It would seem that there is a lack of shipping and the fact that the ports aren’t working 24/7 because even if they did, there is no way to move shipping containers FROM the ports to where their destinations are….No trucks and while trains are running, there is nobody to unload them (and, again, no trucks to move them the last few miles)
Lots of stuff is running out. and lots of Christmas stuff isn’t getting to the warehouses when there is a 1 month backlog of ships waiting to be unloaded…
And as Peter pointed out, lots of consumables for cars are simply not available. Lots of things like filters, belts and hoses cannot be found. I generally stock 3 oil changes worth of supplies, but am down to two right now as the filters that I generally use for the cars are backordered…..
Expect more and more issues to crop up in the near term.
I’ve gone to what I call “Socialism Mode”…When shopping, if something I use is available, I buy MORE than I need…or buy one even if I don’t need one right now (if it is shelf stable)…..What I need, and at least one spare. Not only goods, but foodstuffs as well. Yes, I know that doing so helps cause shortages, but I’d rather have and not need than need and not have. I don’t go crazy and buy way more than I need, but an extra item or two ensures that I have a few extra on hand.
I strongly suggest you do the same. Not just with toilet paper, but with foodstuffs. And car consumables. And socks and other clothing items….hygiene supplies….filters for your home. belts for critical machinery, etc. I am advised that things like garbage bags and other plastic based items may be difficult to get soon, as the raw materials are sourced form overseas. So I stock stuff like that, as it is relatively shelf stable.
The Covid debacle has repercussions and will for some time. Add the fact that lots of people are choosing not to work (’cause free money makes us lazy) and the mismanagement by our current President and Congress and you have the making of a disaster…
Prepare, if you can, be wise……The days of easy availability will likely return, but not for a while yet.