(WSYR-TV) — You may have noticed some products have been hard to come by while shopping these days. And when you do get your hands on them, the prices are way up. Luckily, toilet paper is not one of those items anymore, but there are other products and services consumers should be looking out for.
Patrick Penfield, a supply chain expert at Syracuse University, says the pandemic and the weather are to blame for this problem. COVID-19 shocked the supply system and suddenly, manufacturers were backed up. And he doesn’t think this is going to end any time soon.
Penfield recommends purchasing things based on necessity. So if you can postpone major projects or purchases, like renovating your home, you might want to do so until prices drop again. And if you can’t? You will need to shop around to make sure you’re getting the best price or buy during the off-season.
The biggest shock to Penfield about all of this, though, are the lumber prices.
“The big surprise is price…right? It’s jumped up 180% from last year this time,” Penfield said. “So, you know, we have plenty of trees. The issue right now is that we just can’t process enough lumber through the sawmills. A lot f it happened because of COVID-19 again, the sawmills shut down, they didn’t build up any inventory.”
Penfield says he doesn’t think any of this could have been avoided, but we haven’t seen anything like this since the spanish flu, and it’s been tough for consumers and manufacturers.
One way to help this in the future? He says to make sure we have a supply chain for the products where everything is made and manufactured in the U.S.