27 votes

What shortages have you noticed recently?

I've been sharing articles about supply chain issues for a while. Today I happened to see a twitter thread describing various shortages people have noticed. I thought it would be interesting to ask what shortages you've seen in your part of the world and how they've affected you? (That is, things that you can normally buy but are in short supply.)

38 comments

  1. norney
    Link
    UK perspective: Milk supply is erratic The range of frozen foods has diminished The shelves in general are much thinner Cement is rationed Timber has quadrupled in price

    UK perspective:
    Milk supply is erratic
    The range of frozen foods has diminished
    The shelves in general are much thinner
    Cement is rationed
    Timber has quadrupled in price

    15 votes
  2. userexec
    Link
    CPAP machines. Philips and ResMed have dominated the US market for decades, but Philips recently recalled effectively every ventilator and positive airway pressure device they've ever made due to...

    CPAP machines. Philips and ResMed have dominated the US market for decades, but Philips recently recalled effectively every ventilator and positive airway pressure device they've ever made due to noise abatement foam in the airway outgassing and deteriorating. Apparently from day one the Philips devices were letting off inflammatory and carcinogenic fumes into the airway, and after years in service they start blowing foam chunks into your lungs.

    Philips will be repairing or replacing their devices, but as one of only two major players in the market who knows how long that will take. In the mean time, good luck finding any ResMed devices in stock or at anywhere near a sane price point. The same AutoSet 10 machine that you could have probably picked up a few months ago for $350 is now selling for $1000.

    If you're using a Philips device like a DreamStation or System One, register for the recall to get it repaired or replaced, and if medically possible, stop using it for now.

    14 votes
  3. [6]
    Amarok
    Link
    My old Geforce 770 dropped dead last week - apparently Stellaris was just too much for it. Desktop mode is fine, any 3D action and it's bricked. I went with some trepidation into the GPU market...

    My old Geforce 770 dropped dead last week - apparently Stellaris was just too much for it. Desktop mode is fine, any 3D action and it's bricked. I went with some trepidation into the GPU market and the prices on even the old crappy cards are literally insane across the board. I'd like to go AMD this time (since I'm converting this old Win7 system to linux soonish) but it looks like I'm going to be waiting a while before I can pick up a GPU. Gave me a reason to get Retroarch+ set up properly on my ShieldTV with a couple thousand roms. I'm on a retro gaming kick for a while, and kinda loving it. That emulator toolbox gets my strongest recommendation.

    The chip shortage we've all run into, though. Here's a left field one - today, for the first time in literally six months, I found proper flypaper on the shelf. Raid or similar pest-killers are 'take what you can get' - the selection is dicey at best, all green cans this week, yellow next week, rando 3rd party brands the week after. Places have had a very hard time keeping that stuff in stock, though there's usually something, just not the usual 'twenty shades of everything' classic American product selection we're all used to. I missed the flypaper, I'd rather not spray indoors. Got the last two boxes today. I wonder if it was a demand increase due to people being home so much finally noticing they had... infestations of one stripe or another.

    I discovered the joys of peppermint oil as an insect repellent thanks to that, though. I'd call it a win. Smells nice, it's cheap, and the bugs really can't stand it. Beats toxic sprays hands down. If I dust my hat with that before doing yardwork I'm rarely bothered. Just remember to keep it the hell away from your pets!

    For a while, big bulk bags of bird seed were also getting hard to find, though that's sorted itself out. I'd switched to cracked corn and the birds were giving me stinkeye. The colorful ones demand their tribute and if you don't provide it, they'll drop you from their daily commute.

    11 votes
    1. [5]
      cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Oof that sucks, and hits close to home for me too since my 980Ti is also on its last legs. It's consistently hard crashing after about an hour of running any game that strains it even the tiniest...

      Oof that sucks, and hits close to home for me too since my 980Ti is also on its last legs. It's consistently hard crashing after about an hour of running any game that strains it even the tiniest bit, and randomly soft-crashing every few hours even when not under any strain. Temps are not the issue (I always monitor them), neither are driver issues (I did a complete reformat a few day ago), so I think the silicone is simply starting to fail.

