China supply issues could cause empty shelves across Australia by Christmas

Huge problems in China could lead to a miserable festive season for many Aussies, who are being urged to “get in early” if they want to save Christmas. In the classic Christmas song ‘Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer’, Santa Claus can’t fly his sleigh to deliver toys because of poor visibility due to bad weather, specifically, fog. Only with the help of the bright red nose of Rudolph, one of his reindeer, can Santa overcome his logistic issue and deliver toys to the good boys and girls of the world.

With Christmas now less than four months away, Australia is facing its own logistic issues. Indeed, there is a very real chance this festive season will look less like a happy Yuletide tale and more like The Grinch. When the pandemic first forced shut the doors of China’s factories in January last year, the world began to feel the impact practically immediately. All of a sudden the stream of various products, parts and materials from the Asian country in some cases simply evaporated, as arguably the world’s most draconian lockdown choked off tightly wound supply chains.

Here in Australia this was best illustrated by the sizeable quantity of empty shelves of some large retailers such as Kmart, as supply issues began to significantly impact the availability of goods to consumers. Across practically every industry from construction to automotive, hairdressers to furniture retailers, supply chain issues have begun to impact businesses and the flow of goods to households. For example, where once you could order a new couch from one of the nation’s large furniture retailers and have it in under a month, customers are now often facing extremely long waits that at times stretch into the territory of: “You’ll get it eventually.”

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