Stanz Foodservice worker Gabriel Burggraf unloads a truck as he delivers a shipment to LaSalle Grill on Friday, in South Bend. Staff photo by Robert Franklin
Stanz Foodservice worker Gabriel Burggraf unloads a truck as he delivers a shipment to LaSalle Grill on Friday, in South Bend. Staff photo by Robert Franklin
Take a walk through a grocery store and you’ll notice product gaps in the aisles and refrigerated cases; visit a car dealership and you’ll see more asphalt than inventory; go to a restaurant and you might be told what isn’t available.

Such is what happens when an economy rebounds from a pandemic-induced recession a lot faster than expected and demand for goods and services is greater than the supply chain’s ability to satisfy those wants, said Michael Hicks, an economist at Ball State University. 

"The supply chain isn’t broken," Hicks said. "It's mostly just stretched."

RV shipments surge in Elkhart:Manufacturers still struggling to keep up with demand

Ports have been at near capacity for decades and there’s been a shortage of truck drivers needed to move products for quite some time, so it should come as no surprise that nearly every business is coping with shortages to some degree. 

Elkhart-area manufacturers have been complaining about the challenging supply issues – and labor shortages – they’ve been facing for more than a year. And though they’re producing RVs and boats at record-breaking levels, most are reporting a backlog of orders extending through much of next year. 

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