China lockdowns impacting global shipping
Yes, COVID is still impacting our lives; we're now officially in Year Three of the global pandemic. As if that wasn't bad enough, the latest news to hit us is that China is feeling the effects of another wave of the rapidly mutating virus.
Shanghai is now experiencing another lockdown to prevent infection rates that is stated to last at least three weeks, and as China is so crucial in so many suppliers' chains, the entire world is feeling the struggle as the knock-on effect is observed. According to Scmp, the spillover effect from Shanghai has affected factories in the cities of Nantong and Wuxi – both in Jiangsu province. He said companies have had to rejig their production timetable and decide which projects go first, because they may not be able to get certain parts on time. These delays have been projected to be not as bad as they were in 2021, so hopefully, silicon-based products such as computer chips won't be as affected as they were back in 2021 - which we actually wrote a blog about some time ago.
It's not just physical products either. Live service games such as Genshin Impact - which is developed in China - is delaying anticipated update patches due to the lockdown, which will obviously have an impact on the developer's revenue, which is good news for some of our wallets, at the very least.
It's getting more and more difficult to ship products that are manufactured in China (which is still a staggering amount), and global shipping from there has slowed to a glacial pace as a result. Many big companies are feeling the extra strain along with the ongoing cost of living crisis that is also sweeping the globe.
Should we be panicking? Well, maybe. It seems to be just one catastrophe after another these days, it's easy to become numb to it sometimes. Or is that just me?
…When did I last leave the house again?
I've found myself sometimes with my nose pressed against the glass of my window waiting for that one cool thing I ordered in the post a few days ago. Sometimes the delivery guy would be my lifeline in keeping my dopamine levels up. Let's not kid ourselves: retail therapy is 100% a thing, we've all felt that feeling when you buy something new and shiny. Sometimes, a new purchase can keep us going and stop us from constantly doom scrolling on Twitter.
In the grand scheme of how we live our lives, if global shipping is affected, then of course we will be too. Even if we don't do online shopping, the shops we regularly go to might have trouble stocking the things we want. Hopefully this won't be as bad as #HandsoapGate back in 2020, when a man would trade a puppy for some lavender-scented soap.
🤔 Is there a solution? 🤔
There are several things we can all do to keep stocked up and happy (for a bit at least!)
Recycling and reusing
Not quite what you think. Technological waste is one of the biggest culprits out there, and planned obsolescence is thankfully becoming a thing of the past with people being encouraged to repair rather than return or buy new. We are constantly encouraging upgrades to perfectly capable computer systems rather than taking a scorched earth approach to your equipment, and often it's a very cost-effective way of keeping your technology going. Refurbished equipment is a good way of getting components that function like new that don't come with the price tag just for the sealed plastic wrapping (which we all need to cut down on anyway).
Small businesses can be a good solution to dealing with the slow global shipping status. Not only are you helping your local community, you help keep these businesses on their feet during the delays. (I don't think Amazon needs a hand any time soon, anyway).
Finding a good source of information
I've started to dread classical music sometimes: it reminds me of being in endless phone queues to find out information or just to ask a question about something. It's not a productive use of our time, especially when we can get that information much faster if we know where to go. Avoiding bigger companies where everyone else goes and sourcing smaller companies for advice - which is usually free to boot - will save you hours in the long run.
Have I distracted you a little bit at least? I hope so. We need a little distraction every now and again just in case the world gets that little bit scarier tomorrow, and you can rest a little easier knowing you repaired your laptop rather than throw out something that could have been fixed.