The supply chain crisis has been in the news for months, and with the holiday season here, consumers are feeling the impacts more than ever.

The U.S. Postal Service identified this week as the last to ship your presents via ground for them to arrive by Christmas. However, retailers have been saying for months to order early, as many items are taking longer to reach U.S. shelves.

On the business side, we are feeling the impacts of the supply chain crisis as well. At my company, Utility Trailer Sales, we are experiencing increased delays in obtaining materials such as sheet metal and parts to construct our product. Many companies are having trouble even getting boxes to ship their goods to customers.

Consumers are seeing more and more retailers limiting items and empty supermarket shelves. The rising cost to import products is being passed on to families through inflation.

Here in Fontana, our very own Mayor Acquanetta Warren has been instrumental in working to help solve this crisis, even attending the signing of President Biden’s infrastructure bill in Washington D.C. Governor Newsom has also signed an executive order to deal with the backlog at the port. With L.A.’s container ship traffic stretching all the way to Mexico, we must act now.

By encouraging responsible industrial growth, we can provide space for manufacturers to assemble products and for local retailers to store their goods. These facilities will also provide quality local jobs and cut down on the need to import items. This has an environmental benefit by reducing emissions and reducing the wait time for ships anchored offshore to unload.

Realizing the growing demand for industrial space, and in response to the community’s call for environmentally responsible development, the City of Fontana is creating an enhanced set of guidelines to allow industry and the community to live side-by-side. These include regulations to plant additional trees and to utilize green technologies in construction.

COVID-19 has had a profound impact on our consumer habits, and as a result, e-commerce will only continue to expand. This crisis has magnified the weaknesses of our current supply chain; however, it also offers opportunities for us to prepare to better weather future storms.

It will take a consolidated effort between business, the manufacturing/logistics industry, and education to create facilities and trained professionals to build and manufacture local goods. We not only need workers to unload goods and drivers to transport them, but also warehouse space to hold those goods before they get delivered to our homes.

(Ralph Thrasher is a sales manager at Utility Trailer Sales in Fontana and chair of the Fontana Chamber of Commerce Board.)

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COVID-19 has had a profound impact on our consumer habits, and as a result, e-commerce will only continue to expand.

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