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California, United States of America – The Wall Street Journal reported that shipping delays have increased and cargo has piled up at California ports as Nike struggles to sell enough sneakers for the holidays, Costco has imposed limits on paper towel purchases, and prices for artificial Christmas trees have increased 25% this season.
The American supply chain has thus far been unable to cope with the influx of imports as businesses scramble to replenish inventories depleted by the pandemic.
Tens of thousands of containers are stranded at California’s ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which handle more than a quarter of all American imports, according to the Wall Street Journal, which reported last month that dozens of ships are lined up to dock, with wait times of up to three weeks.
Indeed, Southern California ports recently broke several records for the number of ships ashore and ships awaiting docking, CBS Los Angeles reported.
The media outlet cited a number of factors as contributing to the bottleneck, including the global spread of the Delta variant, a lack of vaccine access in certain countries, and a shortage of shipping containers and truck drivers.
Each link in the chain in the United States, including shipping lines, port workers, truck drivers, warehouse operators, railways, and retailers, is reportedly experiencing a labor shortage.
Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka
In an interview aired today on FOX Seroka said that cargo must be pushed out and truck power matched so that the “corresponding exports and empties” can return to the port.
“large orchestra of players in the supply chain need to get on similar schedules.” he said.
Which Bylt: News can agree on.
“We’ve got all hands on deck from the administration and folks that are really working the private sector” Seroka said.
For him, this means “more regulated service hours of operation.”
Seroka told FOX Business’ Cheryl Casone that the port’s hours and days of operation had increased. “We need more of that from the warehouse community and the private sector in addition to bringing more truckers back to the industry.”
“We’ve got about half million 20-foot equivalent units, which is 250,000 containers, they are about two weeks’ worth of work at the largest port in the country,” he said.
What To Expect
Skyrocketing consumer demand in the United States, especially as it pertains to online orders amid the pandemic as more people opted to shop from home.
Leaders of some of the busiest ports in the country expect congestion at maritime gateways to continue well into 2022.
Professor Margaret Kidd, who teaches supply chain courses at the University of Houston, was also quoted on FOX Business warning the supply chain crunch will “easily move into 2022 even possibly 2023.”
California is not the only port seeing issues Florida, New York, Houston and others have also been griping with delays. TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) at Port Houston reached 320,086 a 29 percent rise from last August, the port reports. It also says it was the port’s largest monthly loaded import TEUs ever.
Construction schedulers, specifiers and procurement agents need exercise extreme caution and investigatory work when planning and scheduling for months to come.
Expect imported shipment delays for finished, end, and raw product. Supply chain resource depletion such as containers, trailers, container chassis, pallets, drivers. Expect accumulating shortages and risk.
Earlier this week Bylt increased Schedule Risk to Level 8 and Port Logistics went up one point to Level 9. We do not have higher then 10 under the current gauge system.