Covid Flares and War vs. the Global Supply Chain

Adnan Zai
5 min readMar 25, 2022

Two years ago, the average person didn’t spend too much time thinking about the global supply chain, but that was before Covid-19 came to tangle the process of getting things to the right place at the right time. For two years the world has dealt with delays in the auto industry, ships standing endlessly in ports waiting to be unloaded, and empty grocery store shelves. And as if that was not bad enough, Russia’s attack on Ukraine has placed the already precarious supply chain in an even more difficult position. Add to that a Covid surge in China, where many parts and products are manufactured, and appears evident the supply chain woes will not be fixed any time soon.

Reasons Behind Supply Chain Woes

On the heels of the pandemic, just as the world started thinking the supply chain troubles were easing, several new and profound events have developed that will again wreak havoc on the way people do business. With Vladimir Putin attacking Ukraine, the global supply chain is spinning again. Considering the sanctions that have shut down the air space in Russia, increased fuel costs across the globe, and the disruption of the natural resources that normally come from Russia and Ukraine, experts agree that the problems will continue to plague the consumer world for the foreseeable future.

Add to the Russian/Ukraine war, the problem of the Covid flare up in the manufacturing heartland of China, and the world is experiencing the perfect storm of trouble in creating and moving goods.

“This was unpredictable, and I don’t think anyone was forecasting that this level of warfare was going to be happening in Europe,” Dana Gardner said. Gardner, president and principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions, an enterprise computing system consulting firm in Gilford, N.H. added “But there’s also the scale. This isn’t just a hurricane that hits a 70-mile-wide swath of coastline in North Carolina. This is a global event that’s impacting economies — some much more than others.”

Russia and Ukraine are big exporters of barley, corn, wheat, and fertilizer, which is causing spikes on the price of these goods. Russia and Ukraine are responsible for 30 percent of the world’s wheat production, which will have a definite effect on the way we use these products. Beyond the problem with food production, these countries also supply raw materials for computer chips. Ukraine supplies around 50% of the world’s neon gas, which…

Adnan Zai

As an Advisor-In-Residence, Adnan particularly focuses on strategy, deal pipeline, and structuring.