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The World Is Still Short of Everything. Get Used to It.


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PP Control & Automation designs and builds systems for companies that make machinery for a wide range of industries.

An unexpected jump in orders for televisions in Canada or Japan exacerbates the shortage of computer chips, forcing auto manufacturers to slow production lines from South Korea to Germany to Brazil.

Credit: Mary Turner/The New York Times

Like most people in the developed world, Kirsten Gjesdal had long taken for granted her ability to order whatever she needed and then watch the goods arrive, without any thought about the factories, container ships and trucks involved in delivery.

Not anymore.

At her kitchen supply store in Brookings, S.D., Ms. Gjesdal has given up stocking place mats, having wearied of telling customers that she can only guess when more will come. She recently received a pot lid she had purchased eight months earlier. She has grown accustomed to paying surcharges to cover the soaring shipping costs of the goods she buys. She has already placed orders for Christmas items like wreaths and baking pans.

"It's nuts," she said. "It's definitely not getting back to normal."

The challenges confronting Ms. Gjesdal's shop, Carrot Seed Kitchen, are a testament to the breadth and persistence of the chaos roiling the global economy, as manufacturers and the shipping industry contend with an unrelenting pandemic.

From The New York Times
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