US Small Businesses Grapple With Ongoing Supply Chain Disruptions

  • US small companies proceed to face shortages of key assets from a 12 months of supply-chain shocks.
  • One firm paid $eight,000 to ship 72 containers of t-shirts by way of air — greater than 10X the price of ocean freight.
  • The disruption is giving some enterprise homeowners the squeeze, however for others, it is a chance.
  • See extra tales on Insider’s enterprise web page.

In San Francisco, it is tapioca pearls for boba tea. In Kalamazoo, it is glass bottles for craft spirits. And in Tulsa, it is nitrile gloves for restaurant staff.

All throughout the US, small companies proceed to face shortages and delays of key assets because of the compounding results of greater than a 12 months of supply-chain shocks.

From labor shortages to redirected manufacturing to a brutally chilly winter to a ship caught within the sand, the setbacks and delays are placing a selected pressure on the nation’s smaller companies.

Nearly half of small companies surveyed in March reported product shortages or different provide issues, the Wall Street Journal reported, noting that smaller corporations tended to have fewer choices than bigger firms relating to navigating these challenges.

In San Francisco, the Chronicle reported that import shortages have compelled one family-owned boba tea store, Boba Bliss, was sending relations everywhere in the East Bay Area to attain elusive containers of tapioca pearls.

Another proprietor anxious that sourcing from a distinct provider would harm his status.

“It ruined our business when we had to temporarily use the Taiwanese pearls for two to three months,” stated William Cho, proprietor of The Boba Shop. “People are very picky about their pearls.”

In Michigan, the founding father of Green Door Distilling Co. Josh Cook advised MiBiz that tumbler shortages have been “catastrophic.”

The cause? Cook’s glass suppliers are all contracted as much as produce vaccine vials, inflicting lead-times to leap from lower than two months to greater than 4. 

“How can you plan for that? You really can’t,” he stated.

Also in Michigan, the Journal experiences one attire firm is making an attempt to bypass two-month delays in ocean delivery by paying $eight,000 to ship 72 containers of t-shirts, 10 occasions the standard value. 

The shortages and value will increase are being felt in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the place restaurant homeowners advised the Journal they’re shelling out $185 for a field of nitrile gloves that used to value $40 earlier than the pandemic.

While some consumer-facing companies might be able to go alongside value will increase to their clients, some B2B firms advised the Journal they’re feeling the squeeze.

“We buy from billion-dollar companies and sell to billion-dollar companies,” stated Heather Chandler, President of Sealstrip Corp., which sells packaging merchandise to main CPG manufacturers.

Even so, different entrepreneurs and specialists advised Insider this disruption might current a chance to find new approaches to sourcing.

Douglas Kent, an govt on the Association for Supply Chain Management, stated container shortages and rising transport prices will carry extra firms to rethink their provide chains.

“Smaller firms have opportunities to address the real issues,” he stated.


If you are a small enterprise proprietor experiencing latest supply-chain points, please get in contact with this reporter at

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