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veen  ·  56 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: America Is Running Out of Everything

    I'd be curious as to your take; you know hella more about transportation than I do.

I hope I do, but in a fairly narrow range. I'd argue "transportation" is as broad as a category as "engineering"; the nuances of shipping logistics are approximately as far removed from my corner of transportation as chemical engineering is to you. I could've chosen that speciality, but I didn't, so beyond knowing some basics like what a TEU is I won't be able to provide much insight.

My worry however is not about the refined products, but about all the intermediary and low-value parts that are necessary to create refined products. If shipments are going to suck ass for the foreseeable future, and we have lost the ability to produce much of the basics locally, how are a lot of our products going to get made? A supply chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and I'm worried we're gonna see a lot more weak links the coming years, with problems 'trickling up' from "it's too expensive to ship iron to make bolts" to "it's too expensive to ship bolts to make bicycle frames" to "bicycles are twice expensive and/or out of stock".

The current GPU shortage is not exactly caused by these kinds of issues, but it does show just how difficult these processes are to improve or change when necessary.