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Supply Chain Disruptions. All You Need To Know.

  • Post category:News and Commentary
  • Post last modified:October 17, 2021
  • Post comments:7 Comments
  • Reading time:11 mins read

I’m going to take my trucker genius and my prepper mindset and help you understand what’s going on with our supply chain disruptions and what we need to do about it.

Everyone’s hearing about the global supply chain disruptions but few people understand exactly what that means or why it’s happening. This article will help you make sense of the supply chain shortages and what’s causing them.

In this article, I’m going to share my opinion. It’s an op-ed, not my regular type of post here on Next Step Survival but it is a survival topic. I’m not an expert but I feel like I’m just as Smaut as them folks with that label.

Expect to be enlightened!

The great majority of people have no idea how vulnerable their world’s supply chain actually is.

Of course, we have all witnessed the chaos that ensues when a significant retailer gets hacked, or an airline inexplicably cancels flights. This ain’t that.

Still, it isn’t until something goes wrong that most people begin to consider just how complex and fragile our modern world’s logistics really are. Yes, Todd, I mean toilet paper. L😆L

Supply Chain Weaknesses

America’s supply chain is highly fragile. In fact, the world’s supply chain is just as delicate because it’s all interconnected.

Can a single event disrupt the shipment of goods across the country and around the world, leading to shortages of everything from food staples to electronics? Not something like a covid. It would need to be much bigger.

The system itself was held together by hope and lies.
Brian D. Hawkins – Next Step Survival
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Unless it was orchestrated and the system itself was held together by hope and lies. So yes, the supply chain is weak enough that the whole house of cards can drop to its master’s knees.

For decades, many experts have known that the JIT (Just In Time) inventory system was a dangerous game to play. Large manufacturing plants understand the danger in JIT product deliveries, but the cost savings outweigh the risks.

In hindsight, it looks like the risks were underestimated. Few people realized the dangers it posed to the entire world’s supply chain as a whole.

So what is the supply chain exactly?

Supply Chain In A Nutshell

The boring definition of the Supply Chain: A supply chain is a network of organizations, people, activities, information, and resources involved in producing and delivering products or services from raw materials to customers. 🥱 </boring>

Hi, I’m Brian D. Hawkins, and I like to tell stories. Hey, I know; let me tell you a story I’ve been telling for years. You know, the whole trucker genius thing I have going.

This will be fun.

I’m sitting here in my living room looking at a lamp. It’s a decent lamp (Aff link) that probably cost $60.00 when I bought it.

That cheap lamp, which, again, only cost $60, is a miracle of modern-day manufacturing and logistics. It has dozens of parts expertly built and assembled by workers from around the world. Hey, China are people too.

Anyway, it goes far deeper than that. Let’s not forget the paint on those parts. Deeper? Okay, the ingredients (pigments and other chemicals) for the paint that covered those parts. And don’t forget the metal-making processes and those components. Oh man, the ore that was mined? It’s getting crazy, am I right?

What about electronics? There must have been circuit boards, wiring, and switches to make those multi-function LED lamps do the cool things they do. OMG, chips? Did someone say chips? And, yes, someone, somewhere, built the LEDs themselves, right?

And, wow, take a breath, Brian.

They were all shipped to the assembly plant. But wait, there’s even more. Before they were shipped, many items had to be wrapped in plastic, boxed, labeled, and loaded.

That last tiny detail involved petroleum products, sucked from the ground, processed, and shipped to the various plants making the things that cover and contain the other things. Keeping up?

The boxes and labels need to be printed, so we need, yes, ink. Now, there’s more magic we don’t see. The making of ink. The ingredients of ink that magically combines into a liquid concoction that will stain your clothes and print important information on labels and packaging.

We could get crazy and get into the making of the trucks, ships, containers, conveyors, forklifts, machines, toilets, and other things needed to make everything. Just so you can get a lamp delivered to your house within two days for under a hundred dollars. They were so cheap, in fact, I bought two.

Image - LED lights on Amazon.
Can you believe I have affiliate links in a post like this? 30W Sky LED Modern Floor Lamp

So there you have it, the supply chain.

Causes Of The Global Supply Chain Disruption

Break any one of the links, you get delays. Break several, and you have a global crisis that becomes a global supply chain disruption of everything from cars to bacon, and when you can get it, it costs more.

