12/12/20 – Record high steel prices, increasing by the week and supply chain bottle necks at the ports reeking havoc on lead times, what more could go wrong!
It’s become more challenging selling racks, shelving, containers – anything made of steel. Having to explain to customers why prices have gone up. It’s even tougher to be the one purchasing these steel products. In our estimation steel prices have more then doubled, increasing roughly 67% since last June. And what is really amazing is that factory orders have increased significantly with factory lead times on imported products out 8-10-12 weeks and increasing more it seems every week. (*3/24/21: Lead times are now at 16-17 weeks)
Listen, were not complaining. Sales are at a record high for us and many material handling companies. We’re having difficulty keeping inventory in stock. It is selling as quickly as we can manufacture and ship it to our warehouses. It’s a real shame that some segments of the economy are doing so well while others are suffering so much. Our hearts go out to everyone who is struggling and we pray that things get better soon.
And to add to the misery, availability of steel has decreased which is putting the hurt on domestic manufacturers. At the same time supply chains are severely stressed with a shortage of shipping containers from overseas. This is due to the increasing amount of goods being shipped which in turn is driving up container rates and extending lead times on imported products and ultimately increasing prices for the products that you purchase. This flood of imported products can be attributed the restocking of American shelves.