Custom supply – Custom Stroy Tue, 07 Dec 2021 20:11:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Custom supply – Custom Stroy 32 32 The supply chain silver lining | National exam Tue, 07 Dec 2021 19:07:28 +0000

Container ship at the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro, California on September 29, 2021. (Mike Blake / Reuters)

In an age when supply chains grab the headlines for all the wrong reasons, what are the upsides?

In a online seminar today sponsored by supply chain technology company FourKites, panelists discussed this topic, and there is cause for optimism.

The consensus: Supply chains are receiving more attention than ever before, and with that attention comes a demand for improvement.

Audrey Ross, logistics and customs specialist for Toronto-based cosmetics company Orchard Custom Beauty, said the supply chain crisis had accelerated improvements in her company’s supply chain processes. “When you find yourself in these tense and difficult situations, you can see, ‘This is not working,’ she said.

This phenomenon is not unusual, according to Chris Stauber, vice president of products at FourKites. “The good news is that supply chain and logistics now have their place at the table. The bad news is that you are now under the microscope, ”he said. The inefficient processes that slipped before the pandemic are now in the foreground, and it has become imperative to improve them.

Peter Tirschwell, Trade Review editor, had a similar assessment. “A shock of this magnitude and the kind of existential importance to organizations has drawn top management’s attention to all measures,” he said.

The demand for what the industry calls “end-to-end visibility” has increased dramatically. Much of the logistics industry still operates on legacy technology. Live updates of the location of shipments can often be difficult to obtain. There are many ways to digitize operations so that everyone involved in a shipment can be on the same page throughout the shipment path.

Stauber said the question at the forefront of many leaders’ minds is, “Can you handle this level of complexity with manual processes?” He pointed out that shipping freight by sea is one of the oldest industries in the world and many aspects of it have failed to keep up with new technologies. Ocean shipments, for example, are always normally booked over the phone.

The downsides of manual processes has been a lesson many companies have learned from the pandemic. “COVID taught us this because we couldn’t walk into the office and exchange papers like we did before,” Stauber said.

Ross said that for the first time in his career, customers were constantly asking him where the boat was carrying their products. Often times, she can’t give them a satisfactory answer because the information just isn’t there, she said.

“The demand for real visibility has never been higher,” Tirschwell said. “The market wants it, there’s no doubt about it. “

The question is whether this will happen. With shipping container prices soaring this year, shipping companies (which are usually not very profitable) have reaped windfall profits. Reinvesting these profits in improving visibility would be beneficial for the entire industry. But challenges remain in collecting data and actually making improvements. “I think it’s a big open question right now as to whether this investment is going to happen and whether that real visibility will be achievable,” Tirschwell said.

Ross said companies are asking new questions they haven’t considered before. She said most of the supply chain models are based on Toyota’s just-in-time model. It has proven successful, but companies like his may have different supply chain needs than automakers. “I think people are realizing that the personalization that we have made to our products is now something that we have to do internally in our supply chains,” she said.

Tirschwell said large companies were able to make changes and try new things, but it was more difficult for small companies. “For organizations that have been successful in harnessing scale and creativity, there has been a truly incredible entrepreneurial spirit. . . . For small shippers it has been much, much more difficult, even to the point that business models that depended on the earlier ocean freight economy in recent decades are being challenged, ”he said.

These business models are going to come under scrutiny as supply chain costs have started to account for a greater proportion of the total cost of a product, Stauber said. “There is now an emphasis and a focus that there has never been before,” he said. With this focus comes strong incentives for improvement.

Stauber sees the greatest room for improvement in the area of ​​metrics. Businesses are only as good as the metrics they have to work with, and there aren’t enough of them in the logistics industry right now. FourKites is trying to change that, Stauber said.

He cited as an example a new metric called DOTIF. OTIF stands for “on time and in full” and is the most important metric for many shippers. But it doesn’t provide a lot of specifics as to which parts of the shipping process are causing delays. DOTIF stands for “on-time and complete documentation”, and it lets shippers know if documentation is what is delaying shipments (which it often is). Stauber sees the increase in data as a silver lining.

Tirschwell also sees a lot of fruit at hand for the reforms. He said: “In the year since the start of the pandemic, the amount of work required to move freight through the system has increased astronomically, and in most cases the number of personnel to move freight through the system has increased dramatically, and in most cases the number of personnel to move freight through the system. doing this work has not increased. ” In ordinary times, obstacles like ineffective communication are tolerable annoyances, but now things like emails and spreadsheets are urgent areas for improvement, Tirschwell said.

