Stock Up, Supply Chain Issues Likely to Get Worse

Stock Up, Supply Chain Issues Likely to Get Worse

Stock Up, Supply Chain Issues Likely to Get Worse

When I first met my husband, I teased him about needing to have months’ worth of dried beans and canned meat.  He had a deadly serious conversation with me about his time in the National Guard during a flood crisis in Illinois.  He said he watched an entire town be thrown into crisis due to a lack of food and water.  That experience created a sense of urgency to protect those near and dear to his heart.  He made it clear to me that if we were to continue, I would need to indulge this plan for emergency.  Over time, he and I have become a bit lax on that plan.  We have a spare freezer, and we certainly have lots of meat.   But we don’t have as many beans as we used to.  We definitely don’t have enough toilet paper.  Even during the pandemic heyday, we admittedly scoffed at those who cleaned out Costco of paper goods. 

The last few days’ news caused a conversation this morning that upended that mockery.  If you aren’t already an “end of world planner” I highly recommend you start.  Between train workers threatening to strike and cross-border trucker vaccine mandates about to take effect, the time is now to stock up.

Back in October, I pointed out that the Biden Administration is responsible for half of the supply chain mess.  Look, I say half because no presidency can control output from other countries.  When you have China literally locking people in their homes, there are Amazon items you are just not going to get!  But, while I love me some Amazon deliveries, they are not typically necessities.  Food, water, and power are ultimately the only things we need.  None of those things come from China, but many of them come via trains and trucks.  We are already 78,000 truckers short of full capacity, making a vaccine mandate for folks who spend most of their time alone is insane.  Time to stock up! From my link above, the Wall Street Journal spells it out:

“The Canadian rules kick in on Saturday, when Canada will ban U.S. and other foreign truckers from entering the country unless they are fully vaccinated. Canada will require unvaccinated Canadian drivers to show a negative, molecular Covid-19 test taken 72 hours prior to reaching the border before they are allowed entry. Those drivers will also have to quarantine for a 14-day period, which industry groups say will hurt fleets that are already short-staffed.

The U.S. has said Canadian truck drivers without two shots of an authorized Covid-19 vaccine would be denied entry starting Jan. 22. Absent a bilateral solution, trucking and manufacturing trade groups warn of supply-chain upheaval that could lead to further price increases and a possible shortage of critical goods such as food.”

Additionally, China is locking down some of their largest ports as Omicron surges.  This will only intensify supply chain disruptions:

“The Covid-19 variant has been cropping up across China in recent days, including in major port cities like Dalian and Tianjin, prompting restrictions that could upend business operations in those places. The rest of the world is also dealing with Omicron, but China is different because of how intent authorities are on preventing any widespread outbreak by locking down cities and curbing travel.”

When my husband suggested we go shopping soon, I asked him about the SCOTUS ruling last week about the OSHA mandate.  Nope, that ruling doesn’t affect this mandate.  Much like the hospital workers, this mandate is still in effect.  WSJ continues:

“In a separate development, the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday blocked the Biden administration’s Covid-19 vaccine-or-testing rules for large private employers, which U.S. trucking executives and some industry groups have said could deepen upheaval in domestic supply chains. The decision does not affect the coming border restrictions.”

I think I have mentioned this before, but for a hot second, my husband was a trucker in 2020 and 2021.  It takes a special kind of person to do this work.  We thought he was one of those people.  When he wanted to try something new, we sat down and thought about what he likes and dislikes.  He hates people and loves to drive.  What better job than trucking, right?  But the average length of time a trucker sticks out the job is three months.  Three fender benders, two partners and countless hours twiddling his thumbs waiting for a delivery to arrive, he had enough.  It was about three months in.  The company he worked for required a “time-out” after three accidents.  But a year later he still gets texts asking to come back.  We need every trucker we can get.  Hell, it’s so bad we are recruiting teenagers!  What could go wrong??

There are reasons insurance companies charge more money for drivers under the age of twenty-five.  Statistically speaking, younger drivers are more reckless.  But hey, no worries.  They might struggle behind the wheel of Cooper Mine, but a giant ass truck with a turning radius of an elephant will be fine.  From the mask mandates causing mental health issues and suicidal ideation, it is clear the progressives do not care about our teenagers.  

But that is not the only problem we are now facing.  Train workers are threatening to strike due to new rules regarding time off.  In my opening paragraph, I link to the Post Millennial’s report suggesting that truckers are not the only threat to our supply chain issues:

“Train workers may move to strike after BNSF issued a new attendance policy, which union leaders called “the worst and most egregious attendance policy ever adopted by any rail carrier.” If the strike proceeds it could be devastating to an already troubled supply chain in America.

The unions describe the policy as a points-based system that penalizes employees for “…any time they take off work for practically any reason.” The program is described as so restrictive that employees would be penalized for absences to attend the funeral of an immediate family member.

The unions also claim that the policy punished workers for sick time during the pandemic.”

