Global Supply Chain Crisis 2021: Megathread - A cozy thread for watching the supply chain fall apart just in time for the holidays

  • The site is having difficulties because our bandwidth is totally overextended. Our 1Gbps line is at 100% even when there aren't 8000 people on the site. We were supposed to get a second Gbps line months ago but I'm struggling to get technicians scheduled to set it up.

Should the title be re-worded to expand the scope of the thread?

  • The US Trucking Crisis of 2021 works fine

    Votes: 25 9.4%
  • The US Logistics Crisis of 2021

    Votes: 30 11.2%
  • The US Transportation Crisis of 2021

    Votes: 7 2.6%
  • The US Supply Chain Crisis of 2021

    Votes: 35 13.1%
  • Global Supply Chain Crisis 2021

    Votes: 206 77.2%

  • Total voters
    267
  • Poll closed .

contradiction of terns

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How it all started; an introduction for those who have been living under a rock

For those who have been living under a rock, this is a quick run down on how this mess started. Those of us who venture out of our NEET caves occasionally have been experiencing shortages of various types since the beginning of the Corona-virus scare. Initially it was toilet paper (refuses to archive), then after a bunch of chickens were destroyed due to lockdowns there were temporary chicken shortages as the major farms had to actually grow and fatten up a fresh crop of chicken. Maybe you've heard whispers about the chip shortage that has brought General Motors to its knees. Well, there's something that's going to complicate all of that by about a power of ten.
Courtesy of @Jimbobaggins

Who will transport the goods to their destination?

First up on the roster of problems is something the American Trucker Association has been sounding the bell about since 2018. There has been a shortage of truckers for a few years now, and the shortage is growing ever more dire. When President Joe Biden elected to issue vaccination mandates for truckers earlier this year the response was a wave of retirements. Some 8-10% of truckers are -- or rather, were -- Boomers, and many decided to say 'fuck it' and go home rather than get the jab. As usual the response from the elites is to import more foreigners (it's behind a paywall, if anyone can get me an archive, I would love you). Meanwhile one company in Texas is offering $14,000 a week ($728,000 per year) for qualified drivers.

In Britbongistan, there is not only a severe shortage of drivers, but also a shortage of petrol. Most Western nations appear to be impacted by supply chain woes currently, but details are still hazy on what this crisis will look like in each individual country. @Ahriman caught this gem by Epic Beanie Man himself, Tim Poole, which starts off discussing the driver shortage and expands to discuss the way the energy shortages can cripple any attempt at recovery.


Where will trucks to deliver the goods come from?

A bit of backstory: Back in ye olden days in 2011 President Obama signed diesel emissions legislation that applied emissions standards to diesel for the first time. Part of this involved all diesel vehicles being equipped with a tank and Device Exhaust Fluid system (henceforth referred to as DEF). Part of this set up is a sensor that measures the level of fluid in the tank. If the sensor is broken or the level of fluid in the tank is off, then the vehicle will not start. Due to the above mentioned shortage of computer chips, which all of these sensors require, there is now a severe shortage of this particular part. Thousands of trucks in fleets across the nation sit idle for want of a DEF sensor. From the article:

Ongoing shortages of replacement parts for failed diesel exhaust fluid quality sensors are believed to be causing thousands of trucks nationwide to be disabled and parked.

The sensors, which measure the quality and level of diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) in the tank, normally retail for roughly $300. But due to global computer chip shortages causing a backlog the part is being offered for sale — in some cases on digital retail sites such as eBay — for as much as $7,000, according to some industry technicians.

“It’s part of the global chip shortage,” Paul Enos, CEO of the Nevada Trucking Association, told Transport Topics. “We’re seeing trucks parked throughout the country. Just here in Nevada, 300 trucks are parked waiting for quality level sensors.”

Enos said there is a fail-safe that’s built into the selective catalytic reduction system of 2010 and newer trucks. “If it senses too much [nitrogen oxide] it will derate the engine,” he said.

Here is a YouTuber describing the shortages and how it's effecting him. Note how puzzled he is. You are witnessing the normies realizing how bad things are getting.


And finally, the third aspect to the brewing perfect storm.

What will these goods be shipped in?

For those who are unaware, there is currently a global shortage of shipping containers. How did this happen? Wallstreet Journal talks about the shipping container problem in detail.

