, it is a global supply chain problem that some experts say will get worse before it gets better.

JON DELANO: It's called the supply chain, the manufacture of all the component parts in a product, then its assembly as a finished item, and finally its delivery to a store or your doorstep.

DENNIS UNKOVIC: We used to make everything in the United States. Starting about 20 years ago, a lot of products and components were made, or are being made outside the United States.

JON DELANO: Local international attorney Dennis Unkovic, who just wrote a book on the collapse of the global supply chain, says America has become too dependent on foreign suppliers.

DENNIS UNKOVIC: You make something in China today, it's going to take you, unless you put it on an airplane, anywhere between 45 and 60 days to get here. You manufacture it in the United States, you can get it tomorrow.

JON DELANO: As more consumers order items online made in Asia, container ships are stacked up in California waiting to be unloaded.

CHRISTOPHER ROGERS: We've currently got something on the order of two dozen ships that are currently offshore from Los Angeles and Long Beach. That's leading to delays for the boats being unloaded of, you know, three to four weeks, in some instances.

JON DELANO: London-based supply chain analyst Christopher Rogers says unpredictable delivery impacts everyone.

CHRISTOPHER ROGERS: Supply chains are designed to run like clockwork, not kind of get stuck.

JON DELANO: Another problem, some parts and products are no longer being made at all, as the pandemic wiped out foreign manufacturers.

DAVID IWINSKI: We think there have been well over a million bankruptcies in China. These companies are never coming back.

JON DELANO: Pittsburgh Asian trade expert David Iwinski says lots of products will be in short supply.

DAVID IWINSKI: Any kind of component that involves circuit boards, anything that involves plastics, medical devices, consumer electronics, paper goods, as simple things as toilet paper and paper towels, all of these will be affected, and household chemicals.

JON DELANO: Analysts say the supply chain disruption could last a year or longer, even if Americans rush in to make missing or delayed products right here at home. Jon Delano, KDKA News.