As you are likely hearing, from many industries, there are shortages of products across consumer and industrial goods. Auto tires are no exception. We started hearing about the possibility of a shortage starting in 2020. In early 2021, it was apparent that tires were going to be hit with a shortage. The reasons are both common and unique.
Logistics: transporting tires
On the domestic side of things, logistics have been the biggest challenge in the supply chain across categories.
We’ve seen the news. Ports along the west coast have cargo ships waiting at sea to be unloaded. With the impact of COVID, staffing at ports remains low and the pace of unloading ships is still dragging. Despite the recent developments of round-the-clock operations, the backlog remains daunting.
The trucking industry has been struggling with a shortage of drivers seemingly forever. Being a trucker is not an easy occupation, and companies have been struggling to keep up with hiring drivers. This has been exacerbated by COVID.
Tire Production & demand
There are issues impacting tire supplies to the US that take place well before shipments make it to our shorts. Between demand and production issues, supplying enough tires is a challenge for manufacturers.
Demand For Tires
As counties emerge from the worst of the pandemic, the need for goods increases. Layer on top of this the growth in counties like China, and the demand curve greatly outstrip production. We are faced with the problem of too few tires for too much demand.
Rubber Production Drop
Over the past few years, even before the pandemic, rubber production took a hit. In areas of southeast Asia, where the bulk of rubber production takes place, the rubber plants were infected by disease and production dropped. While synthetic rubber makes up about half the rubber production, the drop in natural rubber impacts the overall supply.
The Impact On Consumers
Across the country, consumers are facing higher prices for tires, and in some cases, are having a hard time finding tires for their vehicles. While this is temporary, it poses a problem for consumers, particularly in the north as winter approaches and driving conditions deteriorate. Waiting to replace tires in the winter months can pose a hazard.
Tires, D Wells Automotive
As Dave Wells observed the issues unfolding in 2020 through mid-2021, he developed a plan to ensure an ongoing supply of tires for his customers. As a shop whose customers return for maintenance as well as repairs, he knew people would depend on them to provide tires for the coming winter. Early on, Dave committed his shop to orders well ahead of time to have tires on hand.
If you need new tires or are unsure if your tires have enough tread, get in touch with us. We’re ready to help.