Lars Jensen of Denmark-based shipping consultants Vespucci Maritime, traces the beginning of the container shortage to the early months of the pandemic, in the spring of 2020, when consumer demand slumped and shipping lines canceled many of their routes between Asia and North America.

@Overly Serious has provided a good video discussing some of these issues and what to expect for the upcoming holiday season.


Kiwi @LaxerBRO has provided some good information on the maritime portion of the supply chain problems. Between the shipping container shortage, worker shortages, and bottlenecks in maritime shipping there are record numbers of ships backlogged and waiting to go out. This has the potential to cause global ramifications. Some ports have a backlog of up to 70 ships when the usual amount of ships waiting to leave harbor is between 0 and 1. The backlogs at the port are being exacerbated by backlogs in rail traffic.


But wait, there's more!

From the Kiwi Farms' own @Mr. Skeltal
I work in aviation repair and my company subcontracts for Pratt and Whitney. A lot of the items we overhaul need piece parts that simply aren't in stock and/or have obscene lead times. A commonly used flange blank from the OEM has a lead time of NINETY FUCKING DAYS right now for whatever inscrutable reason. Ninety days for a $1300 hunk of inconel that needs further welding and machining to be serviceable.
The parts we turn for overhaul are generally needed in no greater than three weeks, accounting for vendor repairs and the shipping associated with them. It's gotten to the point that we are looking at having the parts fabricated locally just to have blanks and replacement parts on hand.

The shipping game is also kind of a crapshoot. Some days we get our incoming shipments on time, other days they get to the loading dock AFTER our outgoing shipments have left for the day (i.e. after 4PM). FedEx and UPS Ground both complain about lacking drivers, so we have to adapt to the new crap factor.

From @Jimbobaggins
FedEx says it's rerouting more than 600,000 packages a day because it can't find enough staff to process them. Also said in article they lost over 450 Million dollars due to labor shortages.
Locally I know of a business so desperate for workers they're spending over half a Million dollars to house new workers in hotels. They already have 100 workers in a hotel and looking for 200 more. They're also offering to pick up and drop off workers with no transportation. Another company also rented out a old hotel for 2 years to house workers, even though they have to bus them nearly 30 miles each way. This is all in a near 100k metro so not some shithole.
Airline industries aren't being mentioned much in the news. Details will be added as they emerge; watch this space for updates.

They're killing the heckin' piggos in Britbongistan! Thanks, @Ahriman
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@Ahriman has found info on an upcoming trucker strike. Video below, with a linked article giving more deets in the updates section.

In Conclusion

What is being done in Burgerland at this moment:

• Biden shits himself, eats ice cream, and does nothing.
• Some states have mobilized their Nattie Gs to drive buses or go to hospitals in the middle of nowhere.
• Pete Buttigieg (Secretary of Transportation) has given it his best attempt of, 'we'll lower the age for truckers from 21 to 18.'
@bippu_as_fuck_ls400 has some ideas about solving the current port congestion.
Here's a simple plan that @POTUS and @GavinNewsom partnered with the private sector, labor, truckers, and everyone else in the chain must implement TODAY to overwhelm the bottleneck and create yard space at the ports so we can operate against

1) Executive order effective immediately over riding the zoning rules in Long Beach and Los Angeles to allow truck yards to store empty containers up to six high instead of the current limit of 2. Make it temporary for ~120 days.
This will free up tens of thousands of chassis that right now are just storing containers on wheels. Those chassis can immediately be taken to the ports to haul away the containers

2) Bring every container chassis owned by the national guard and the military anywhere in the US to the ports and loan them to the terminals for 180 days.

3) Create a new temporary container yard at a large (need 500+ acres) piece of government land adjacent to an inland rail head within 100 miles of the port complex.

4) Force the railroads to haul all containers to this new site, turn around and come back. No more 1500 mile train journeys to Dallas. We're doing 100 mile shuttles, turning around and doing it again. Truckers will go to this site to get containers instead of the port.

5) Bring in barges and small container ships and start hauling containers out of long beach to other smaller ports that aren't backed up.

This is not a comprehensive list. Please add to it. We don't need to do the best ideas. We need to do ALL the ideas.

What is being done in Britbongistan at this moment:
Boris Johnson has mobilized the British military to drive supplies
NHS rations chemo drugs to prioritize patients most likely to survive
Boris Johnson offers visas to 10,000 foreign workers

@Hot Cup of Joe has shared that the requirements for truck drivers have been reduced and salaries increased. That's about the extent of things so far.
Uk has reduced the requirements and training periods for new HGV drivers, with some companies offering training as part of the package. HGV drivers are now being paid £55k~ a year, roughly $100k.

