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Here's why there's a shortage of almost everything

Pandemic shortages of 2020 have not let up
Retail Sales
Posted at 2:27 PM, Jun 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-24 16:42:23-04

Everywhere you turn in 2021, it seems something you need is in short supply.

And families hoping for a new backyard pool this summer are the latest to learn of shortages.

Chris Schwitzer's job these days is often telling customers they are going to have to wait.

"I understand the disappointment, but please understand we are doing everything in our power to get a product," he said.

Schwitzer is the manager of a swimming pool chain called Eastgate Pools and Spas.

While he still has above-ground pool kits in stock, if you need to replace your pool liner, that's another story.

"There's a definite shortage of pool liners, and it is affecting the entire industry," he said.

Why so many things are in short supply

The pool liner shortage is like so many shortages right now.

Analysts blame a combination of surging demand during the pandemic, factories shutting down for at least a couple of months last year, and now a problem getting workers to come back.

CNN says the same issues are affecting supplies of:

  • Chlorine tablets for pools.
  • Kitchen appliances.
  • Computer chips.
  • Pickup trucks ... as a result of the chip shortage.
  • Used cars...due to new car shortages.
  • Xbox's and Playstations.
  • Drywall for home building.
  • Drywall paste.
  • Precious metals to make catalytic converters.
  • Chicken wings and pepperoni.

Making it worse: A labor and truck driver shortage.

That is causing major bottlenecks, according to Kerry Byrne of Total Quality Logistics, the second-largest freight brokerage firm in the US.

"What we are seeing is a disruption in the supply chain that happens sometimes when there is a limited capacity," he said. "But now, with the labor shortage, it has just been exacerbated."

So whether you need a sheet of drywall or a pool liner, Schwitzer explains, "there's not enough material out there to supply everyone."

Pool sellers hope that by this winter, the liner and chlorine shortage ease so that families can get their new dream pool by next summer.

As always, don't waste your money.

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