Afternoon Coffee: Car dealers benefit from chip shortage; Supplies of Covid vaccine outpace demand in US; Suez Canal blockage to impact shipping into June

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While automobile manufacturers are facing great hardships because of the global semiconductor shortage, car dealers are actually experiencing positive outcomes from the chip shortage, according to Reuters.

Car dealers can charge full price for the hottest-selling trucks and SUVs and are also able to reduce promotional spending and other marketing costs required by full-inventoried lots. Car dealers are seeing record profits because of the semiconductor shortage, the article said. These good times aren't set to end anytime soon, either, as the semiconductor shortage could last into 2022.

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"I'm selling about 150% of what I have on the ground," Mike Bowsher, an owner of a car dealership in Atlanta, told Reuters. "We are selling stuff so far up in the pipeline that they're putting money down on 'in-process,' which is in the plant."

Supplies of Covid vaccine outpace demand in US as J&J vaccine pause lifted

The Associated Press reported last week that supply of coronavirus vaccines in the US is outpacing demand, with some places around the country needing to turn down shipments.

More than half of American adults have received at least one vaccine dose. While pharmacists across the country see demand fall and supplies build up, some are urging the federal government to send more vaccine to places where there is demand. The article reports that for now, they’ve mostly been allocating supplies based on population.

“It is kind of stalling. Some people just don’t want it,” a nurse in rural Kansas, Stacey Hileman, told the AP.

The demand and supply issue comes on the heels of the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lifting a 10-day pause on the Johnson & Johnson one-shot Covid vaccine last Friday, NBC News reported. Federal regulators initially paused the shot because of concerns about a rare blood clot.

Impacts from Suez Canal blockage expected to last into June

Supply Chain Dive reported that issues from the Suez Canal blockage are expected to stretch into June, data from Sea-Intelligence shows.

Most of the issues are coming from a loss in ocean capacity from carrier schedule changes after the Ever Given ship was stuck in the Suez Canal for about a week. Sea-Intelligence CEO Alan Murphy said the impacts will come in two waves — the first which will be absorbed “quickly” and a second that will have longer-term impacts on markets.

Alerted schedules and delays have resulted in carriers unloading cargo at incorrect ports as they try to turn ships around and get back to Asia. The Port of Antwerp said the blockage is expected to result in delayed ship calls and general operational challenges throughout Q2, the article said.

"Port congestion and delays at both origins and destinations are expected to make the container shortage in Asia worse over the next few weeks, before easing in early June," Freightos said in an emailed market update, Supply Chain Dive reported.

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