      I am dreading when it finally dies completely due to the chip shortage too, since (as you mentioned) the prices even in the secondhand market are absolutely batshit right now. Used 980Tis are selling for almost as much as I paid for a brand new one 6 years ago! So I'm honestly considering just pulling one of my ancient GTX 680s out of storage (thank God I kept them), and simply making due with that until this chip shortage madness comes to an end. NVIDIA's CEO recently predicted that the shortage would last "the vast majority of [2022]" though... so we both might be waiting a while yet before we will be able to buy replacement cards at a reasonable price. :(

      4 votes
      1. stu2b50
        Link Parent
        For that reason I'd honestly say, if your GPU fails, just buy another one that is currently at the price you'd be comfortable with spending, even if the performance is not as high as you'd...

        and simply making due with that until this chip shortage madness comes to an end. NVIDIA's CEO recently predicted that the shortage would last "the vast majority of [2022]" though

        For that reason I'd honestly say, if your GPU fails, just buy another one that is currently at the price you'd be comfortable with spending, even if the performance is not as high as you'd theoretically want for that amount of money.

        If you play a lot of games, then it's probably worth it. Don't think about how much higher than it is at MSRP - just how much money you're spending, and how much enjoyment over how long of a period you'll be getting back for it.

        IMO people get too caught up on that feeling of "injustice" for lack of a better word at having to pay much higher prices than anticipated, but that's fallacious.

        10 votes
      2. [3]
        teaearlgraycold
        Link Parent
        I would recommend you and @Amarok try baking your cards. I’ve seen it work before.

        I would recommend you and @Amarok try baking your cards. I’ve seen it work before.

        8 votes
        1. [2]
          Amarok
          Link Parent
          Holy shit, you're not kidding. First I've heard of this solution, and I have a much older 570 here that can't even desktop. There's really no reason not to give it a try, hopefully one of them...

          Holy shit, you're not kidding. First I've heard of this solution, and I have a much older 570 here that can't even desktop. There's really no reason not to give it a try, hopefully one of them works. Thanks for the tip, I'll let you know how it goes. Looks like 8-10 minutes at 385'F is the recommendation. Stripped of all parts, just the board, and raised on little balls of aluminum foil, in a pan with a foil covered bottom.

          I suppose it makes sense, melting the cracks in the solder back together. The cards all went through it before, at the factory during manufacture.

          6 votes
          1. teaearlgraycold
            Link Parent
            You might only get a few extra months out of it but like you said, nothing to lose.

            You might only get a few extra months out of it but like you said, nothing to lose.

            5 votes
  4. [3]
    nothis
    Link
    To kinda counter-act that lust for doomsday panic: Literally nothing (Central Europe). I heard graphics cards and cars are getting insanely expensive due to chip shortages. Good thing I don't need...

    To kinda counter-act that lust for doomsday panic: Literally nothing (Central Europe).

    I heard graphics cards and cars are getting insanely expensive due to chip shortages. Good thing I don't need either.

    11 votes
    1. senko
      Link Parent
      Yeah, just heard from friends looking to buy a new car: 6 to 10 month wait, with possible further delays (used to be 2-3 month wait this spring, for the same car, manufactured in the Czech republic).

      Yeah, just heard from friends looking to buy a new car: 6 to 10 month wait, with possible further delays (used to be 2-3 month wait this spring, for the same car, manufactured in the Czech republic).

      3 votes
    2. Adys
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Western europe here, same as you. I had trouble finding a graphics card at the beginning of the year (as in, it took me a few days instead of getting it right away). That's it… i suspect the...

      Western europe here, same as you. I had trouble finding a graphics card at the beginning of the year (as in, it took me a few days instead of getting it right away). That's it… i suspect the effect might be delayed here and we might get shortages later.

      Late edit: Coincidental article from today in the Brussels times. https://www.brusselstimes.com/news/business/183864/higher-prices-in-supermarkets-expected-next-year/

  5. FirstTiger
    Link
    Upper Midwest, US. Keep experiencing hiccups in obtaining biotech supplies- delays in orders for pipette tips, petri dishes, chemical reagents, new scientific equipment, etc. Part of it is just...

    Upper Midwest, US. Keep experiencing hiccups in obtaining biotech supplies- delays in orders for pipette tips, petri dishes, chemical reagents, new scientific equipment, etc.

    Part of it is just getting the stuff to a (relatively) remote location, the other parts likely demand for these same supplies for other individuals & companies performing Covid-related research and sourcing the raw materials, though I did have a sales rep from a large scientific supply company tell me one of the main hold ups was the backlog of container ships at the ports along the West coast shipping in from Asia.

    11 votes
  6. [2]
    nacho
    Link
    Norway: Wooden construction supplies (global market, issues in Canada) Bikes and electrified bikes due to huge spikes in demand Plastic products made in China (garden furniture etc.) Graphic...