Aussie-land is basically screwed, so:
• Win the Emu War.
• Alternate option: Start guillotining your leaders.
Australian PM has said they'll hold a meeting to discuss the problem in a year. RIP Aussies.
Visit the Australian Totalitarian Megathread for live updates from the Aussies until this section gets sorted out.

Expected shortages listed by Industry and Country

This was going to be a lovely, neatly organized list because 'autism', but then things got real. Shortages are everything and everywhere. No, I'm not actually joking. Everything is out, or the base materials are out, or something. Welcome to the Endgame.

Updates:

• [ Oct 10 2021 ] Here's a good article on what to anticipate for Black Friday.
• [ Oct 29 2021 ] Biden has suggested rolling out the National Guard to help the situation and been smacked down.
• [ Oct 29 2021 ] Instead Biden has demanded that the unionized dock workers work 24/7 which is going poorly because there are still no trucks, and is fining the shipping companies.
• [ Oct 29 2021 ] Apparently we somehow have millions to loan to California to improve their ports.
• [ 22 Sept 2021 ] The EPA has told Cumin (producer of diesel engines) that they will not be allowed to implement a work-around for the failing sensors unless Cumin can assure that EPA standards will not be violated in the process of rolling out the fix.

• [ 22 Sept 2021 ] An independent group is currently working on an emulator.
Meantime, the group working on the development of the DEF sensor emulator tells us that they’re hopeful they’ll have some useful information for you on building your own emulator. No matter how long industry takes to get this “fix” in place, be it later this week or weeks down the road, those who can use this emulator will be literal miles ahead.

• [ 23 Sept 2021 ] The OP has been updated to reflect problems with all major forms of transportation, including ports, ships, rails, trucking (holla to the OGs) as well as worker shortages compounding the problems with each. We're now an international thread! Britbongs, Aussies, Pajeets, and other assorted misfits are encouraged to share issues in their respective countries. I will expand the different sections to include info on what's going on globally as soon as I can. For now it's Burger-centric.

• [ 23 Sept 2021 ] The White House issues an official statement about the Supply Chain crisis.

• [ 25 Sept 2021 ] New York prepares to mobilize the National Guard to cover medical personnel shortages expected due to their vaccine mandate setting in.

• [ 29 Sept 2021 ] The Evergrande Financial Crisis looms large in China, threatening to drag the US Stock markets into a tailspin.

• [ 30 Sept 2021 ] There is allegedly a trucker strike scheduled for the near future

As a personal favor to me: This thread needs you to discuss shortages, rising prices, and supply chain issues in your area. Please specify whether you live in a major metropolitan area, a suburb, or a more rural area. You do not have to say what state or city you live in. Just what the population density is like. For science.

PS - Post nudes photos of empty grocery store shelves.

There's a relevant thread about Bill Gates and big corporations using the UN Food Sumit to push the Great Reset. I recommend it.
We have a thread about the Great Reset here.
Brewing volcanic activity at La Palma and associated weather emergencies could complicate matters further.

If this thread piques your interest in gardening or prepping then the Farms has threads for those.
 
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contradiction of terns

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Do we have a timeline of when shit would potentially hit the fan?

Define 'shit hitting the fan.' It's going to largely depend on what happens this winter. If we have another arctic blast or whatever happened last year, then it could get pretty bad. I can talk about the shortages and their impact during that some if you want, but it's probably going to look different on a state by state basis.

Here's an article about Maine's supply chain issues. (Refuses to archive)
 

Jimbobaggins

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People have been saying for years about a shortage of truck drivers. I definitely see how a aging truck driver workforce (48 Year old average) combined with vaccine mandate would worsen the problem. I personally see plenty of signs and ads for drivers now, especially with harvest soon. Though grocery stores aren't that empty around me, some sparse shelves but nothing like the beginning of all of this.

I wonder if intermodal trains could pick up some of this slack. Have a bunch more trailers shipped by rail so the drivers could make shorter and more frequent routes.
 

contradiction of terns

I have no egrets
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People have been saying for years about a shortage of truck drivers. I definitely see how a aging truck driver workforce (48 Year old average) combined with vaccine mandate would worsen the problem. I personally see plenty of signs and ads for drivers now, especially with harvest soon. Though grocery stores aren't that empty around me, some sparse shelves but nothing like the beginning of all of this.

