Playgrounds and their suppliers have recently been impacted by a global supply chain crisis, issues stemming from a combination cargo ships, trucks, and raw material shortages. Many of you, our loyal customers and members of vibrant communities, have noticed longer than usual lead times, shipping delays, and price increases on park products. We looked further into this crisis that has caused product shortages, backlogs and higher prices, as reported by CBS News. Read on to see how supply chain issues have affected parks and our business.
Supply Chain Crisis: “Epic” Logjam of Cargo
40% of all U.S. imports come through Los Angeles and Long Beach, California. Correspondents saw “stacks of marooned containers, dormant crates, loaded rail cars sitting idle” at theses ports. This backlog has been building up since the start of the pandemic. Not only that, but a record number of ships are still coming into the ports. The issue has caused shipping costs to soar, while liner shipping companies make record profits. These problems are likely not going to resolve themselves until well into 2022, as reported by CNBC.
How The Supply Chain Affects Your Playgrounds
Most of our playground equipment is made here in the United States and has felt the impact of the shortage of truck drivers across the country. Bob Costello, chief economist for the American Trucking Association, said that there is a shortage of nearly 80,000 truck drivers, as reported by WOWT. Not only truck drivers, but there is currently a shortage of factory and other workers nationwide, as well as shortages on raw materials used to manufacture playgrounds. We also supply premium playground equipment, manufactured overseas in Europe. The ports that this equipment enters through are swamped, and the only way to unload the containers piling up on the docks is to get a workforce in the warehouses and trucking industry, said Gene Seroka, who runs the Los Angeles port.
Benefits of Buying USA Made Playgrounds
While the global supply chain issues are even causing problems here on American soil, there are still many benefits to buying domestically through MRC and our wide range of manufacturers. All of our GameTime commercial playground equipment is proudly manufactured in Fort Payne, Alabama at our half-a-million square-foot facility. Our facility has been internationally recognized for its history of upholding ISO standards, for continuous improvement of product quality and environmental management. While longer than typical lead times have become a norm industrywide, and may remain so extending into 2022, we are ecstatic with our domestic partner’s forward-thinking to secure raw materials such as steel, aluminum, and plastic to prevent an inability or slowdown to manufacturing.
We share this information in the hopes that we can help everyone understand how global supply chain issues are affecting parks. We want to help you all get through this crisis and understand what may be happening with your playground. Reach out to us today by clicking the button below if you have any further questions or concerns. We are here to help!
Cox, Jeff. Economists expect shipping problems to linger well into 2022. CNBC, Oct. 25, 2021.
Hamer, Roger. Supply chain issues stemming from truck driver shortage. 6 News Omaha NE, Nov. 5, 2021.
Whitaker, Bill. Cargo with Nowhere to Go: 60 Minutes Investigates the Supply Chain Crisis. CBS News, Nov. 11, 2021.
Whitaker, Bill. Packed Ports and Empty Shelves: Inside the Issues Behind the U.S. Supply Chain Crisis. CBS News, Nov. 14, 2021.