How supply chain issues have caused a headstone shortage

National / World

JOPLIN, Mo. (KSNF) — Supply shortages are leaving another industry impacted. Headstone companies are now getting backed up, and families are looking for answers to when the stone will be placed on the burial plot.

“We just need our families in our community to know that yes, we’re doing everything that we can. It’s kind of out of our hands, so basically, when a loved one needs to get their deceased loved one a headstone, just kind of be aware, there is that six-month minimum time frame to get it done. It used to take us much quicker. Of course, our turnaround was sometimes less than a month,” said Eric Green, Joplin Granite Co. manager.

Why so long? Headstones are made out of granite. It is first extracted from the ground, cut into shape, engraved, polished and eventually set in place. Green says the pandemic has done a number on how long it takes to complete that process.

“The quarries are having their problem with the worker shortage. We are having the problems with getting it from the quarries because of those reasons and just the excessive because of the situation with COVID and the excessive deaths. Yeah, it is a complete supply and demand issue.”

Green says it could take two years for the process to return to the pre-pandemic time frame because their suppliers have had to resort to transporting the stones out of the quarry themselves. He says it may only be a matter of time before prices are affected.

“So currently, you could spend anywhere between $500 to a $1,000 for a stone, but if the supply and demand keep going the way it’s going, yes, that could significantly increase yes,” said Green.

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