Two years Britain had a choice to stay in the European Economic Union or not to, there were plenty of advocates on both sides and in a vote, Britain decided to leave or Brexit. It might have been okay until the pandemic happened and the movement of people slowed or stopped. Britain relied on people from other countries to do the work in the supply system. The pandemic has not stopped and Britain’s supply system has not improved a great deal.
In an article by Stephen Castle and Jenny Gross of the New York Times News Service, to solve the supply problems of drivers, once a week a 32 rail car carries wine from the port of Tilbury about 200 miles to London. The train carries 650,000 bottles of wine for London’s supermarkets. One of the biggest supermarkets in London is Tesco and they are considering running the train daily to meet the wine demand.
Britain has been dealing with many supply chain problems including lack of food and gas, shortage of drivers, global shipping delays, product shortages, the pandemic, Brexit restrictions and we are in December and the holiday shopping.
The Cold Chain Federation, which represents firms that store and distribute frozen food, warned shoppers than there could easily be fewer choices this Christmas.
Richard Wilding, professor of Supply Chain Management at Cranfield University used the US military term VUCA to describe challenges facing British businesses. VUCA means volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous.
Patrick Adom, founder of the Very Puzzled which sells puzzles said this year he has shipped 200 puzzles down from 2,000 a year ago. The puzzles are made in China and then costs and delays happen. Cost of shipping containers has increased, when the puzzles arrive there is a lack of truck drivers to move the product, there has been fuel shortages, higher export fees and increased administrative hassles. Just when you are getting in a rhythm, new challenges present themselves. (in a music example – people had to learn to play jazz).
Linking to dividend paying stocks, people do not often think about how the product arrived on the shelf, where it was made and how it was transported to where the show room, because the supply chain system worked well. When the system is delayed or broken, it is important to know as an investor how does the company you invest in manage their supply system. We all live in just in time delivery, how well does it work?
There are more questions than answers, till the next time – to raising questions.