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Supply Chain issues impacting some in East Tennessee

Experts say it could take months for things to get back on track.
Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 7:52 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -It’s happening all over the country, supply chain issues are causing problems with getting things into stores.

Electronics, cars, toys and even furniture are not getting delivered on time in some cases.

Jamice Lane Washburn said she spent a good deal of time searching online for furniture for her new home.

“I had saved some money for a few months in order to buy really nice furniture for my new home, only realize it was only gonna take a lot longer to get,” said Washburn.

Washburn said she ordered furniture way before moving into her new home, and even months after moving in, she still doesn’t have furniture.

“They told me that it was probably gonna take anywhere from five to six weeks, which was considered an extended period,” shared Washburn.

Co-Faculty Director of the Global Supply Chain Institute, and Executive Director of Advanced Supply Chain Collaborative at the University of Tennessee Haslam College of Business, Ted Stank, said consumers should expect shipping delays like this for months to come.

Stank said we have shortages of ships, drivers, trucks, containers, people and equipment that is needed to move containers off the ship and make room to store them. Leaving the country to play catch up with this huge swing in demand.

“After our holiday season here in the U.S and after the Chinese New Year, we tend to see a periodic demand slow down and most of us feel that some time later Winter/Spring, is when demand will slow down enough to allow that supply capacity to be able to kinda clear out the backend,” said Stank.

Because of the supply chain issues, Stank said consumers should not expect the same sales they’re used to because demand for products is much higher than normal. He also expressed that even though this is going on, consumers shouldn’t panic.

Items will still be available, just possibly without as many options as we’re used to.

“When things work right, nobody knows how this product got into our hands. It’s just here we buy it, we love it and we take it home. Supply chain becomes visible when it breaks down. And right now it is breaking down in so many different ways,” shared Stank.

When it comes to having a couch for her new home, Washburn said she was able to find alternative furniture at a Knoxville store.

“I settled, because the furniture that I have coming is not what I wanted, but at least my family won’t have to bring their lawn chairs,” shared Washburn.

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