Grocers and their supply chain partners are scrambling to catch up with increased demand for food staples, toilet paper, other paper products, and cleaning supplies according to this Wall Street Journal story. Stores all plan to remain open, although some normally open 24 hours are closing overnight to enhance stocking and cleaning efforts.
Georgia-Pacific, one of the nation’s leading producers of toilet paper, tissues, and sanitary products, says in an emailed statement that it ramped up production last week.
“Inventory levels across our system remain healthy and we are working hard to maximize the number of deliveries we can load and ship out of our facilities – you can just load and unload so fast. Last week our mills and regional distribution centers managed to ship out approximately 120% of normal capacity. We also are working with customers to have direct shipments when possible to reduce distribution time. We currently don’t have any issues with carrier capacity (trucks and trailers) to ship.”
The company is also taking steps to get new inventory to consumers as rapidly as possible.
“We feel the quickest way to get products quickly into the hands of consumers is to send it directly to retail outlets from our operations. That’s why we are shipping toilet paper from our operations directly to retailers.? We apologize that consumers can’t order it from us directly at this time, but we want you to know that shipping directly to retailers will get consumers what they need faster.”
Even though some supplies may be running short right now, it’s important to keep in mind that the problem is largely driven by unnecessary panic-buying and not serious supply issues. (Thank goodness, the United States is still a constitutional republic and not a socialist regime.)
Here’s a story from Vox.com with guidance that says you should prepare for the coronavirus — but don’t buy more than you need.