Below is a bit of insight from a BNSF employee.  These guys are TIRED.  Their lives are at risk for us!  I am not a fan of government workers who have bargaining power.  That works against our taxpayer interests.  But I still see value in private sector unions.  Here is a fitting example of why:

 

Tired train workers are just one issue for these heroes.  Now they are targets of train robberies!  We are going backwards in time!  It’s the wild, wild west out there and we are paying the price for it.  

As Daily Wire points out, part of this explosion of train robbery madness is a direct result of Soros funded DA’s like George Gascon.  The Director of Public Affairs for Union Pacific revealed in a letter to the far-left LA District Attorney:

  • *Since December 2020, UP has experienced an over 160% increase in criminal rail theft in Los Angeles County. In several months during that period, the increase from the previous year surpassed 200%. In October 2021 alone, the increase was 356% over compared to October 2020. Not only do these dramatic increases represent retail product thefts – they include increased assaults and armed robberies of UP employees performing their duties moving trains.”
  • *Over the last three months, “over 90 containers [are] compromised per day.”
  • This increased criminal activity over the past twelve months accounts for approximately $5 million in claims, losses and damages to UP. And that value does not include respective losses to our impacted customers.”

Here are my suggestions:

  1. Avoid on-line purchasing for the near term.  Not only do your local businesses need your support, but it also avoids potential losses due to theft.  
  2. Stock up on dry goods and canned meat.  If coal shipments are disrupted, more than just food will be affected.
  3. Think about your neighbors.  If you are reading this, you are a high-information consumer.  Your neighbors are assuredly not.  Buy more than you need.  You may need to be charitable.  

I am not kidding when I say we should plan to be charitable.  Christ calls for this; Conservatives call for this.  When the supply chain scenario worsens, you have the built-in opportunity to trade informational reality for toilet paper.  Take advantage of that, one square at a time!

Featured Image: “A Failure in the Supply Chain???” by gosdin is licensed under CC0 1.0, modified

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6 Comments
  • Scott says:

    Good suggestions Cameron. Luckily I live in a rural area where all us neighbors support each other. ( i just got to teach a serious trauma class to a local “homesteader” group. It’s good to have friends..

    • CAMERON MCNABB says:

      I am in a suburban neighborhood, but I think about 85% of us are gun toting conservatives. Pretty great neighbors. Granted, I sold every home on my block. I might have cherry picked a little!

  • John in Indy says:

    At another site, I read of the concept of a “mercy bucket” of stable foods to give when necessary to provide minimal food supply to a couple of people for several weeks. AS I RECALL, In a 5 gallon bucket, put 10 lbs of rice, 8 lbs dry beans, 5 cans of SPAM, 5 lbs of sugar, a box of teabags, a carton of salt, a unit of pepper or Tabasco, and a jar of multivitamins. Prices not checked, but supposed to be under $50. Not great by themselves, but a good base to add to.
    Better to have some to give away, rather than have “borrowing neighbors”.

    • CAMERON MCNABB says:

      What a fantastic tip!

    • GWB says:

      Not sure what they’re going to put the sugar on, based on those ingredients, but it’s not a bad list.
      (I would probably swap some of the sugar for flour. Throw in a couple of packets of yeast, and they’ve got bread.)

      Something to ponder for the gourmet cook: how ever will you grind all those whole peppercorns when you run out of batteries? Yes, there are manual grinders, but most of them are really tedious (and maybe painful) for use in cooking (compared to putting a little on your soup or salad). And now expand that thought out to all the other battery-driven conveniences in your life.

  • GWB says:

    In general, I concur with this post. It’s good info and important. A few comments….

    While I wholly concur with trying to support your local b&m stores, understand that most of them are using the same supply chain as Amazon. Some of them are probably even using Amazon as their supply chain. (In the same way a lot of small restaurants use Sam’s and Costco for their supplies.) So, plan accordingly.

    Being able to help your neighbors is absolutely fantastic. Some people forget that when planning. Go a step further, though: get to know your neighbors beforehand. Understand their needs. Even something as simple as knowing how many kids are in your neighborhood, and preparing by putting in a stock of hard candy or drink mix packets that you can distribute to all of them (even the ones that won’t be in need). If you know of elderly neighbors, maybe find out their kids’ phone numbers so you can call them if necessary (maybe just to reassure them that mom and dad are ok). All kinds of things that make for a community.

    Also, if you have the ability, put in some large meats for barbecuing. When the disaster hits (this is mostly for things like hurricanes) wheel the bbq out to the front lawn, break out some meat, and invite all your neighbors to come over. And invite them to bring some provisions (especially ones that might spoil).

    Also, in getting to know your neighbors…
    Maybe they don’t know how to cook from scratch. Maybe they don’t know anything about family security. Maybe they couldn’t repair things if worse comes to worst. If you do know, then you have an opportunity to help someone else become more self-sufficient. Teach them how to read a recipe. Take them to the gun range. Teach them a skill or two. And, again, the right kind of community grows – not the communism sort, but the community sort.

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