Lurching From Crisis to Crisis

lurching from crisis to crisis

The climb up out of the hole dug for us by the pandemic is going to be long and hard, there is still going to be plenty of lurching from crisis to crisis before there is anything approximating to normality in the situation. 

Even though the fundamentals of the Australian economy are strong and we should be heading into a strong growth phase in GDP, other factors, beyond our control, hold us back.

There are a number of factors at play here, but most of them have globalisation at their heart. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that different parts of the world are at different stages of their own pandemic crisis.

For some the whole process has been worked through and highly vaccinated populations can get back to work. Others are right in the middle of a second omicron wave and are being debilitated by a lack of people to get the work done.

Other economies were already struggling, but the arrival of the pandemic was the last straw and the climb up and out of a deep pit is going to be even longer and even harder. 

Of course, the other complication thrown into the mix, just to add to the overall confusion, is an invasion of Ukraine by Russia. The fall out from this is going to be with us long after any peace deal is brokered.

A globalised economy works wonderfully well when everyone is up to speed. Manufacturers in China produce the components at a rate to meet the demands of their customers. Those customer are set up to supply their customers at a rate to meet demand. 

The global supply chain is going flat chat to get the goods moved from A to B on time, with container ships zipping across our oceans at a steady rate. Everyone is happy.

We saw the disruption caused by one container ship getting jammed in the Suez Canal for a week. Now we are seeing that kind of disruption playing out across the world every day. The supply chain is able to work, but is constantly come across blockages, too many empty containers here, no empties there. Fuel prices rocketing.

The trucking industry needs a lot of new trucks, but the truck makers have difficulties getting a reliable supply of all of the thousands of components they need. Then the ships carrying the trucks to customers around the world get diverted, because of capacity gaps in the chain.

This story is repeated at a lower level right down to our local economy where unheard of shortages appear, seemingly randomly, in our local retail outlets. 

If anyone is listening, this is the chance to emphasise just how important the transport industry is to a well-functioning economy. Nothing works without a high functioning supply chain. Don’t forget to remind the politicians, who are so desperate for your vote right now, just how important we are and how we need to be supported. 

lurching from crisis to crisis

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