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No matter how good your business model, your manufacturing company will not be successful if you cannot get the supplies you need. Many industries are suffering from supply chain issues, either because the basic raw material is in short supply or parts are being imported from overseas.

Why Are There Supply Chain Issues for Injection Molding? 

There are many reasons the constant flow of goods into our country has been interrupted, the COVID-19 pandemic being the single largest factor. The shutdown of so many manufacturing plants and shipping routes and the lack of healthy workers across the globe led to a steep drop in goods entering the United States. Easing restrictions has allowed some people and companies to get back to work, so why do delays continue?

  • Back-Up at the Ports


Perhaps the most significant reason the United States supply chain is still running behind schedule is the backlog at the ports. When the pandemic hit and things shut down, the ships currently at sea had nowhere to go except their original destination. They continued their journeys and arrived at the designated offloading ports. The problem was, there wasn’t anybody there to do the offloading. Instead, ships filled with goods dropped anchor and waited.

Over time, the number of ships needing to be unloaded grew into the hundreds. When everyone returned to work, more ships were packed with goods and sent out to make their deliveries. These new ships had to wait until the ships already there could be unloaded and sent on their way. This created a seemingly never-ending backlog of goods that has affected nearly all industries.

  • China Woes

Many plastic components come from China. This means that anything affecting the manufacturing industry in China will harm the supply chain here. 

The Winter Olympics has further delayed the shipment of injection molded parts. Rolling blackouts and restrictions on vehicle movement in the areas where Olympic events were held have delayed the manufacture and shipment of these goods even more. That’s two weeks of reduced activity, time that companies cannot afford to lose.

While much of the world has eased the restrictions created to slow the COVID spread, China still has a strict zero-tolerance policy in effect. This policy means that any occurrence of a COVID infection can lead to quarantining large areas or shutting down businesses.

Even if the businesses in a given area aren’t closed, the unpredictable and strict quarantines mean their employees often cannot come to work. This leads to slowed manufacturing, loading, and shipping.

  • Ukraine Crisis

Just as the world was leaving the pandemic behind, there was another global crisis that could drastically affect the free travel of goods across the globe. The war in Ukraine has caused unrest and turmoil far outside the Russian and Ukrainian borders. These disturbances will likely lead to even more supply chain delays and shortages.

So, What Can You Do? 

While all of the current reasons for supply chain interruptions may eventually resolve, it is difficult to predict how long that will take. Even after, who’s to say that another global problem, be it political, climatic, or another pandemic, won’t create more delays? The wisest choice seems to source your plastics components or devices with an injection molding partner to help guide you through material lead times and delays. 

Finding a reliable, U.S.-based injection molding manufacturer will save you the headaches of future supply chain issues, and the right one can do even more for your company. A good injection molding company will be a partner that helps minimize the risks due to supply chain issues, natural disasters, and other events that may impact getting the plastic parts you need. Navigating all the factors involved can be challenging, so it helps to have a reliable partner by your side.

Crescent Industries is such a company. Based in New Freedom, Pennsylvania, they are committed to understanding each customer’s specific needs and communicating clearly so there is never any confusion about what is being shipped and when it will arrive.

To find out more about the reshoring of injection molding and how they can and will help you avoid the frustrations with supply chains issues, contact Crescent Industries today.







Topics: plastic injection molding