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Supply Chain Management

Rob Handfield Explains Why Black Friday Shopping Could Look Different This Year

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Lingering effects from a weekslong autoworkers strike could create shipping delays for holiday shoppers and retailers, as could a federal government shutdown.

Rob Handfield, Bank of America Distinguished Professor of Supply Chain Management at Poole College, says logistical problems stemming from the United Auto Workers strike could cause delivery issues if trucks can’t get parts needed for repairs.

And U.S. government funding lasts only through Nov. 17 — one week before Black Friday.

“We rely on a lot of government services to make supply chains work: Customs and Border [Protection], a lot of the regulatory agencies, the FAA,” Handfield says. “If there’s a government shutdown and some of those agencies are impacted, it’s going to impact import/exports, it could impact our rail system, it could impact our transportation system.”

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