Unprecedented Supply Chain Disruptions

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March 3, 2020 7:56 p.m.
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A longtime reader who is a CEO in tech manufacturing describes the knock-on effects of COVID-19:

The disruption to our supply chain is … just bewildering. It may be that it is massive. It may be that it is just bizarre? But at the moment, there is just confusion.

Dozens of our suppliers are having trouble just getting any actionable information to us. Some are telling us “soon” for when we can expect information. Others are telling us they can’t reach their suppliers.

Beyond that, air freight from Asia is now in chaos. In the belly of every 747, 777 and 767 flight from China to LAX are pallets upon pallets of high value input raws which go into products here.

And we are on the phone with out customers telling them the same thing our suppliers are telling us: “We are working on it.”

None of our products themselves are end-user complete. We are a Tier2 Supplier. … Our customers are other companies who are also mostly unheard of, who are themselves Tier1 suppliers … to large Dow and NASDAQ companies you have heard of, who put them into big finished goods people take for granted.

You are very, very, very right that this disruption is … unprecedented.

And the biggest thing right now is … no one down at our level has any idea when it will end. So we are doing the industry equivalent of project triage while hoping we will get a better understanding sometime soon.

Key Coronavirus Crisis Links

Josh Marshall’s Twitter List of Trusted Experts (Epidemiologists, Researchers, Clinicians, Journalists, Government Agencies) providing reliable real-time information on the COVID-19 Crisis.

COVID-19 Tracking Project (updated data on testing and infections in the U.S.).

IHME Projections Site (COVID-19 epidemic model which has become the canonical model for many states and hospitals.)

Johns Hopkins Global COVID-19 Survey (most up to date numbers globally and for countries around the world).

Worldometers.info (extensive source of information and data visualizations on COVID-19 Crisis — discussion of data here).

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