I wonder if intermodal trains could pick up some of this slack. Have a bunch more trailers shipped by rail so the drivers could make shorter and more frequent routes.

When I was discussing this earlier I was informed (but have not researched) that the trains were apparently largely dismantled a few years back? There's still some along the coasts and a bit in the center of the country, but someone (I forget who) convinced many of the railroads to pick up the rails (environmental issues).

Washington Post article about it.
 
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mr.moon1488

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People have been saying for years about a shortage of truck drivers. I definitely see how a aging truck driver workforce (48 Year old average) combined with vaccine mandate would worsen the problem. I personally see plenty of signs and ads for drivers now, especially with harvest soon. Though grocery stores aren't that empty around me, some sparse shelves but nothing like the beginning of all of this.

I wonder if intermodal trains could pick up some of this slack. Have a bunch more trailers shipped by rail so the drivers could make shorter and more frequent routes.
I'm not seeing any major shortages, but I'm certainly seeing prices go up. That's likely more of an inflation effect though which is honestly more concerning.
 

GuntPunt

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Define 'shit hitting the fan.' It's going to largely depend on what happens this winter. If we have another arctic blast or whatever happened last year, then it could get pretty bad. I can talk about the shortages and their impact during that some if you want, but it's probably going to look different on a state by state basis.

Here's an article about Maine's supply chain issues. (Refuses to archive)
Seems like smaller or non agrarian states will be more affected than those that aren't.

I asked about a timeline for a reference point to see when we can see massive delays on shipping. I personally think that shipping companies would probably prioritize food supply chains and minimize consoomable crap from Amazon, minimizing any potential "empty grocery shelves."
 

Mooger Meng

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People have been saying for years about a shortage of truck drivers. I definitely see how a aging truck driver workforce (48 Year old average) combined with vaccine mandate would worsen the problem. I personally see plenty of signs and ads for drivers now, especially with harvest soon. Though grocery stores aren't that empty around me, some sparse shelves but nothing like the beginning of all of this.

I wonder if intermodal trains could pick up some of this slack. Have a bunch more trailers shipped by rail so the drivers could make shorter and more frequent routes.
That depends on if the west coast blockage will have any knock-on effect on the amount of available intermodals. They've been having a hell of a time getting shit out of the port yards fast enough, which is causing more and more ships to pile up in port, along with not sending as many back to Asia as they've been getting because exports have tapered off. Apparently the bottleneck has been getting bad enough that some of the shit for my company has been coming around the Panama Canal in 23' boxes just to get it off the fucking ships.
 

contradiction of terns

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Seems like smaller or non agrarian states will be more affected than those that aren't.

I asked about a timeline for a reference point to see when we can see massive delays on shipping. I personally think that shipping companies would probably prioritize food supply chains and minimize consoomable crap from Amazon, minimizing any potential "empty grocery shelves."

To put it into perspective, these sensors sit in a tank of uric acid, and they are a VERY consumable item. As in, they need to be replaced every 6-8 months, max. One video I watched said that at this point entire dealerships are being issued ONE sensor a day as their 'ration.'

How and when it gets solved is up to the EPA.
 

George Lucas

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The online tech community (think Hacker News, Ars Technica, the less gay (but still gay) part of Reddit, etc.) has been saying for years that trucks will soon be automated and that truckers won't be necessary.

Well for one that hasn't happened yet. It's not even close. But second of all, there's something called 'the last mile problem,' in which something like 90% of the work is done in the last mile of delivery. Even if you can automate a truck going in a roughly straight line on an interstate across the country, you either need to automate that last mile too (a problem that can't be solved with current technology) or just use a human for it, and if you need a human for that last mile, you're ultimately not solving any staffing issues with automation. Depending on the other factors, automating the rest of the route might not even be worth it.
 

Jimbobaggins

You know... The thing!
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When I was discussing this earlier I was informed (but have not researched) that the trains were apparently largely dismantled a few years back? There's still some along the costs and a bit in the center of the country, but someone (I forget who) convinced many of the railroads to pick up the rails (environmental issues).

