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ALERT: Material Shortages and Supply Chain Disruptions are Causing Delays

ALERT: Material Shortages and Supply Chain Disruptions are Causing Delays

by Mason PUD 3 on

September 16, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many industries in numerous ways, including a widespread shortage of supplies and materials for the utility and construction industries.

Supply chain disruptions, unpredictable lead times, and unexpected price spikes of common materials has the PUD and its customers increasingly uneasy about being able to meet construction timelines for electrical and fiber optic projects. We are monitoring the situation very closely with our suppliers. During this period, Mason PUD 3 is working to boost our inventory levels and search for additional product beyond our normal supply chains and construction practices. Although we don’t want to cause alarm, we do think that customers need to prepare accordingly.

We are seeing major shortages and issues in the following areas related to the utility industry:

  • Raw Material Shortages (metals – particularly transformers and wire; silicone and petroleum-based products, including polyurethane, paint, and PVC; many plastic resins; fiber optic cables and components)
  • Global Semiconductor Chip Shortage – for electronic devices that run our fiber optic network, and for ramping up production to meet demands at the factories.
  • Transportation Logistics - cargo container ships are stacked up at sea and trucking companies are lacking drivers. The customs process for specialty items is also delayed.
  • Unexpected Shutdowns at factories, in the delivery industry, and other areas of project pipelines due to COVID-19 Outbreaks.
  • Shortage of Telecommunications Supplies due to Numerous Grants for Broadband Expansion and the great need for improved internet services all across the nation.
  • Labor Issues
  • Increased Demand due to Rapid Recovery in Consumer Spending.
  • Additional Shortage of Electrical Supplies and Equipment due to impacts and reconstruction related to Hurricane Ida.

While we are seeing progress in some areas, there is a large backlog of orders that will take time for our suppliers to fill. We appreciate your patience and understanding, and we will do our best to meet our customers’ needs, however many of these delays are beyond our control.