Put simply, our current supply chain disruption is a huge bottleneck of logistics, combined with a little consumer panic and amplified by government restrictions.

The factors lending to our supply chain disruption, shortages, and price increases are complicated and multi-fold but all interconnected.

An already fragile global logistics system was hit by these covid-related issues early on:

Government restrictions
Trade tensions (war)
Worldwide economy lockdowns
Imports canceled
Manufacturing ceased
Workers displaced

Here are many of the factors we’re still dealing with right now:

Trade tensions (Still going on)
Labor shortages (People still not working)
Trucking shortages
Congested ports
Delivery delays
Shipping container shortages
Skyrocketing shipping rates
More government restrictions
Lack of warehouse capacity

Screenshot - vesselfinder-com
Screenshot Oct. 17, 2021 – VesselFinder.com

The price to ship a container from China to the U.S. West Coast has gone up 13-fold from pre-COVID levels.

Forbes – Sep 3, 2021

The Government’s Supply Chain Disruption Response

Don’t worry, you’re government is here to help. 😱 Never mind that it was those geniuses that shut everything down and are now posing all but impossible vaccine requirements on private business.

In my opinion, much of this is either being orchestrated or at the very least, used as a tool to forward the climate change agenda. More on that later? We’ll see.

It’s The People, Stupid

Since I was a little boy (several thousand fast-food visits ago), you could get a cheap and unhealthy meal on almost every corner. Later, as competition and buyer habits evolved, many of those fast-food joints moved to a 24/7 model. At least the drive-through.

Today? I’m amazed that you can drive by (The best thing to do with a fast-food restaurant), and the line is wrapped around the building at any given time.

Are Americans THAT addicted to a BigMac all of a sudden?
Where are they even getting the money?
I mean, they don’t seem to be working.
Right?

Well, I have a theory. Of course, I could be wrong, but I’ll share it anyway since this is an op-ed piece. I invite you to correct me in the comment section below.

When that McDonald’s restaurant was staffed with ten highly trained and success-oriented workers 🤣 only two years ago, today, only five of them showed up for work.

And since most people are unemployed sheep with nothing better to do, they’re willing to sit in the drive-through twice as long as before as long as they can cry about it in real-time on social media.

But wait, there’s more. It’s the norm now (I refuse to say, “New Norm”) to see that McDonald’s, Taco Bell, or Subway restaurants shut down in the middle of the day with a sign saying they’re having staffing issues.

image - closed for now.

The same issue, right? Not enough people are willing to do the job.

At first, we thought it was only the stupid government giving stolen money to people for not working.

By the way, Trump thumpers, yes, you can thank that guy for starting that – but I want to avoid politics, so I won’t even bring that up.

And it was. The government gave people money to stay home and become more dependant on and more thankful for more and more socialist programs. After all, we had 15-days to flatten the curve and all.

But the flow of unemployment cash has pretty much stopped, right? So why aren’t the people going back to work?

Ooh Ooh, Mr. Koter, I Got It!

First, you created a monster that refuses to get back into its cage. Second, it’s complicated. I mean orchestrated. I mean complicatedly orchestrated.

Do you remember earlier this year when Texas got a little cold and experienced a little ice and snow? And the state almost collapsed? Okay, but the power went out for a lot of people. Do you remember that?

Well, influential people who know things said that if it had been just a bit worse, the grid wouldn’t have come back up so easily. It may have been out for months. Can you imagine that? Every prepper can. Sorry, I almost forgot who my audience was. 😉

When you start kicking around cash and spreading fear to the sheep, grid-down Texas-style, and allow it to fester for months and months, you get a lot of changes in perspective.

In other words, it went on long enough that it went from being an idea to a way of life for many people. Just as the power outage almost did in Texas. Exactly what the government wants, by the way. Don’t fall for all the rhetoric in the news and soundbites.

Wow, Story Time Already?

Around twenty years ago, I was driving a truck in Detriot on a residential street. I probably wasn’t supposed to have a tractor-trailer on that road, but I needed to pull off and check something in my trailer.

I don’t remember the issue, but when I got out of my truck, a couple of guys were sitting on a front porch, drinking forties.

Stop! Don’t go getting triggered. That ain’t a racist statement. That’s what actually happened. I write in real life, just the way I live. Click here if that bothers you.

