One Of Starbucks' Most Important Items Is The Next Victim Of Supply Chain Trouble

As 2022 rolls on, supply chain issues continue to hamper industries across the board. According to Nasdaq, it looks like transportation issues will continue through the year, the government may have to step in to get the supply chain moving again, and successful businesses need to embrace new technology in order to buck the issues presented by this pressing issue.

Crimps in the supply chain have strained every facet of life, all the way down to the cups customers use at their local restaurants. CNBC reported that an emphasis on takeout orders during 2021 caused a shortage of disposable cups, in addition to other food containers and straws. The same shortage continues, and has had a significant impact on Starbucks in particular, per the Daily Mail.

According to Food & Wine, Starbucks has hit a particular snag thanks to this shortage for a variety of reasons. Before the pandemic even hit, short staffing at factories and poor weather caused an initial cup shortage at Starbucks. The pandemic only made things worse, causing cups shipped by boat to get stranded at sea as vessels wait long periods to dock and unload. The situation now appears dire, and doesn't look to brighten anytime soon.

A difficult situation for Starbucks

The Wall Street Journal reports that Starbucks locations across the country have steadily depleted their inventories of cups, and the situation is getting worse. The same domestic labor issues continue that plagued cup production and Starbucks before the pandemic, while ports remain at capacity, preventing new vessels from unloading their cup shipments. To make up for this loss, it appears that plastics might make a comeback this year, as experts predict a particular increase in the production of plastic cups.

For now, Starbucks plans to use any cup they have on hand. Food & Wine stated that for starters, the cafe chain plans to reuse any remaining holiday cups they have in stock. As Food & Wine further reported, the chain itself has confirmed this problem to the press, stating, "select stores are experiencing a temporary shortage of hot cups, and we are working to swiftly replenish cups at these stores. In the meantime, some customers may receive their beverage in an unbranded cup." If you hit up a Starbucks in the near future, don't be surprised if you receive your drink in a misprinted cup or a container with a holiday theme, and keep your fingers crossed that this issue gets resolved soon.