What is the prognosis for the expedition? Tirschwell said “there are pockets of positive news” but “the fact remains: the whole system is nothing to complain about.” He said that with such a capacity coupled with the extraordinary volume of containers, the “circulatory system required to move containerized cargo” is unable to function properly. On top of that, he said, “There is no significant reduction in the number of ships waiting to dock in LA / Long Beach.”

He said that between the upcoming Chinese New Year in February, consumers are still full of cash and no sign of returning to normal spending habits, “the system has only a few months next year to go. trim properly before another holiday shopping attack. ”He sees the problems lingering until the end of next year.

“The message we have unfortunately is that there isn’t much evidence that this supply chain crisis is about to abate,” Tirschwell said.

While the short-term outlook does not appear optimistic, there is cause for optimism in the long term. The pandemic has shown how inefficient America’s supply chains have always been. Companies are realizing the importance of supply chains and making record investments in new technology to get things back on track.

Like Rich Lowry wrote in October, “It’s beyond one person’s power to change this anytime soon, but trying to remove as much of this congestion as possible should be a national priority.” Private companies got rid of these burdens early on, and to the extent that this crisis has exposed what these burdens are, it can have salutary effects in the long run.

Dominic Pino is the William F. Buckley Fellow in Political Journalism at the National Review Institute.

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Metro’s supply chain expands electric fleet and charging infrastructure Mon, 06 Dec 2021 19:49:35 +0000

Metro supply chain Advances zero-emission mid- and last-mile delivery for its Canadian customers with new electric vehicles (EVs) and supporting EV charging infrastructure.

This investment, which commits to buying more zero-emission trucks in 2022, continues the electrification journey of Metro Supply Chain’s fleet.

“At Metro Supply Chain, we fully understand the impact of vehicles on the environment, and we are doing our part to try to reduce our carbon footprint,” said Martin Graham, president of the Metro Supply Chain group. “While we initially introduce electric vehicles in British Columbia and Quebec, we ultimately plan to operate vehicles across the country to help flatten the curve. “

Custom Delivery Solutions, Metro Supply Chain’s complete last mile solution, partners with companies like IKEA.

“We are very proud to be associated with such a progressive and sustainability-oriented organization as IKEA, which is ready to work with us not only on the introduction of electric vehicles, but also on the restructuring of the delivery model. traditional to enable truly efficient customer service. Says Cedric George, president of Custom Delivery Solutions.

“IKEA is guided by our vision to create better everyday lives for the many people,” says Melissa Barbosa, Head of Sustainability at IKEA. “Our positive People and Planet strategy, which supports us in this vision, has been developed in accordance with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Our circular, climate-positive driver of change has ambitious goals for us to achieve 100% zero-emission delivery by 2025 globally, and this journey to electrify our last mile delivery would be impossible without partnerships like Custom Delivery Solutions supporting our logistics and meeting the needs of our customers across the country. “

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Wittichen Supply Holding Company, Backed by Gryphon, Appoints New CEO and CFO | State Mon, 06 Dec 2021 19:30:00 +0000

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., December 6, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Wittichen Supply Holding Company (the “Company”), today announced that it has appointed Alex Averitt as CEO and appointed Scott Page as Chief Financial Officer, with immediate effect. Wittichen Supply Holding Company, based in Atlanta, Georgia, is the newly formed parent company of Wittichen Supply Company (“Wittichen”), a wholesale distributor that provides heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC / R) equipment, parts, supplies and services. to residential and business customers in the Southeastern United States The Company is a holding company of mid-market private equity firm Gryphon Investors.

Craig nikrant, the dedicated operating partner of Gryphon’s small-cap wealth fund, said: “We are very pleased to welcome Alex and Scott to Wittichen as we move forward with our plans to establish a premier regional player. plan in HVAC / R. Their professional and financial experience will be invaluable as we build the operational, back-office and regulatory capacities that will support the strategic growth of the Company. ”

Keith Stimson, Business Partner and Head of Gryphon’s Wealth Fund, said: “In keeping with Gryphon’s long-standing standards for starting a business, Alex and Scott are each proven top executives with an exemplary track record in building a business. the scale of similar distribution companies in the middle market, both organically and through mergers and acquisitions, with private equity partners. They will complement the Wittichen and Gryphon teams well, and we are delighted to be working with them.