Anyway, I’ll never forget what one of those men said to me. He said, as clear as day, “Man, it’s a shame you have to work every day.”

Well, that’s not an issue of someone not willing to work. That’s an issue of generations of people being indoctrinated into a socialistic belief system.

Nothing has changed. Covid just kicked it up a notch. We have a government willing to destroy its own country and your freedom to obtain more power. Kind of a re-set?

It’s Not Just Local Supply Chain Disruptions, It’s Global

Without getting into the WHO and World Economics Forum, Agenda 2030, The Great Reset, and on and on, just understand it’s not happening to us. It’s being done to us.

Our Next Steps

I’m all about what steps to take. Here’s my advice:

Understand what the real issues are and who’s doing what TO you.

Then, resist without dying. Don’t be one of those behind bars and their lives ruined because they THOUGHT they were falling on their swords. In reality, they were pawns to be made examples of.

We’re preppers here, trying to survive. Remember?

Then, resist some more and teach others that it’s alright to do the same.

Next, prepare for the supply chain to continue to fall apart. I don’t think we’re in for a complete collapse, at least not in most countries, but you don’t know what’s going to be on the shelves and for how long. So get prepared and prep like never before.

Next, don’t let any of this steal your joy. Seriously, my mother used to say, “Everything is temporary.” This is no exception.

Even if nothing goes back to the way it was, you’ll still have tomorrow until you don’t. So enjoy today, tomorrow, and the next, and stop worrying about what you can’t change.

Preppers prep because they understand that sitting around worrying about stuff is pointless. You get the weight off your chest when you have food security.

Call To Action / Next Step

Next Step: How To Start A Prepper Pantry – Updated w/ Video.

Stay safe. Stay prepared.
Hawkins Out.

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Brian Hawkins

Father, grandfather, Veteran, animal lover, law-abiding taxpayer, homeowner, trucker, and a United States Citizen. Oh, and I'm also a prepper, survivalist, responsible gun owner, and hiker.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Steven Hawkins

    I enjoyed reading this op-ed, and I thought it was done very well. I agree with about 90 something percent of it. Things that stood out to me where we may have some disagreement involved the worker shortage that we are having and the whole idea behind the citizens rising up against the 1% in the video. The worker shortage is a huge problem and there are definitely people out there who just refuse to work because they are lazy (that has always been true to some degree with every generation). My generation gets a lot of crap because we are the Millennial Generation and we are to blame for everything!! Even COVID (I am sure there is an article somewhere, probably on Fox News about that). We get blamed for not being good little consumers to make the 1% richer.

    Every holiday season I see some article critiquing the hell out of my generation about how we spend less money than any generation since WWI, we tend to actually having savings, and that is an awful thing! That we tend to not use credit as much as our parents and that is a bad thing! We tend to invest more in retirement funds and that is a terrible thing! I watched a Dave Ramsay video not long about this issue and he was just completely disgusted by the fact that Wall Street Journal, Fox, CNN, etc were criticizing Millennials for being more conservative with their monies and how my generation is destroying our economy. We just do not have the disposable income like our parents did.

    I see similarities to my generation and the Boomer Generation in some ways. Boomers went through a lot of…turmoil too. The 1960s was no cake walk, we had wars going on and Vietnam was a lot like Afghanistan/Iraq where it lost support due to the politics and the bs. The Boomers were apart of the whole, “Hippie” sub-culture, so there was a stereotype even then that nobody wanted to work and all these anti-American communists wanted to protest for socialism. In a lot of ways, this is history repeating itself.

    A lot of it is due to socio-economic problems that have only been exacerbated since the 1980s with market deregulation which has led to massive conglomerates and regional monopolies killing competition which is anti-capitalistic. it also stems from government polices and the 1% that were all put in place starting with the 1970s during the Nixon era. I am not trying to sound like a Bernie Sanders or someone like that, I don’t agree with the Progressive Agenda, they take things way too far,, but I do believe there are some truths to what they are trying to convey. If you look at the official statistics, wages have stagnated for the better part of…25 years or so.