    Norway:

    • Wooden construction supplies (global market, issues in Canada)
    • Bikes and electrified bikes due to huge spikes in demand
    • Plastic products made in China (garden furniture etc.)
    • Graphic cards, SD cards, gaming consoles
    • Feed concentrate (the vitamins, amino acids etc. are produced in China. shipping issues)
    • All brands of chipotle products (all imported from the Americas)
    • Flaxseed, sesame seeds and derivatives (due to ethylene oxide tainting supplies in India)
    • Shipping with regular containers has become much more expensive, with much longer delivery times

    Due to a second year of poor coffee harvests, media is warning about potential issues later this year or the start of next year.

    Similarly, a disastrous grape-winter in Europe means there are expectations of more expensive or lack of certain wines sometime in the relatively near future.

    10 votes
    1. Amarok
      Link Parent
      Coupled with la roya spreading to coffee farms the world over, this does not bode well for my favorite addiction. :P

      Due to a second year of poor coffee harvests, media is warning about potential issues later this year or the start of next year.

      Coupled with la roya spreading to coffee farms the world over, this does not bode well for my favorite addiction. :P

      6 votes
  7. [4]
    joplin
    Link
    Chips Ahoy! My spouse has a little snack stand set up on our front porch where delivery people can get a snack while dropping off the numerous things we order. (She can’t yet get vaccinated due to...

    Chips Ahoy! My spouse has a little snack stand set up on our front porch where delivery people can get a snack while dropping off the numerous things we order. (She can’t yet get vaccinated due to an immune condition, so we have to order all of our food, etc. online and have it delivered.) She is running short on Chips Ahoy for her snack stand and when she went to order more, every place seemed to either be out or to only have like a 64 pack of them. We’ve seen other odd food shortages here and there. At my local Ralph’s (which is run by Kroger), various items like Amy’s Pesto Bowls are listed at $95/bowl. This is normally a $5 microwaveable lunch. I think they set the price like that so people don’t order or something. But it just means they’re out.

    9 votes
    1. [3]
      rogue_cricket
      Link Parent
      This is likely due to the Nabisco strike. The workers who actually make the cookies (Chips Ahoy!, Oreos, and Ritz crackers) are currently striking for better conditions....

      This is likely due to the Nabisco strike. The workers who actually make the cookies (Chips Ahoy!, Oreos, and Ritz crackers) are currently striking for better conditions.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2021_Nabisco_strike

      20 votes
      1. vord
        Link Parent
        Before I even read that, they definitely need it. I worked on a cookie line factory for a different company about 20 years ago. I was doing the final packing and wrapping of a pallet. Was doing...

        Before I even read that, they definitely need it.

        I worked on a cookie line factory for a different company about 20 years ago. I was doing the final packing and wrapping of a pallet. Was doing temp work through an agency.

        Positions were always available, 8 hour shifts at minimum wage. Was the lowest paying wage via the agency. Hot factory, easily 89 F or higher. On feet whole time. 15 min break, 30 lunch, 15 minute break.

        I made it through one shift. Only time I blacklisted an employer from my temp work.

        7 votes
      2. joplin
        Link Parent
        Oh yeah, I forgot about that. Same thing with Lay’s potato chips, Doritos, etc.

        Oh yeah, I forgot about that. Same thing with Lay’s potato chips, Doritos, etc.

        3 votes
  8. [4]
    Omnicrola
    Link
    Our fridge died the other week, ordered a new one, got a message that it wouldn't be available until a month later due to backorders. Not the end of the world, but lines up with the trend I've...

    Our fridge died the other week, ordered a new one, got a message that it wouldn't be available until a month later due to backorders. Not the end of the world, but lines up with the trend I've heard from other people.

    8 votes
    1. [3]
      vord
      Link Parent
      Dishwasher here. Many different large appliances are hard to get. Especially midrange models which are the low end of 'not going to break inside of 5 years'.

      Dishwasher here. Many different large appliances are hard to get. Especially midrange models which are the low end of 'not going to break inside of 5 years'.

      4 votes
      1. joplin
        Link Parent
        This is another reason to avoid “smart” devices. It probably doesn’t make a difference for a TV, but something like a fridge, dishwasher, washer or dryer could easily be made with no computer...