Mr. Averitt is a seasoned business leader with a proven track record in creating value for stakeholders. He joined the company after three years as COO at BlueLinx Holdings, Inc., a wholesale distributor of building materials and industrial products. He has extensive experience in distribution and branch office operations, and is accustomed to successfully managing acquisitions and integrations. Prior to that, he spent 13 years with Cedar Creek Holdings, Inc., which was later acquired by BlueLinx, where he held several successive positions, most recently as CEO. He previously held general management positions at JELD-WEN. Mr. Averitt holds a bachelor’s degree from Arkansas Technical University and has several professional titles.

Mr. Averitt said: “I am delighted to join this century-old brand, known for its exceptional culture and loyal following. I look forward to learning the ‘Wittichen Way’ and working with Wittichen and Gryphon as we seek to become a leading regional player in the industry while continuing to invest in our people and innovative products and services. that will better serve our customers and create value for our suppliers.

A veteran of several manufacturing and service companies, Mr. Page will oversee the finances and resources of the Company and its affiliates. He most recently served as CFO at Royston Group, a manufacturer of custom merchandising accessories and specialty equipment for the retail industry. Prior to that, he rose through the ranks to Vice President, Finance, Distribution and Storage West at Chart Industries, a global manufacturer of cryogenic equipment for the industrial gas, energy and biomedical industries. Previously, he spent several years as Director, Corporate Financial Planning and Analysis at YP. He began his career with General Electric, where he held various positions for over a decade, most recently as CFO of Business Development at GE Energy. Mr. Page holds a BA of University of Michigan, a master’s degree in accounting from South georgia, and an MBA from Indiana University as well as several professional titles.

Mr. Page commented: “I am happy to be part of a remarkable company that is clearly enjoying great success. With an excellent reputation, top quality resources and a group of dedicated employees, the company is well positioned for disciplined expansion. ”

About Wittichen Supply Company

Founded in 1914 and based in Birmingham, Alabama, Wittichen is the leading wholesale distributor in the market providing the best HVAC / R equipment, parts, supplies and customer service at 25 locations in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. Wittichen has long-standing relationships with major suppliers and distributes products from over 500 major HVAC / R manufacturers. With over 100 years of experience, Wittichen continues to provide its customers with top-notch service, including well-stocked branches, competitive pricing and after-hours service for emergencies. For more information visit

About Gryphon Investors

Situated at San Francisco, Gryphon Investors ( is a leading private equity firm focused on profitable growth and improving the competitiveness of middle market companies in partnership with experienced management. The company has managed more than $ 7.50 billion equity and capital investments since 1997. Gryphon aims to make equity investments of $ 50 million To $ 300 million in portfolio companies whose enterprise value varies by approximately $ 100 million To $ 600 million. Gryphon prioritizes investment opportunities where it can form strong partnerships with owners and managers to build leading businesses, utilizing Gryphon’s capital, specialized professional resources and operational expertise.


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Wipro Partners with Celonis to Launch Supply Chain Command Center Mon, 06 Dec 2021 13:40:00 +0000

To help companies optimize their supply chain management transformation initiatives

Wipro and Celonis, the global leader in fulfillment management, today announced the launch of the Supply Chain Command Center to help organizations drive supply chain transformation.

The solution enables businesses to automatically identify and correct bottlenecks and process inefficiencies, gain powerful business insights, unlock new growth opportunities, manage risk and maintain business continuity. activities even in times of disruption. It improves the efficiency of the supply chain by working on the four stages – planning, sourcing, development and delivery.

The Supply Chain Command Center combines a range of business critical capabilities, from KPI performance testing to process optimization in transformation programs. Businesses can take advantage of out-of-the-box models for process maturity assessment, custom code analysis, and automation opportunities. The solution is offered as a service without any initial investment.

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US reflective clothing increases inventory for global supply chain demand Mon, 06 Dec 2021 03:00:00 +0000 Reflective Apparel, a U.S. manufacturer of a full line of high-visibility apparel, has increased inventory in anticipation of global supply chain delays that could impact worker safety. Reflective Apparel increased share purchases more than 20% above average, with further increases in inventory expected in November and February 2022.

Reflective Apparel reports that custom orders can now take up to five months instead of the standard 90 days. While consumer products are often the focus of current supply chain reporting, a delay in high-visibility clothing is a safety concern for workers. While proper care extends the life of a reflective garment, reflective materials lose their effectiveness over time. What may seem good to a worker may in fact not be reflected correctly. This can lead to decreased visibility, especially in bad weather conditions. Without proper safety gear, workers in several industries are at risk, including firefighters, police, railway workers, Department of Transportation employees, construction workers and airport baggage handlers, the company said in a statement from. hurry.