    There was an analysis done with those statistics showing that someone who made $35,000 in 1996 actually had more buying power than someone today who makes $35,000 (which is pretty much the average single person annual income). Everything is expensive as hell comparatively . I know a lot of my own personal friends are struggling, working 2-3 jobs trying to make ends meet, and they cannot get ahead. My one Army buddy that I am really close to (we went to AIT together in Fort Lee VA, and he was stationed in Fort Stewart as a Cook) can barely afford to get by. He has a family of 4 and he makes $72,000 a year working for Panera Bread as a semi-truck driver. That is some really good money, and he works like 15-16 hours per day 4 days a week (he is actually been working 5-6 days due to COVID problems).

    However, you can’t support a family on 72 grand like you could in the 80s or 90s. Now I am not saying make the government force every company to raise their wages to $15 an hour (because they get stupid about it), but I do believe there needs to be serious pressure put on companies to not only pay fair wages, but to also treat their employees with some respect. A lot of people I know leave their jobs because they are unhappy due to how much they are making and the working conditions. Don’t get me wrong, there are people out there where you could offer them $30 an hour and treat them like a King and they would give ya the middle finger. That is never going away and that has always existed and is always going to. However, there is a lot of proof in the statistics showing otherwise and you can’t take your own personal experiences nor the media bs to heart. NCOs said in the Army to us, “you can’t argue black and white,” which isn’t always true lol, but you get the point that it gets far more difficult.

    https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf, that is the official labor statistics, it is slowly getting better. Which goes back to that it is complicated right? So if unemployment is at 4.8% then that is far better than during the recessions when it was double digits. You also have to factor in kids having to do school remotely or parents pulling their kids out and in homeschooling them.
    My attorney, he has a son and he is having to in home school him and he had to hire several other paralegals to help him out because of that. He can’t be at work all the damn time when has a son that needs him. I rarely ever see him in the office because of his family priorities. There are so many issues that are causing this worker shortage that you can’t pin it on just one thing.

    Republicans raised hell for months that the reason behind the worker shortage and supply chain issues was due to government handouts and that $300 extra unemployment benefit. That went away and the recent statistics showed that you still got people refusing to go back to their jobs. It literally hasn’t changed anything when you look at the stats. Then when you do look at people who are leaving their jobs or refusing to go back to work, a lot of them work in the food industry and in retail (or some other low wage, crappy working condition style job). If you look at the vaccine rates, COVID cases in each state, and employment, it shows direct correlation as far as recovery goes with the unemployment problems as well as the saturation going on in the hospitals.

    Then you also have to factor in that 70% of our population has at least one dosage of the vaccine, things are getting better in each state, the delta variant is starting to flatten and expected to go down. Which I believe goes to show that a lot of people are just scared. The media and the government has scared the shit out of people, they did the same crap during 9/11. Terrorists are going to jump out from underneath the bed and stab you to death. That is why so many people were ok with giving up their damn rights during the 2000s.

    We got the NSA (everyone thought Ron Paul was a loon, and he is a bit cray, but he was right), we got the Patriot Act, we have to be violated by the TSA to get on a damn plane and everyone is ok with this (and I still am not and never will be ok with it). Although I am a big supporter of the Vaccines and I agree that everyone who can get the damn thing needs to get it, I am against Mandates. Simple reason is HIPPA violations and discrimination. I refuse to detail my own disabilities to a lot of people because of discrimination (to those who don’t know, I am 100% disabled veteran and medically retired from the Army). I don’t want this to set a precedent for them to be able to say, “we got to know your disabilities before you are allowed into this building” for a concert, an event of some sort, a job, or whatever it is. It is none of their damn business if I have disabilities just like it shouldn’t be their business to know if I have had a COVID test or shot.

    I am going to Welcome to Rockville in Daytona Florida with my sister. I am taking her for her birthday/Christmas present and I paid $250 for each ticket on top of the $340 or whatever for an Airbnb. I am very excited about it, but I am not happy that we have to prove we have a vaccine and if it wasn’t for the fact Metallica is getting old, they are doing 2 separate unique sets on 2 separate nights of the Festival, and I have wanted to take my little sister to a Metallica show since we were kids, I wouldn’t be doing it.

