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Supply Chain Troubles Impacting Companies And Consumers Across The World

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - If you've tried to make a big purchase recently, you probably faced a long wait and a high price tag.

The shortages are a byproduct of the COVID-19 pandemic that's wreaking havoc on companies across the world.

It started with the toilet paper.

Now the shortages are everywhere - from cars to furniture, chicken to lumber.

Even Topo Chico hasn't been spared.

"We saw manufacturing facilities shutting down, and there was a slowing of goods, a slowing of movement through the supply chain," said Jennifer Blackhurst, a professor of Business Analytics at the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business.

Now, demand is far outstripping supply in a world dependent on global commerce, creating massive backlogs of goods and materials.

"To the point where companies aren't able to get enough capacity to ship the products that they need or get the raw materials that they need to be able to make the products," she said.

Take, for example, the computer chip, which car manufacturers need to produce cars.

Delays on the chips are crippling the car industry.

And if companies can even secure shipping containers - at soaring prices - there may not be anyone to receive the products.

"You have situations where product is, is just sitting off shore, waiting to be unloaded," said Professor Blackhurst.

Those glitches in the supply chain ultimately run downhill to the end customer, like the Lakewood Smokehouse. It recently went out of business, and the owner pointed to "the cost of everything we buy increasing by 20 to 50 percent" as one of the primary reasons.

At the end of the chain are the consumers.

Between working through the backlog of orders and the delta variant throwing another curveball, Professor Blackhurst said you should do your holiday shopping now.

"I just think, come the holidays, it's gonna be pretty messy this year."

And, she said, even beyond.

"It certainly isn't going to happen this year, and it's probably well into next year before we see anything getting back to normal."

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