Supply chain issues hit the McDonald’s French fry in Japan

In yet another worrying indication of the extent to which supply chain issues are continuing to affect businesses of all sizes, McDonald’s Japan is to sell small-sized French fries for a week from Friday to avoid shortages.

The company said the move was due to large-scale flooding near the Port of Vancouver, as well as the global supply chain crunch caused by the coronavirus pandemic, causing delays in the supply of potatoes.

The company said it had taken the measure to ensure that customers could still order fries, even though the “stable procurement of resource materials” was proving difficult.

More than 3,000 McDonald’s restaurants in Japan – the biggest Asian market for US frozen potato products – said they would sell only small-sized portions of fries for the foreseeable future amid a protracted dispute between 20,000 dockworkers and terminal operators and shipping lines at 29 ports on the US west coast.

In response McDonald’s Japan has taken the emergency step of importing 1,000 tonnes of frozen fries by air.

In response to the crisis, US President Joe Biden has convened a meeting of US officials and private sector companies, including FedEx, to talk about ongoing efforts to address supply chain disruptions.

Biden created a task force in June to address the issue, and the White House argues it has made “significant progress to alleviate bottlenecks that are rooted in the global pandemic.”

Last month, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said a decision to extend port hours was having a positive impact on the flow of goods. However, supply chain issues continue to affect many US industries.

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