Local experts talk supply chain, gas prices ahead of Thanksgiving

Economy

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Whether in the aisles or at the pump, the issues Americans have faced the last few months are again at the forefront ahead of Thanksgiving.

Supply chain issues may cause a holiday trip to the store to look a lot different.

“It’s kind of like Medusa, there’s a lot of different heads that are popping up,” said Steven Carnovale, a professor of supply chain management at RIT.

According to Carnovale, the biggest issue has to do with transportation capacity — a truck driver shortage and warehousing issues, makes it tough getting things from point A to point B.

And so, product shortages may take hold.

“Most retailers operate on relatively lean buffers of safety stock,” Carnovale said. “So when those get depleted, if they can’t get them in and transportation capacity is tight as it has been, that’s when issues tend to pop up.”

Setting aside one transportation-related issue for another: Americans are looking at costly Turkey day travel, with persistently high gas prices.

Gas in the Rochester area is about three dollars and fifty cents on average — over a dollar a gallon more expensive than in 2020.

But Elizabeth Carey, with Triple-A of Western and Central New York, says millions of Americans are still planning to travel.

“A lot of people still want to do that,” Carey said. “They’re paying these higher gas prices to get there, but then they might have to cut corners in some other areas. Maybe they’re staying for the long weekend and they won’t go out to dinner Saturday night instead because they have to stay on that budget.”

Triple-A says over 50 million Americans are still on the way out the door this Thanksgiving.

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