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'Everyone is feeling the crunch' | Greater Memphis Chamber weighs in on the international supply chain crisis

Chamber leadership is hopeful Memphis and the area's rails, runways, and river can offset some of the supply and shipping challenges in the weeks ahead.

MEMPHIS, Tennessee — There are new details on how the Memphis-area business community is dealing with global supply chain disruptions.

The Greater Memphis Chamber is getting involved and leveraging the area's logistical strengths to lessen the impact moving forward.

"We know that the companies are feeling it. They are dealing with it the best they can," Ted Townsend with the Greater Memphis Chamber said Tuesday morning.

The organization is keeping a close tab these days on the global supply crunch - especially on ships from Asia - which is especially impacting members which specialize in shippers or carriers.

"We hear that everyone is feeling the crunch. This is at a global level, obviously, the impacts," Townsend added.

Townsend - the chamber's chief economic development officer - said the international supply chain challenges could still be a local opportunity, considering Memphis' built-in advantages as the fifth largest inland port in the U.S.

"I feel like having the Mississippi here, the five class one railways, and our runways, as well as the interstate system - we can provide those options and alternatives," Townsend said.

That's why he believes the Mid-South and its major waterway will be in a stronger position soon.

"It's not going be corrected overnight, so it will be a shift in the next couple of weeks," Townsend said.

RELATED: 'Buy it when you see it' | Retailers dreading holiday shortages

For now, the Chamber's Memphis-area companies get through this supply crunch the best they can, with so much at stake ahead of the holidays. 

"The consumer is going to want products readily available overnight. So I believe that Memphis can accelerate the pacing of the supply chains and getting products out there," Townsend said.

The Memphis area is a key piece to the puzzle of moving product.

The Port of Memphis serves 70 facilities along the Mississippi River, transporting everything from tar and asphalt to grains and gravel. 

Statement from FedEx: “FedEx Logistics is engaged and sharing its expertise along with a number of other transportation stakeholders on the White House Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force. This FedEx Logistics effort is focused on helping to alleviate port congestion and increase shipping container movement at U.S. west coast ports.” 


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