COVID-19 has fundamentally disrupted global trade to the point there are a number of product shortages starting to play out, and in some cases of some surprising items:
- The shipping containers themselves: With only two makers of shipping containers globally and containers being trapped in the congestion at ports, there is now a shortage of containers, let alone the products that fill them.
- Toilet paper: At this stage, most people are aware of the high demand for toilet paper – with countless people stockpiling and panic-buying rolls to ensure that they don’t run out during a lockdown. However, the risk now exists that manufacturers will run low on wood pulp due to the container shortage.
- Marmite: The popular but polarizing spread has also been in short-supply due to a lack of brewer’s yeast amidst pub closures.
- Ketchup packets: The US is facing a shortage of ketchup packets because of the increased demand due to the change from dine-in to takeaway and delivery.
- Garden Gnomes: Left with few leisurely options available in lockdown, people have resorted to gardening as a source of entertainment. This boom in demand, coupled with a shortage of raw materials due to the Suez Canal incident, has seen the humble garden gnome become a hot commodity.