In the port of Los Angeles, Christmas came in June, and importers were rushing in because of the epidemic phase, which now affected world shipping, due to 24-hour work.
The port, the largest container terminal in North America, began working 24 hours a day on Thursday (14), with the White House intervening to block trade and raise prices.
Still, a dozen ships with thousands of containers anchored in the Gulf. Some wait more than 10 days.
As retailers and manufacturers struggle to avoid blockages at ports, some have turned to Rickenbacker, a dedicated cargo airport in Columbus, Ohio. Canada’s third in a single day.
“We’re busy,” said Jean Cheroke, managing director of the Los Angeles Port.
Americans “do not go to sports. We do not go to movies or operas. We buy goods. These items must be replenished at our major retailers or online.”
– Websites disconnected –
The economy, which was partially closed last year by governments trying to control the corona virus, is reopening and demand is at its peak, but supply is struggling to catch up.
Globalization has created distribution networks ranging from the extraction of resources in places like Australia to manufacturing in Asian factories and buyers in the West.
At each stage, the cargo is loaded into containers and transported through ports and stations on ships, trains and trucks.
If a connection fails, the entire network is shut down. During epidemics, this happened to almost everyone. Although the United States has begun to normalize, the effects persist.
“Everything is late. All the ships are at sea,” said ABF Tony Nguyen, a truck driver for nearly 10 years. “This year has been terrible. I’ve never seen it before,” he adds.
Due to the disruptions, U.S. importers began preparations for the Christmas shopping season in advance. As people prepared for the northern summer, they carried Christmas items and toys.
“Importers began loading Christmas purchases in June; two and a half months ago,” he said.
– Global Impact –
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday warned that changes in supply networks could push commodities higher. In the United States, consumer prices rose more than 5% in the 12 months to September.
There are many factors behind the shortage of raw materials and finished goods that affect retailers.
They are plagued by Govt restrictions, unexpected increases in demand for certain products, changes in consumer behavior and forced plant closures due to unemployment.
But the delay in US ports was a major factor.
In the ports near Los Angeles and Long Beach, it is nowhere clearer than the main gateways to Asia, where thousands of containers are stacked, processed and sorted.
Every year, a quarter of a dollar worth of goods pass through the port of Los Angeles. The World Bank estimates that 8.5% of the world’s containers are held in or near these ports.
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