        This is another reason to avoid “smart” devices. It probably doesn’t make a difference for a TV, but something like a fridge, dishwasher, washer or dryer could easily be made with no computer chips (and they were for decades). I wonder how many things the chip shortage is affecting where the chips are supporting “features” the user doesn’t want, like showing ads or harvesting data?

        6 votes
      2. whbboyd
        Link Parent
        Interesting… I had to replace my dishwasher a few weeks ago¹, and had no issues with supply or availability. I was also shopping in the mid-range. I bought from a big-box store in the northeast...

        Interesting… I had to replace my dishwasher a few weeks ago¹, and had no issues with supply or availability. I was also shopping in the mid-range. I bought from a big-box store in the northeast US, if that makes a difference; the local appliance refurbisher I would have preferred to buy from was out, but dishwashers aren't their primary product, and their stock is limited at the best of times.

        To @joplin's point, my new dishwasher is not at all smart; but I'm pretty sure dishwashers have been using microcontrollers instead of analog controls to handle their automation since the '90s at the latest. "Smart" appliances need a lot more computing power to effectively spy on you provide their "smart" functionality; but if it gets bad enough, the chip shortage will eventually affect "dumb" devices, as well.


        ¹ It's off-topic, but I want to rant about it anyway: the failed component in the old dishwasher was a 5¢ flex cable that was insufficiently waterproofed and corroded internally. All the big pieces, the pumps, motor, heating coil, seals, etc., were, to the best of my knowledge, totally fine. Of course, the smallest component Maytag ever sold that included that cable was the entire control panel, which was going for probably more than the dishwasher was actually worth. This wasn't planned obsolescence; it was just bad engineering, coupled with a manufacturer not forced to stand behind and support the repair of their products.

        At least the new one is a significant upgrade along pretty much every axis.

        6 votes
  9. [2]
    Flashynuff
    Link
    Here' what I've noticed in MI, USA: bug spray isopropyl alcohol computer chips (since the big 3 US car manufacturers are located here it's felt especially in cars) kayaks & kayak mounting racks...

    Here' what I've noticed in MI, USA:

    • bug spray
    • isopropyl alcohol
    • computer chips (since the big 3 US car manufacturers are located here it's felt especially in cars)
    • kayaks & kayak mounting racks
    • half the furniture at IKEA
    • housing
    7 votes
    1. FirstTiger
      Link Parent
      I had a similar problem try to get a new bookcase from Ikea- the basic styles were completely out of stock for several months, and even when they briefly showed up online, there was no option to...

      I had a similar problem try to get a new bookcase from Ikea- the basic styles were completely out of stock for several months, and even when they briefly showed up online, there was no option to have it shipped.

      Finally just bit the bullet and went to pick one up in person- thankfully in stock, along with the frozen meatballs.

      3 votes
  10. [4]
    maauer
    Link
    Less of a supply chain thing but my university (Northeastern United States) is having trouble staffing many non-faculty positions. Related, my hometown is having trouble retaining and finding k-12...

    Less of a supply chain thing but my university (Northeastern United States) is having trouble staffing many non-faculty positions. Related, my hometown is having trouble retaining and finding k-12 teachers. This is more the labor market though not supply chain.

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      teaearlgraycold
      Link Parent
      Maybe the increased property tax revenue from the bonkers home prices can go to paying teachers better.

      Maybe the increased property tax revenue from the bonkers home prices can go to paying teachers better.

      3 votes
      1. vord
        Link Parent
        Can't squeeze blood from a stone. States and feds have been viciously cuttting K-12 funding for over 30 years. Property taxes keep going up, and in many states greatly exacerbates disparities...

        Can't squeeze blood from a stone. States and feds have been viciously cuttting K-12 funding for over 30 years.

        Property taxes keep going up, and in many states greatly exacerbates disparities between wealthy and poor zip codes.

        Need to raise income taxes for > 100k earners back to 1960's levels, eliminate capitol gains taxes (roll them back into income), and introduce proper wealth and estate taxes.

        6 votes
    2. kfwyre
      Link Parent
      Ditto for where I'm at. The same goes for substitute teachers as well. Having enough teachers and subs was already dicey enough before the pandemic, but COVID really accelerated things. For anyone...

      Related, my hometown is having trouble retaining and finding k-12 teachers.

      Ditto for where I'm at. The same goes for substitute teachers as well. Having enough teachers and subs was already dicey enough before the pandemic, but COVID really accelerated things.