“Reflective Apparel monitors supply chain issues very closely. Our demand planners are working to ensure that we continue to have inventory so that public and private organizations can keep workers safe with appropriate high visibility clothing. We want our customers to know that we have inventory in stock to ensure the safety of their workers, but we urge customers to plan ahead, especially when it comes to custom orders, ”said Scott A Corrao, President of Reflective Apparel.

Reflective Apparel, a U.S. manufacturer of a full line of high-visibility apparel, has increased inventory in anticipation of global supply chain delays that could impact worker safety. Reflective Apparel increased share purchases more than 20% above average, with further increases in inventory expected in November and February 2022.

“It is essential for organizations that require workers to wear reflective clothing to assess replacement times and make any necessary adjustments to ensure that there is no lack of availability to replace reflective equipment. before they become a security risk. The key is to be flexible. If you need winter coats now for your employees, you may need to skip a custom order that might not arrive in time for the cold weather in favor of an in-stock item that can ship today. Some customers who expect custom-designed clothing have purchased vests to wear over their existing winter clothing until their product is received, ”said Corrao.

Fibre2Fashion Information Office (GK)

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Supply Chain Problems Threaten Christmas Trade | Stories of lead Sun, 05 Dec 2021 05:13:18 +0000

While the global supply chain has yet to recover from the shocks of COVID-19, it could be a bleak Christmas for buyers across the island as traders pass on the rising costs of sourcing goods. abroad.

Freight rates have soared to 600% as some shipping companies, logistics providers and ports struggle to cope with increased demand for supply, complicated by the outbreaks of COVID-19 in parts of the Asian continent, leading some companies to reduce their sales forecasts, as delivery delays take their toll.

“We just got a container last week and it was like a moving target. We should have had it over three weeks ago, ”said Anthony Pearson, general manager of Lloyd’s department store based in Montego Bay. The Sunday Gleaner Last week. “As it is, a lot of people will not be receiving their products for Christmas, even if they were ordered a long time ago. That’s all I can tell you.

Lloyd’s operates from two locations in City 2 and is a leading player in the local retail market, sourcing merchandise from Panama and the United States to satisfy its customers, but Pearson – who succeeded its late father, Lloyd, head of the 55-year-old company – still feels the ripple effects of challenges halfway around the world.

“I don’t do business directly with China, but it all comes from there, so even our suppliers in the United States and Panama depend on their supplies from the Far East,” he explained. “If they don’t get it, we can’t get it.”

The businessman explained that shipping larger goods with a lower value would not make much economic sense, with prices increasing by 10-20%.

“What you are going to find is that the increase in low cost bulky goods such as plastic items and toys is going to be even greater as there will be cases where the value of the goods in the container will be lower. at what they cost to ship it, ”he said.


This challenge also presents another risk for retailers, as consumers could end up spending less during the generally busy shopping season if there is not enough inventory and if they are not attracted to the products on offer, because rising costs are forcing manufacturers to prioritize what to ship.

Businessman Sunil ‘Danny’ Vangani hopes the government will consider a suspension of transportation costs until the situation normalizes.

“What I find difficult is that the freight costs and the prices of raw materials have increased. We used to pay US $ 3,000 [per container]. Now we are paying US $ 18,000 and we have found that getting goods at the price we were previously selling is a challenge, ”Vangani said last week.

Supplier of souvenir items for hotels, bond shops and craft vendors for the tourist market, as well as electrical appliances and furniture, Vangani has operated several businesses along the north coast for over 25 years. . Its shipments originate mainly from China, Thailand, India and Indonesia, with ships traveling directly to Jamaica or via Panama.

“I would ask Jamaican Customs to consider suspending freight charges for this period as you may see an increase soon,” he said. “Getting deliveries on time has also become a problem. “

Other issues from the pre-COVID-19 era also continue to plague the Montego Bay area, including a lack of warehouse space, which has resulted in an unreasonably longer wait for cargo, according to a broker. veteran customs.

“The goods remain on the wharf for two, three weeks without being stripped because Montego Bay has grown too big for the space we have,” said the broker, who requested anonymity. “Right now, port handlers have around 50 containers from around the first week of November that have yet to be emptied because the warehouse is full. “

An increase in online shopping since the pandemic has exacerbated the space conundrum, with U.S. e-commerce accounting for nearly 20% of sales for 2020.

