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DWYM: What are there so many shortages today?

DWYM: Why there are so many shortages today?
Posted at 6:31 PM, Jun 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-21 19:34:48-04

While the country is slowly getting back to normal, many of the shortages that began last summer have yet to let up.

And in some cases they are getting even worse.

Consumer reporter John Matarese looks into why almost everything seems to be in short supply, so you don’t waste your money.

Everywhere you turn this year, it seems something you need is in short supply.

And families hoping for a new backyard pool this summer are the latest to learn of shortages.

Chris Schwitzer's job these days is often telling customers they are going to have to wait.

"I understand the disappointment, but please understand we are doing everything in our power to get product," said Schwitzer, who is the manager of a swimming pool store.

While he still has above-ground pool kits in stock, if you just need to replace your pool liner, that's another story.

"There’s a definite shortage of pool liners, and it is affecting the entire industry," he said.

The pool liner shortage is like so many shortages right now.

A combination of surging demand during the pandemic, and factories shutting down for at least a couple of months last year.

CNN says the same issues are affecting supplies of:

  • Chlorine tablets for pools.
  • Computer chips, and pickup trucks as a result.
  • Drywall for home building.
  • And precious metals to make catalytic converters.

Making it worse: a labor and truck driver shortage, according to Kerry Byrne of Total Quality Logistics, the second-largest freight brokerage firm in the U.S.

"What we are seeing is a disruption in the supply chain that happens sometimes when there is a limited capacity," Byrne said. "But now with the labor shortage, it has just been exacerbated."

So whether you need a sheet of drywall or a pool liner ...

"There's not enough material out there to supply everyone," Byrne said.

Pool stores hope that by this winter, the liner and chlorine shortage ease.

As always don’t waste your money.