      For anyone curious, you can check on the current status of shortages using the Teacher Shortage Areas tool from the US Department of Ed. I highly recommend looking at your state. I can almost guarantee you'll be surprised.

      3 votes
  11. nukeman
    Link
    Day-to-day here in SC, I haven’t noticed anything. I haven’t checked recently, but I suspect ammo is still hard to come by, especially with the recent import ban. Off-topic meta I hate long...

    Day-to-day here in SC, I haven’t noticed anything.

    I haven’t checked recently, but I suspect ammo is still hard to come by, especially with the recent import ban.

    Off-topic meta

    I hate long Twitter threads like this. And I hate that Twitter is used in such a manner.

    5 votes
  12. HotPants
    Link
    Just the ones we all know about... Toilet paper in early 2020. Wood a few months ago. BinaxNow COVID tests. Ivermectin horse paste.

    Just the ones we all know about...

    Toilet paper in early 2020.

    Wood a few months ago.

    BinaxNow COVID tests.

    Ivermectin horse paste.

    5 votes
  13. NoblePath
    Link
    Raleigh, nc. Housing is an issue. I notice big box stores have lots of shelf space. Food quality at restaurants is variable. Clothing/dept stores are getting really creative with racks to fill up...

    Raleigh, nc.

    Housing is an issue.

    I notice big box stores have lots of shelf space.

    Food quality at restaurants is variable.

    Clothing/dept stores are getting really creative with racks to fill up floor space.

    Used clothing prices are up on ebay.

    5 votes
  14. stu2b50
    Link
    West coast US. To be honest, of the things I buy on a daily basis, not much really. Chip shortage, of course, which "affects" me in that PS5 supply still is in a place where you need to be in...

    West coast US. To be honest, of the things I buy on a daily basis, not much really. Chip shortage, of course, which "affects" me in that PS5 supply still is in a place where you need to be in discord servers/youtube livestreams with bots that autorefresh retailers for stock to get one at MSRP, which is way too much effort for me.

    But that's far from a necessity, and all the store shelves seemed to be fully stocked when I browse them. Well, yesterday I had to buy 3.5 LBs of baking soda because the smaller boxes were sold out but that's about it.

    5 votes
  15. [2]
    reifyresonance
    Link
    People have been canning so much that jars have been hard to find throughout the pandemic, all sizes.

    People have been canning so much that jars have been hard to find throughout the pandemic, all sizes.

    5 votes
    1. patience_limited
      Link Parent
      Ditto here in upper Michigan - I've been roasting, drying, and freezing this year.

      Ditto here in upper Michigan - I've been roasting, drying, and freezing this year.

  16. [3]
    Loire
    Link
    Having bought a place in the last year furniture has been a weird one. Fortunately for us a couple months has been the long we have had to wait to get our orders. The in-laws waited 11 months for...

    Having bought a place in the last year furniture has been a weird one. Fortunately for us a couple months has been the long we have had to wait to get our orders. The in-laws waited 11 months for their new couch to come in. Every furniture place is advising that waits for bigger items like couches and bedframes are indeterminate.

    4 votes
    1. whbboyd
      Link Parent
      I tried to order a floor lamp back in March. At the time, the specific model I wanted was back-ordered until the end of April. It's now September. That lamp is now expected to be available in late...

      I tried to order a floor lamp back in March. At the time, the specific model I wanted was back-ordered until the end of April.

      It's now September. That lamp is now expected to be available in late October, but that's obviously a lie. I really liked that specific lamp, too, but as we come back into northern-hemisphere winter, I think I need to go back to the lighting store and buy something that's actually in stock.

      3 votes
    2. frostycakes
      Link Parent
      I tried to find a small couch for my apartment back in March and April. Everywhere I check has been constantly out of stock for any that are small enough to fit in my space. Thankfully I've had...

      I tried to find a small couch for my apartment back in March and April. Everywhere I check has been constantly out of stock for any that are small enough to fit in my space. Thankfully I've had little reason to have anyone over for more than brief periods before going somewhere else, but it's frustrating that I can't find anything, even used at a thrift store or on Craigslist.

      There was a small futon that someone had outside an encampment in my city, and I'd be lying if I didn't say the thought of buying it off of whoever had it there briefly crossed my mind.

      2 votes
  17. cloud_loud
    Link
    I noticed there was a shortage of sparkling water a while back. Topo Chico specifically seemed to be empty for like three months.

    I noticed there was a shortage of sparkling water a while back. Topo Chico specifically seemed to be empty for like three months.

    3 votes