“We’re now down to about 30 containers that have yet to be dismantled,” Port Manager Shane Cochrane of Port Handlers Limited confirmed last week. “But we are working diligently to secure additional space to facilitate greater throughput.”

The problem, Cochrane said, is that customers do not collect their cargo on time, adding that the string of days of immobility in response to the increased rate of COVID-19 infection in recent months has also contributed to the backlog.

“Part of the tradition, historically, is that people send their goods, but collect them closer to Christmas,” he said. “So we have a large volume of goods that are not cleared through customs,” he said, calling on customers to collect their goods, noting extended opening hours to now include Saturdays.

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Sisters meet in the middle to launch beauty store where hair care is king – Salisbury Post Sun, 05 Dec 2021 05:03:12 +0000

SALISBURY – For sisters Talaya and Tierra McManus, compromise comes naturally.

So it made sense that the siblings decided to meet between their respective homes in Winston-Salem and Charlotte to open a beauty store in Salisbury.

Located at 1953 Jake Alexander Blvd W, Unit B, J. Lorraine specializes in hair products for color and care, but sells everything from decorative headbands to hoops. The store opened in August with an event hosted by Livingstone College radio station WLJZ 107.1.

The name of the store is a tribute to the family members of Talaya and Tierra. The “J” comes from Jacqueline, their grandmother’s first name, and “Lorraine” is the last name of one of their great-grandmothers.

Talaya and Tierra said they decided to open House of J. Lorraine because they want to provide customers with an experience not found in other beauty stores.

“We care about other people’s hair,” Tierra said. “We try a lot of hair products, a lot of hair styles, and healthy hair in general is important to us. In our experience, when going to beauty stores, sometimes owners or employees do not have this first-hand knowledge of some of the products. We wanted to give our customers a different experience.

In addition to its convenient proximity, the sisters chose Salisbury for the store because they believe the market has not been fully exploited.

“There are other beauty stores in the area, but what sets us apart from other beauty stores is the vibe you get when you walk into the store,” Talaya said. “It’s fresh and open. We wanted to create a young, fresh atmosphere and a superb customer service experience.

It helped that Tierra got to know Salisbury after living in the city on her way to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

“I told (Talaya) it would be a good neighborhood, not just because it’s halfway there, but because I love the city,” Tierra said.

When not behind the counter at House of J. Lorraine, Talaya and Tierra both work in education.

Talaya owns and operates Smarties LLC in Winston-Salem, a youth center that offers after school and summer programs and classes. She started the program in 2015 at home, but quickly added more clients and now has a physical location. Smarties has experienced a business boom since the start of the pandemic, with parents needing child care more than ever. Tierra, meanwhile, is a school counselor with Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools.

Talaya McManus works behind the store counter for half the day before handing over to her sister Tierra for the second half. Ben Stansell / Salisbury Post

Talaya drives from Winston-Salem to open and run House of J. Lorraine in the morning and Tierra drives from Charlotte to take over for him in the afternoon. The sisters are not afraid of the journey. Talaya said she used it as a “happy” time to decompress and clear her mind.

While owning and operating the store has put additional strain on their already busy schedules, the sisters have both enjoyed the experience so far.

“When you do something that is a labor of love, you don’t feel like ‘Oh my god I have to start over,’” said Talaya.

It also gives them the opportunity to interact more often than they otherwise would, which they believe is an added benefit.

The beauty store is not the first joint venture between Talaya and Tierra. The sisters own and operate Luxxe, an online boutique for personalized clothing and accessories. They sell Luxxe products primarily through Etsy and Facebook Marketplace, but now Luxxe items, including their top selling shades, can now be found in House of J. Lorraine.

Having previously worked together, the sisters established a relationship that helped them start their new brick and mortar business.

“Our communication, which is extremely important both professionally and personally, is pretty good,” said Tierra. “We both communicate when it comes to stock, inventory, things we need or things we don’t have, or launching a sale on something very quickly so that we can bring new things. It was really good between the two of us. “

The sisters said they are constantly adjusting their inventory after trying products for themselves or hearing reviews from customers.

“The hair and beauty industry is constantly evolving and changing,” Tierra said. “While we have all of these things on hand, we haven’t used 100% of the items in this store. I haven’t used the men’s beard cream but we know of men who have used it, so we take feedback from customers who have tried things.

