COVID Supply Chain Limitations Impact on Chemical Distribution

Monday, May 16th, 2022

The modern supply chain crisis brought about due to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact numerous companies and industries around the globe. From shipping to trucking, rail and infrastructure, nearly every aspect of the supply chain is affected. As a provider of high-quality base components, chemical intermediates, chemical additives and functional fluids, our commitment to each customer remains solid even as we face our own ongoing challenges as a supply chain partner. We are nimble to solve problems that arise and confident in the strength of our partnerships to deliver the care to our customers that we stand by.


Supply Chain Disruption


It’s important to understand that there are numerous parts to the overarching issue within the supply chain over the past two years. Corporations’ product processes have recently been exposed to new risks and vulnerabilities resulting in global factory closures and manufacturing slowdowns. With numerous reports of low or no stock on products also dramatically impacting the overall supply chains, issues in transportation to both suppliers and consumers have arisen as the globe appears to be stuck in “undersupply.” These conditions require all market participants, including us, to be ever more flexible on budgets and expectations, and committed to finding creative solutions.


The US has seen a record number of container ships sitting idle waiting to dock at various ports.  was an average increase of delays among NACD members (National Association of Corporate Directors) of over 11 days in summer 2021 alone with delays only getting longer from there. There was simply not enough global ship capacity to handle the demand for existing space. The trucking industry has continued to face a driver shortage with vaccine mandates and the CA AB-5 (California Assembly Bill) precluding carriers from using independent drivers unless classified as employees. Issues within the railways also picked up speed with declining service and pricing issues alongside failure of the proposed merger of key providers; Kansas City Southern and Canadian National Railway.


Logistics Costs


Although the precise supply chain issues of 2020 and 2021 are likely to fade, there will still be new challenges. The costs associated with the supply chain are growing rapidly across chemical sectors due to the aforementioned factors and the recent rise in oil prices. Global logistic costs face additional increases too, including never-before-seen surcharges being applied by container shipowners to oceangoing containers at the time of loading. In response to these various challenges, Soltex is focusing on our strong partnerships who understand and are able to accommodate customer needs. We are also staying informed so as to anticipate, plan for and get ahead of such issues.


Soltex’s Partnerships


As a company, we are focused on taking action along with our team of partners, to alleviate and ultimately entirely diminish negative impacts of global supply chain issues. It’s essential in forging future success that we sustain our level of customer service commitment throughout. Diverse Trucking, out of Chicago, for example, is an incredibly reliable and important partner to Soltex as they work with us to assist customers with potential short lead times. Their ability to get product from point A to the customer is especially noteworthy in this current age. Maintaining a dependable carrier like Diverse Trucking has allowed our team to respond in a timely manner and has kept our grid functional. Our production plant in Belleville, Ontario also continues to be a key player in providing the highest quality and efficient care to our customers. There are no scenarios in which their product is not precisely what needs to be delivered.


Things are additionally looking up nationally as The Bipartisan Infrastructure bill, which in large part is focused on the efficient transport of goods and produce across the country, was also passed last fall. While the impacts of this bill have yet to be felt, it bodes well for necessary changes in national supply chain issues. And though the reality of the situation has not been largely promising, Soltex is committed to working hard to deliver value to our customers and remain a superior, reliable supplier and partner.