Out of Delivery Drivers and Out of Gas

Out of Delivery Drivers and Out of Gas

 

Gas prices have been going up, and this trend is expected to continue.

Usually, oil shortages fuel this phenomenon, but today, there is an abundant oil supply. The weak link is somewhere else in the supply chain: delivery from refineries to gas stations. During the pandemic, tanker drivers quit their jobs and changed careers. As people are starting to travel again, it is difficult to fill these positions, and the shortage of drivers is being felt at the pump.

 

 


Video Spotlight: No Panic at the Gas Pump


This post is based on the NBC News article, Shortage of Delivery Drivers Means Some Gas Station Pumps Could Run Dry, by P.A. Eisenstein, April 28, 2021, and the YouTube video, Experts Say Drivers Won’t See Difference at Gas Pumps Despite Fuel Driver Shortage, by WBIR Channel 10, April 30, 2021. Image source: kabby/Shutterstock.

Discussion Questions:

1. Describe the widespread workforce shortage in the trucking industry. How does it impact the availability of fuel at gas stations?

Guidance: The shortage of drivers is exacerbated by shortages of dispatchers and office staff, qualified mechanics, registered inspectors, and design-certified engineers. The lack of capacity has created a bottleneck Continue reading

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Factors Affecting Supply Chain Resilience

Factors Affecting Supply Chain Resilience

COVID-19 has exposed many vulnerabilities in our supply chains.  Of particular note are supply chains for food and personal protective equipment (PPE).

Most people take for granted that we can walk into a grocery store, and leave with a wide variety of food items.  However, in Spring 2020, this was not the case.  Many store shelves were bare, including some essentials such as flour and pasta.  Many farmers destroyed milk, eggs, and chickens, while other crops rotted in the field.

Similar problems have occurred across almost every supply chain.  Shortages of PPE occurred during the early stage of the pandemic. Most PPE production was concentrated in China.  The combination of disrupted production and transportation and increased demand created shortages.

Shipping containers have made worldwide transportation more efficient and reliable.  As a result, organizations have spread their supply chains throughout the world to increase their efficiencies.  This has also led to concentration of production, a reduction in the number of suppliers, and added a bottleneck, as seen in the recent blockage of the Suez Canal.

The food supply chain illustrates many problems brought on by a search for efficiencies.  To increase Continue reading

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Nike and Direct-to-Consumer: Just Doing It

Nike and Direct-to-Consumer: Just Doing It

May 5, 2021

Nike continues its march towards more direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales, notifying seven more distributors that they will no longer be selling its products.

The last shipments to DSW, Macy’s, Urban Outfitters, Big Five, and several others are likely to go out in October 2021. The move follows Nike’s cut of nine wholesalers last fall, and continues a push towards more digital sales.

Its DTC model that began about a decade ago has been accelerated and positively affected by the pandemic.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the Retail Dive article, Nike drops DSW, Urban Outfitters, Macy’s in quest for more DTC sales , by Cara Salpini, March 26, 2021; the Retail Dive article, How Nike is using DTC and data to expand its empire, by Cara Salpini, March 23, 2021; and the YouTube video in the Spotlight. Image source: Paulaphoto/Shutterstock

Discussion Questions:

1. How will Nike reach consumers if it bypasses the many wholesalers and retailers on which it has traditionally relied?

Guidance: Nike plans to use more digital sales in its app-driven stores, and it plans to open about 200 Continue reading

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