Maison J. Lorraine offers discounts to local barbers, hairdressers and hair braiders who may need additional products. The boutique is currently open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. More information about House of J. Lorraine can be found online at

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Supply chain problems force artisans and consumers to anticipate | Economy Sat, 04 Dec 2021 11:00:00 +0000

Images of stationary container ships in ports around the world amid serious supply chain issues have consumers and business owners scrambling for what is now the busiest of holiday shopping season .

Consumers have to wonder if what they want is still in stock and if it will be delivered on time, adding to the stress of the season.

And it’s not like companies don’t have any problems. Many problems for local granite state artisans include finding materials for their wares, shipping materials like boxes, and even the shipping itself. These challenges have become as much of a problem as getting orders.

Since recent global supply chain issues don’t appear to be resolved anytime soon, workarounds are being designed so that friends and loved ones can receive their holiday gifts.

“I see the freighters news, and I’m kidding about it – yes, some of the stuff I ordered is out there in the middle of the ocean,” Karen Steuer, owner of Hemlock Springs Soaps told Lyndeborough. “But this is something you have to seriously think about.”

This is what New Hampshire artisans and women craftsmen – such as carpenters, candle makers, pottery makers and their brethren – do. Being primarily one-person operations, it is imperative that they anticipate, and today’s landscape makes planning all the more important.

Hemlock Springs Soaps of Steuer, which produces soaps and lotions, had some supply chain issues throughout the pandemic. Now, however, she encounters even more roadblocks.

“Until recently, the only shortages I had encountered were packaging,” she said. “A lot of the products I use are made in China. It is only recently, over the past couple of months, that I am now experiencing supply chain issues with the oils I use.

So Steuer had to “get by”, as she put it. If it appears that her usual oil supplier is absent or it will take too long to reach her, she will look elsewhere.

When she finds what she needs, she buys in bulk.

“I double my packaging order, I double the ingredients, I order additional scents,” said Steuer, who has been making and selling soaps for over 20 years, but only the last six full-time. “Instead of a pound of lavender oil, my last order I bought five pounds.”

Jillian Fisher, owner of Red Fern Pottery in Pelham, also had to anticipate. And it worked for her even though she buys up to four times what she normally orders.

Fisher gets his glaze, or pottery paint, from Amaco, a pottery supply website. She ordered 20 pints – up from her usual order of 4 or 5 – just before prices jumped from $ 11 to $ 16 and before the website posted a six to eight week back order. .

“Some distributors have shut down their websites completely and are no longer taking orders because they just can’t fill them,” said Fisher, who primarily sells their clay kitchen products like spoon rests, mugs, tea cups, oil dispensers, serving bowls, etc. at farmers’ markets and fairs.

“A lot of the products that I have noticed are starting to become scarce,” she added. “Some colors that are gaining popularity and that I use quite frequently are sold out, so I have to place a big order (in order to have it). Pottery takes so long to produce so I can’t wait for a product to ship.

And it’s not just high material costs that are forcing Fisher to source. She gets her clay in Braintree, Mass., An hour’s drive with no traffic. So, to make the trip worth the rising cost of gasoline, she recently packed her car with 1,000 pounds of clay instead of her normal 250-pound order, to make the trip profitable.

Paul Silberman, owner of NH Bowl & Board in Contoocook, not only battles with all the other small businesses for boxes and shipping materials, but he has been forced to compete with construction companies and contractors for acquire wood to manufacture its products.

“It started when the loggers didn’t go into the woods in March, April and May 2020,” he explained. “Soon we started fighting for lumber from the sawmills with the builders. It’s hard to compete with.

“And I was scared to death about the boxes. I order more than I need. I’m afraid I will run out of boxes and UPS will stop taking boxes. So I try to do it as soon as possible.

MEA Originals owner Mary Ellen Angelo creates custom hand-sewn items like quilts, napkins, pot holders, cat toys, aprons and more at Keene. Selling most of her products through fairs, special orders, and consignment stores, she has not encountered any shipping issues.

She has been lucky, she said, to have been able to obtain most of the materials she needs from suppliers such as New England Fabrics in Keene, JoAnn Fabrics and Franks Bargain Center in Claremont. The problems she’s encountered are fewer places to sell her products, like fairs and open houses, and the cost of materials exceeds what she can do at consignment stores.

