Grocery Supply Chain Continues to Sort Itself Out, Should Return to Normal By End of Week – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

From water to electricity to grocery stores, many are still grappling with the aftermath of winter storms.

Some grocery stores are still not full as trucks work to deliver what has been lost.

The good news this week is that industry leaders are saying we should see shelves return to normal across the state by the end of this week as the supply chain continues to sort itself out.

But it’s still a struggle for some buyers.

Check out these pictures taken Monday night of empty aisles at a Target in Dallas.

NBC 5

Empty shelves at a destination near downtown Dallas on February 22, 2021.

Gary Huddleston, food industry advisor for the Texas Retailers Association, said power outages in grocery stores and distribution centers are the main culprit behind disruptions in the supply chain, not just the icy roads.

“I think we’ve had enough historical events to last a while,” he said, commending the grocery store and grocery store staff for their hard work over the past week after working on the pandemic for months.

“We want to be very grateful to our employees,” said Huddleston.

When winter weather hit Texas and the blackouts began, food safety guidelines forced many stores and warehouses to throw away perishable goods.

“Our grocers need to go through their own product, they have already done that and disposed of a lot of products. That’s only part of the business, ”said Huddleston.

Some outages stores – notably a HEB store in central Texas – have even attempted to quickly give groceries away to families in desperate times in the middle of a winter storm. Other stores distributed fresh flowers to customers who were waiting in line.

A HEB grocery store employee hands out flowers to customers queuing in the snow in Austin, Texas on Thursday.

The store had no milk, eggs, meat, or refrigerated items.

📷 Ashley Landis / AP pic.twitter.com/AToUmSyXbT

– NBC News (@NBCNews) February 18, 2021

Huddleston said the blackouts also forced the stores to close and that did not give them the opportunity to replenish. Some distribution centers had generators, but they only carried them so far.

“We’re just asking customers to be patient. It may take a while for them to catch up,” said Huddleston.

The chain of events during the winter storm is now establishing the Texas Retailers Association to plan for the future.

Looking ahead, Huddleston said they want to make sure grocery stores and distribution centers are high on the priority lists when it comes to electricity so the supply chain never sees such a nightmare again.

“We need to do a better job of advocating ERCOT and the government to put the grocery stores on the electricity recovery list,” he said. “Obviously hospitals, fire brigades, police – they have to be on. Just below this list, however, we should be grocery stores in large distribution centers so that we can get products into the store for the customer. “

Texan food giant HEB just said trucks move like the wind. They typically drive 1,000 trucks a day in their 400 branches, but there are currently over 1,500 on the road.

HEB posted an update on social media on Monday, February 22nd.

The TRA said grocers this week will continue to focus on key deliveries of high-demand items such as water, meat, milk and eggs. For this reason, freezer aisles – with items with lower priority – are currently empty more often.

“Retailers have to make up for what is being delivered from the warehouse. Many places have references to boiling water, so they ship lots of bottled water. Need to make a decision to ship or produce bottled water? And make up for that, ”said Huddleston. “Frozen food is probably a little lower [priority] because you have to have a special trailer to ship the frozen food, which creates some logistical problems. “

Governor Greg Abbott’s order to remove truck weight restrictions is also still in place, allowing food shipments across the state to continue on a large scale until the supply chain crisis ends.

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