Supply chain continued to be one of the most talked about topics in October, as we’re reaching the end of the year and the world continues to grapple with labor shortages, port congestions, high prices and inventory shortages.
As such, supply chain maintained its No. 3 position on Big Valley’s Top Conversations in Tech list. The topic also registered its second month of sizeable gains (up 57%) in coverage volume from Sept’21 (from 240,791 stories to 378,019), reaching its highest point in this analysis. Of note, year-over-year coverage volume increased by a whopping 252% (from 107,469 in Oct’20 to 378,019 in Oct’21). Compared to Sep’19, coverage volume substantially increased by 386% (from 77,806 stories), showing how supply chains have become an omnipresent discussion topic.
The impact of supply chain disruptions on the holiday shopping season remained the biggest coverage driver this month, as consumers continue to face shipping delays, limited inventory and empty shelves as well as higher prices. At the same time, shippers, suppliers and retailers have been impacted to varying degrees. Walmart and Home Depot reported strong quarterly earnings, indicating that larger companies – who have leveraged their deep pockets to charter their own ships and hire more workers ahead of the holidays – have thus far been better able to weather the storm, compared to smaller players who are left to vie for scarce resources.
Despite some more optimistic reports pointing to supply chain improvements, such as the recent reduction of the number of ships waiting to unload at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, all experts agree that we will continue to face bottlenecks in every link of the supply chain, especially as the pandemic persists, with these disruptions having longer-lasting effects on certain sectors. This is why companies need to proactively communicate how they are implementing changes to minimize risks, as the industry overall is trying to take a more robust and focused action to protect supply chains.