Washington Post article about it.
That's mostly talking about passenger rail travel and Amtrak. Freight rail has been holding pretty steady. There's tons and tons of oil trains because they keep shutting down or not building new pipelines. Hell I know they're making tracks from single to double to increase capacity. The only bad thing for intermodal transport is you need large yards and facilities to load and unload the trailers
.4ea611231eb9e96b45f72638df1caf0e.jpg
 

GuntPunt

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To put it into perspective, these sensors sit in a tank of uric acid, and they are a VERY consumable item. As in, they need to be replaced every 6-8 months, max. One video I watched said that at this point entire dealerships are being issued ONE sensor a day as their 'ration.'

How and when it gets solved is up to the EPA.
So in this hypothetical, we have potentially 4 months or so before a considerable amount of these sensors need to be replaced, which would be the beginning of the halting of supply chains.

Did any video you watch discuss the method to rig a truck to not require these sensors? Because adjusting a single fleet of trucks that don't start is a logistical nightmare to get into position if they need to be handled from underneath, and the only way this will be accounted for will be when hungry people bust through the White House and Biden shits himself while screaming at the EPA to waive the requirement.
 

Scheele's Green

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I'm only noticing shortages on non-perishable boxed foods at the grocery store. What I'm seeing majors disruptions in is domestic shipping. My Amazon packages are coming late for the first time ever. And I've had UPS 2 day and UPS overnight packages come late in the past few months. That's unheard of in my experience. UPS gets the job done right every time usually.
 

contradiction of terns

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So in this hypothetical, we have potentially 4 months or so before a considerable amount of these sensors need to be replaced, which would be the beginning of the halting of supply chains.

Did any video you watch discuss the method to rig a truck to not require these sensors? Because adjusting a single fleet of trucks that don't start is a logistical nightmare to get into position if they need to be handled from underneath, and the only way this will be accounted for will be when hungry people bust through the White House and Biden shits himself while screaming at the EPA to waive the requirement.

Okay, so, I'm not an engineer, but I have been told that there would be a way to design a product and sell it, and if people used it for an application it wasn't intended for, then that liability is on them.

That was their speculation for a last ditch emergency method that the truckers themselves might undertake out of desperation.

Edit: Because it's not clear, this would be an item that could be attached to the sensor to adjust for the chip by going around it to measure the fluid level. If that makes sense.

Edit (2): I found out about this because a family friend owns a small fleet of trucks and he called asking if we had any job leads because he was looking at long-term unemployment, as were all of his crew. They said they expected at least 6 months of being unable to work.
 
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GuntPunt

God's gonna fuck you up and I get to watch.
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Okay, so, I'm not an engineer, but I have been told that there would be a way to design a product and sell it, and if people used it for an application it wasn't intended for, then that liability is on them.

That was their speculation for a last ditch emergency method that the truckers themselves might undertake out of desperation.
Sensors turn various measurable phenomena (temperature, emmissions, light levels, weight, ect) into differences in electrical voltage to create variable current. That current is fed into a computer to measure it from a designed zero starting point (think about like zeroing a scale to return it to a baseline where there won't be outside interference making the measurement inaccurate). Hypothetically, you could potentially trick the system by bypassing the DEF by matching its input voltage differential. In any case, if the DEF does require the exact fuel level, than that would be a case by case basis (major pain in the ass) to do for 1 truck, let alone a fleet.

Bypassing the DEF seems more feasible, especially since it sounds like these trucks installed it onto their older trucks instead of it being baked into the system. Newer trucks may be fucked though because the DEF may be a core incorporated design of the electical system.

All speculation that means nothing without a depiction on how the DEFs work and are incorporated into trucks, new and old.
 

contradiction of terns

I have no egrets
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Sensors turn various measurable phenomena (temperature, emmissions, light levels, weight, ect) into differences in electrical voltage to create variable current. That current is fed into a computer to measure it from a designed zero starting point (think about like zeroing a scale to return it to a baseline where there won't be outside interference making the measurement inaccurate). Hypothetically, you could potentially trick the system by bypassing the DEF by matching its input voltage differential. In any case, if the DEF does require the exact fuel level, than that would be a case by case basis (major pain in the ass) to do for 1 truck, let alone a fleet.

Bypassing the DEF seems more feasible, especially since it sounds like these trucks installed it onto their older trucks instead of it being baked into the system. Newer trucks may be fucked though because the DEF may be a core incorporated design of the electical system.

All speculation that means nothing without a depiction on how the DEFs work and are incorporated into trucks, new and old.

Small fleet owner is attempting to get the schematics. I will share whatever he comes back with as soon as I can.