December 23

Analysis: ‘Last on the Rung’: Africa Deals With Fallout From a ‘Made in the USA’ Supply Chain Crisis

As the world’s largest cargo ships rush to the United States with all the clothes, furniture, toys and electronics that American consumers might want, Aditya Awtani is feeling neglected.

The chief executive of Mega Garment Industries Kenya, which supplies brands such as Calvin Klein and Izod, sometimes must wait more than two months — twice as long as usual — for shipments of the imported Chinese fabric he needs to make clothes in his high-ceilinged factory in Mombasa, Kenya.

Awtani’s problems getting raw materials into Kenya are mirrored by his troubles getting Mega shirts, pants and children’s clothing out of the country. Shipping containers are scarce, since carriers often hurry them back to China, making it hard to plan and easy to miss scheduled deliveries.

The shipping headaches, along with freight costs that have nearly quadrupled, are carving a hole in his profits, straining his relations with customers and threatening his 5,800 employees’ jobs.

Photo courtesy of Edna WintiFollow.

Source: Washington Post (link opens in a new window)

global development