    Which that leads me into the video. It is funny you talk about Socialism but the whole concept of the peasant slaves rising up against the 1% is literally Karl Marx philosophy. That is ok because Karl Marx wasn’t really for Socialism as much as he was for fair wages and people not making a billion dollars and cutting the hell out of wages and benes. I often joke that Karl Marx is my dead homie lol. People look at me like I am nuts (that is kind of the point in saying that) but it is because people literally have no clue about Karl Marx. They believe in what the media has propagated alongside politicians like Ronald Regan. None of those idiots understand Marx.

    The Marxist and Communist political systems completely perverted the hell out of Karl Marx. If you read his books and you study what he had to say (which I did for 4 years, Sociology) you find out he was for organized labor movements. He didn’t ever get a chance to write about his political philosophies on how governments or politicians should go about legislating his philosophies. That is the biggest flaw of Karl Marx’s writings but he just didn’t live long enough to do it and he is probably rolling in his grave with his epic beard of doom with what North Korea, China, the old Soviet Union, and other countries did with his philosophies. Everything with Marx was about class conflict and how there needs to be a revolution (whether it was a violent, social, or a political one didn’t matter).

    That basically the working class (which he called the Proletariat) would rise up against the wealthy business owners (He called them the Bourgeoise) due to exploitation. He saw what was going on during the industrial revolution in Germany and it disturbed him so much that he wrote about it and became an activist. He was actually for Labor Unions although the concept of a Labor Union didn’t really exist in his era. The way he described it was that the working class had to organize against the 1% to demand fair wages, better treatment, and benefits. Some say that Marx was wrong, we had no revolution and we can see that today. Others believe Marx is right and the Revolution hasn’t happened yet but it will. What it comes down to like what your video says is the people have to say like the old Twisted Sister song “Were Not Gonna Take it Anymore!” That just comes to mind because you probably don’t know that you are completely describing what Karl Marx was for lol. Which is fine because outside of Academic and Scholarly circles, many people have just been conditioned to believe that fat dude with the beard was some evil philosopher that brought about the evils of communism lol.

    So outside of those few caveats I agree with you and I have taken some of your advice with the prepper stuff. My wife is growing a garden, we literally just ordered a Green House for like $200 because it is getting down into the 40s now. I went out at the beginning of the month when I got paid to the commissary and spent about $300 stocking up my freezers because of a looming meat shortage and rising prices on meat. We have enough meat to last us at least 3 months right now. Outside of the savings we get out of doing this stuff, it also adds some food security. Sorry for the long winded comment, you know me (I am your son). I am also high on pain killers right now. Really sick with a sinus infection and in a lot of pain due to the weather getting colder. The stuff amps me up and gets my brain going in circles. I will try and get the best photos I can of the Container ships at the Savannah Port on Thursday for ya.

    1. Brian Hawkins

      Hi Steve, 101st is wrong, you don’t need to amp up your meds, you need to get off them. You really are all over the map and it’s like you’re commenting on someone else’s article about an entirely different topic. Thanks for the comment though.

  2. Marty

    I’m sorry if my msg isn’t as long as Stevie’s but I got things to do. Totally agree that these supply disruptions are planned and so far, carried out to perfection. So stock up with all the right food and essentials and hopefully you have a safe or remote place to veg while everything goes for a shid. Learn some pioneer skills and keep your fam close by IF you can.

    One comment I will make that may rub a few peeps the wrong way but I firmly believe, if you can’t get loved ones or friends on board with your personal plan for survival thx to this obvious Ruling Class operation to screw/decimate many in this country, be prepared to go it ALONE if normalcy bias freezes those around you!!

    1. Brian Hawkins

      Absolutely, hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Anyone not taking some precautions after what we’ve been through really isn’t paying attention because the worst can get pretty bad. Thank you for leaving a normal comment. I was getting worried. 🤣

  3. 101st Airborne

    Dude. You need to amp your meds up. Marx was morally and intellectually bankrupt. Your thoughts are all over the map and seem sporadic. I too served, 101st Airborne – 1st SOCOM. Used my GI Bill for my education and went to work. Minimum wage isn’t suppose to support anyone. It’s a starting place for high schoolers. Most community colleges are free. How about – without a dissertation needed, the emissions laws in Commiefornia are holding back rigs entering the ports due to the age of the rigs and not passing emissions. That and lazy union workers.

    1. Brian Hawkins

      Commiefornia. 100%. It’s not the only port with issues but that state makes everything worse.

  4. 101st Airborne Div

    Whatever

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