The whack-a-mole economy: U.S. manufacturers struggle with unpredictable supplies

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By Timothy Aeppel (Reuters) – Glen Calder expected a shipment of gearbox reducers needed to build a particular model of his company’s paving machines last week. But when he called on Thursday to check the status of the order, he learned the shipment – coming from Italy – is now delayed three months. “No explanation, no excuse, no nothing,” fumed Calder, vice president of operations for Calder Brothers Corp., an 80-employee manufacturer in Taylors, South Carolina. Calder said his factory was already cutting steel for the machines that require the Italian parts and would now have to scramble to …

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