Wavelengths: Supply Chain Delays and Disruptions, Part 1

Connectivity is key. Delays are not. Daniel Litwin, the Voice of B2B, discussed major supply chain issues in the global economy and how they are creating broadband issues throughout the United States with Barry Holt, VP of Global Cable Operations at Amphenol Broadband Solutions.

“We’re a global presence…the 25% tariff on a lot of the product importing came fairly quickly. I think it affected everything global. For many years almost everything went back to China. That was a steady supply chain, and the world was really set up for that,” noted Holt on the supply chain prior to the pandemic’s disruption.

Disruption has shifted the industry and new policies are changing the domestic landscape, like sourcing steel from within the United States which has also affected the broadband industry.

Holt said, “It’s okay to shift that but those changes disrupt the supply chain that’s been there for many years. So, what you’re doing is really taxing local manufacturing to increase capacity and that hasn’t been seen in many years.”

These new changes exert pressure on an already pressured system that is struggling to cope with the quick changes, “It’s just going to take time to adapt to,” explained Holt, also noting that the push might have had a less negative short-term effect if it had been phased in over time.

Additionally, ports across the country are in crisis mode with ongoing negotiations between dock worker unions and organizations for better pay and limits on automation. This has also led to a slowdown along the supply chain – about six months tied up in those ports. Companies can make changes regarding port delivery location, but receiving the stock currently tied up in those ports is just a waiting game.

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