KSNV-TV: Kevin Ketels on continued supply chain recovery

Supply chains that became so snarled with backups that ships spent days and weeks idling off the coast waiting to be unloaded are getting closer to pre-pandemic norms as the economy readjusts to life after COVID and consumer spending eases enough to allow businesses to catch up. Weekslong backlogs that plagued stores and suppliers earlier this year are starting to ease as the supply chain clears up and businesses shift more production closer to home. An index kept by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York that measures the pressure on the global supply chain shows a mostly steady decline in pressure since peaking in December of 2021. The most recent update found a moderate increase in November, but at a slower rate than in October. The biggest factor in the increase was issues with deliveries from China, whose economy and manufacturing have been sluggish due to the government’s strict COVID policies that brought on lockdowns and hampered production. Beijing has backed off some of its harsh COVID restrictions after mass protests but it’s unclear how quickly and effective that will be to continue to ease the burden on the supply chain. Some companies have made moves to diversify their supply chain outside of China. Apple recently announced it would look to move its production, though it will take time for that process to work out. “There's so much production capacity in China. There are so many experts like production engineers and staff who are employees who are trained to do this type of work there it's difficult to move it very quickly,” said Kevin Ketels, assistant professor of teaching in global supply chain management at Wayne State University.

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