“I just did an open studio (in mid November)… I noticed that less people have come out, but they seem to be serious about buying,” Angelo said, “I think they worry that something they buy on the internet might not be delivered on time and they want a back-up. Christmas items sell well. People buy cautiously – they spend money but take more time to to buy.

Knowing how difficult the past two years have been for local business owners, as well as recent struggles to secure products, has only cemented Brenda Adams Bell’s feelings about buying from small businesses across the country. New Hampshire.

“I’m definitely doing more local shopping this (holiday season),” said Bell, of Henniker. “I have always supported my local vendors, duty free days, special events and buy local days. I want to see them survive this. They are the ones who need our help the most.

Bell appreciates the uniqueness of the products of local artisans and craftswomen. She knows it’s a lot harder than browsing the many options of a big box store or the ease of a few clicks on a computer.

“I have always preferred to buy local and / or from small businesses,” she explained. “The gifts are more unique, the quality is better, the service is better, and the shopping experience is above chain and big box stores.”

“While I remain committed to doing what I have always done, the added burden of supply chain issues just means that I will plan ahead and be more patient when my favorite sellers have to. struggling to execute commands. “

This article is shared by a partner of The Granite State News Collaborative. For more information visit

This article is shared by a partner of The Granite State News Collaborative. For more information visit

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supply constraints for commercial vehicles, inflationary ramifications remain in the foreground Fri, 03 Dec 2021 18:46:41 +0000

According to the recently published Transportation Digest by ACT Research, the main concerns in the commercial vehicle industry today are supply chain constraints, and the inflationary ramifications that flow from them. The report, which combines ACT’s proprietary data and analysis from a wide variety of sources, paints a comprehensive picture of the trends impacting the transportation and commercial vehicle markets. This monthly report is designed as a quick overview of transportation information for use by fleet and trucking managers, looking at high-level considerations such as rental ratings, freight, heavy and medium segments, US trailer market, used truck sales information. , and an overview of the US macroeconomics.

Click here to read more

“In addition to the foreground supply chain constraints, ACT also remains focused on the main demand drivers of the industry,” said Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst of ACT. “The Cass Shipments Index has been on an upward trajectory for almost a year and a half, which is not surprising given the shift in consumer spending from services to goods during the pandemic.” Vieth further explained: “The nationwide focus on the supply chain in the business press and the media in general is unprecedented. And most of the nodes in the supply chain, from ports to factories, from distribution centers to retailers and households, are trucks and trailers.

Vieth went on to explain some of these demand factors.

“Spot freight rates for dry vans, trays and reefer containers hit record highs in September. Higher diesel prices improve the value proposition of today’s new fuel efficient trucks, as fuel savings translate into a greater return on investment, especially for long haul trips, ”said Veith .

Regarding drivers, he noted, “The shortage of drivers is an ongoing problem for fleets and operators. The current extremely tight labor market conditions mean that fleets compete fiercely for drivers. Offering a new truck, equipped with cutting edge technology for driver safety, ease and comfort, is a factor that facilitates driver recruitment and retention.

Vieth concluded by sharing some thoughts on the ACT forecast.

“Looking at the anticipated risks, the two most visible and worrisome short-term unknowns are the ongoing supply challenges for OEMs and suppliers impacting the industry’s production, and the threat posed by COVID, especially if the holiday gatherings are a catalyst for another wave, ”he said. “We also note growing risks in China, from financial risks of over-indebted real estate to ongoing power outages, to geopolitical issues such as environmental policy and growing tensions with Taiwan.”

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Christmas trees in high demand, little supply this year | Agriculture Thu, 02 Dec 2021 11:00:00 +0000

Local businesses are experiencing a shortage of Christmas trees which they believe will likely result in higher consumption costs and the best trees will run out sooner.

Julie Fitzgerald, of Attleboro Farms on the Cumberland / North Attleboro border, said she and others predicted a shortage of Christmas trees for a variety of reasons. Attleboro Farms does not grow its own trees, but imports them from Canada. She said many independent family Christmas tree farms in Canada have sold all of their trees to large distributors. This year, it is proving difficult to find trees, she said, and she does not expect to have the number available that the farm usually has.

“Trying to find trees is difficult. Other friends in the industry are also struggling, ”Fitzgerald said.

She said she was unsure how the shortage would affect the costs of trees at the Attleboro farm. Everything costs more these days, right down to shipping. In mid-November, Fitzgerald said the farm had yet to receive confirmation of its source of trees, although it expected the trees to arrive at the farm just around Thanksgiving.

