CINCINNATI — The supply chain remains to be hit hard by the pandemic, with a winter storm only complicating issues.
Freezing rain, sleet and snow are expected in the Tri-State within the next day, causing an increase in demand. However, there's going to be fewer truck drivers behind the wheel to help stores restock thanks to the weather and an ongoing truck driver shortage.
Hatting’s Supermarket in Bridgetown is one of many grocery stores that saw customers stock up on food Wednesday .
"I am definitely getting things to make it easy , like lunch meat and bread, " shopper Abbey Young said.
Shoppers sought food to last through the storm.
"We had people coming in buying things left to right," store owner Chris Hatting said.
The store is continuing to re-stock to meet the demand.
"The shelves are getting a little bit more sparse,” Hatting said. “We still have inventory, just not as high as we'd like to keep it.”
One important purchase that has been hard to come by is salt. Hatting said he expected orders on Tuesday, but they didn’t arrive. He’s hoping to see a delivery soon.
“Hopefully they show up,” Hatting said. “With the transportation issues , hopefully they come out before (the weather) gets really bad. "
While some storm essentials are still in stock, businesses expect products to go quickly. Tom Balzer, CEO of the Ohio Trucking Association, said some store shelves could be empty for the next few days because of the weather.
"Goods will be delivered without question, but it may take a couple more days,” Balzer said.
Balzer said some drivers are trying to reroute south to deliver, but in some cases, delays cannot be avoided.
"That obviously continues to complicate the supply chain problem," Balzer said. "Any time you have that hiccup where you have a delay in deliveries by 24 to 48 hours, you're going to see that impact. Consumers are going to go out and buy. In this case, they're going to go out and buy early and stock up. This is going to have an impact on the demand.”
For Young and many others, a trip to the crowded stores allowed them a chance to grab a few things that could last for days. Forecasts suggest ice totals between .25"-.50."
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