BUSINESS + ECONOMY

Are there solutions for the supply chain headaches?

Oct 20, 2021, 5:00 AM | Updated: 7:18 am

SALT LAKE CITY — Businesses across the country, including here in Utah, are looking for ways to bypass the ongoing global supply chain problems

Is there an easy solution? 

The simple answer is there is not an easy solution to this complicated series of complex problems. Clear as mud, right? 

Groups like the World Trade Center Utah, the Salt Lake Chamber, and Utah Inland Port are all working on it. 

Attorney for Dorsey & Whitney, Troy Keller, works on trade policy for the World Trade Center Utah. He believes the multifaceted problem requires a variety of solutions. 

“You almost have to tackle the issues one at a time, find an improvement in each aspect,” Keller said. 

Read more: Supply-chain issues impacting local snowboard shops, related businesses

He says there are some definite needs: infrastructure upgrades, increased hiring, and possibly a return of some manufacturing to the U.S. 

“The ports can’t handle as much as they probably should be able to. But even if they could, they’d still be overwhelmed right now,” he said. 

Read more: New record in supply chain crunch as 100 cargo ships wait to unload

Keller says unprecedented demand for goods is a big driver of the lingering nightmare. 

Another challenge is increased shipping costs. He worries new contracts will lock in those expenses for as long as three more years. Even if ports are unclogged and companies are again able to stock the shelves, higher consumer prices might be here to stay for a while. 

Read more: Is permanent inflation a byproduct of continuing supply chain disruptions?

While the bipartisan infrastructure bill might lead to some improvements in the short term, he believes there is more work to be done.

“I think the scars of this will cause companies to act differently in the future. So they can better support their customers and their employees,” Keller said.

Keller looks forward to how organizations will innovate and develop solutions to avoid future supply chain problems. 

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Are there solutions for the supply chain headaches?