“People’s report is that they will be less fabulous trees,” she said.

Fitzgerald said the shortage stems from three main causes, including a recession a few years ago that caused Canadian farmers to plant fewer crops, a drought that prevented trees from growing or cutting, and a year of snow. abundant a few years ago which shortened the cut. the window.

“All of these things have an impact that makes it really difficult and unpredictable,” Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald said everything else on the farm will be the same as last year, including wreaths, greens and poinsettias custom-decorated for the season.

Regarding Christmas trees, Fitzgerald said to come early if he is looking for a real tree.

“Once they’re gone, they’re gone for the season,” she said.

Lockwood Christmas Tree Farm in Scituate is one of many local farms that will have a shortened season due to the low number of trees. Patricia Lockwood said their ‘pick and cut’ farm was one of the few that remained open last year.

Last year, she said she and her family were bombarded with requests for trees and ended up prematurely cutting down trees that would have joined this year’s stock.

“We felt bad, people were crying because they didn’t have trees. This year, we are paying the price, ”she said.

Lockwood said it won’t make the same mistake this year and will have a limited supply of trees. She said she hopes people can find trees on the big farms.

On average, Christmas trees take about 10 years to reach an average height of 6 to 9 feet. She said this year is going to be tough for everyone and expects tree prices to reflect the shortage.

Rick Miller, owner of Millers Family Farm in North Attleboro, Mass., Has noticed a shortage of Christmas trees this year and doesn’t expect the outlook for Christmas tree growing to improve in the years to come. future.

“It becomes more and more of a problem every year for us and for everyone, not just us, to try to find enough trees and then try to grow them,” Miller said. “We are lucky to have them. We’ve had a lot of calls from people who usually get them from someone else but can’t this year. There is a shortage of it this year.

Miller said the weather plays a big role in the growth of Christmas trees, and if the weather is bad it can wipe out entire fields before people can cut them down. He said he knew of a Christmas tree farm in Maine that was buried in snow just before the trees could be felled and all of the field was lost for the year.

Another reason Miller said he thinks Christmas trees are scarce this year is trucking regulations. Miller, who has his license from the Department of Transportation and is able to drive trucks, said he now had to see a chiropractor for a medical exam so he could keep his license, and his doctor couldn’t give him the ‘exam.

“The regulations are getting tougher. I’m not saying they’re not necessary, but they’re getting a little silly, ”Miller said. “So that adds another cost. This adds a day or half a day of missing work because you have to go elsewhere. It gets harder and harder to drive a truck, and without trucks you can’t move anything.

Another reason for the Christmas tree shortage, Miller says, is that owners of many farms are retiring, especially in Maine and Canada, where his company derives many of its trees.

“When you say a farm around here, we can have 3,000 or 4,000 trees. When you talk about the farms that these pre-cut trees come from, they have 300,000, 400,000 trees, ”Miller said. “So you can imagine that you have hundreds of acres that you need to clear-cut a field and then replant them. It’s a lot of work.

Miller said he found out that much of the younger generation was also not interested in getting into Christmas tree production, so he’s not sure what will happen in the next few years. years to come.

Miller said the prices of Christmas trees have increased over time. This year, due to a shortage, he expects prices to be much higher than normal.

“This year, I didn’t even ask what the price of the pre-cut trees would be. We’re just very, very lucky to be able to get trees and at this point. We’ll take whatever they have and price it accordingly, ”Miller said. “I told the guys before, we’re not going to take advantage of people; we’re going to do our best with what we have and see if that happens again next year.

Millers Farm opened for the season on November 26 and can typically stay open three weekends. Miller said the majority of people come in the first week. Depending on how many trees they have this year and how many people come, it expects to only stay open a maximum of two weekends.

“If the trend continues, we’re going to need to have a mailing list and only be able to sell to a certain number of people,” he said. “The most important thing is for the people who have supported our farm and any other farm, I strongly believe in it, you have to take care of the people who take care of you. People who have come before should be able to have an initial examination of the trees. “

Roland Deguire, owner of Bear’s Christmas Tree Farm in Blackstone, Mass., Said they haven’t seen much of a difference this year compared to previous years.

“Our farm is open as usual and we have our regular routine,” Deguire said. “I hear others are running out of trees, but we don’t.

“We measure how many trees we have and stop selling them when we need them, so the next year we have more,” he said.

“Everything costs more, and with the increase in supplies to grow and operate the farm, there will be a small increase, but not by much. “

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