Supply chain issues appear to be here to stay.
The number of container ships stuck off the coast of Southern California has reached a fun, new record.
According to data from the Marine Exchange, a total of 111 container ships are bobbing at sea around the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, waiting to dock and unload. That breaks the previous record of 108 vessels reported on October 21.
The two ports remain clogged despite efforts to speed up the processing of containers amid a surge in consumer demand for goods. The White House announced a shift to an around-the-clock schedule in October and a new looming threat of fines for leaving containers on the docks for several days.
A global supply chain crisis caused by a fall in shipping demand during the early days of the pandemic in 2020 followed by a surge at the end of that year has led to delays and blockages across the world.
Of course, that is not stopping the Biden administration or its media minions from claiming the problem is “easing.”
The Port of Los Angeles’ decision to impose fines for lingering cargo containers was “a last resort,” but it’s already showing signs of having the desired effect, Gene Seroka, the port’s executive director, told CNBC on Tuesday.
The policy, which kicked in Monday, was announced Oct. 25 by the Port of Los Angeles and the adjoining Port of Long Beach as part of an effort to ease congestion due to the Covid pandemic. Ocean carriers will be charged $100 per day for each truck-bound container that’s left for nine days or more. Fines for containers that will leave the facility by rail start accruing on their sixth day.
“We’ve tried diplomacy. We’ve tried collaboration, operations meetings all around, and nothing has moved the needle just yet,” Seroka said in a “Squawk Box” interview. “This is a last resort and one I didn’t want to have to take, but we’re starting to see movement.”
“Folks are coming to the table with these daily and twice-daily video meetings to try to figure out what their plans are — liner shippers, importers — and how we’re going to move this cargo away and get the others moving forward,” said Seroka, who has led North America’s busiest container port since 2014.
Blue collar jobs have been derided for years, and America’s young people have been pressured to attend college instead of going to a good trade school. The supply chain crisis we are now facing is the unintended consequence of academic prioritization over practical skills.
Truck drivers have been in short supply for years, but a wave of retirements combined with those simply quitting for less stressful jobs is exacerbating the supply chain crisis in the United States, leading to empty store shelves, panicked holiday shoppers and congestion at ports. Warehouses around the country are overflowing with products, and delivery times have stretched to months from days or weeks for many goods.
A report released last month by the American Trucking Associations estimated that the industry is short 80,000 drivers, a record number, and one the association said could double by 2030 as more retire.
Supply-chain problems stem from a number of factors, including an extraordinary surge in demand for goods and factory shutdowns abroad. But the situation has been compounded by a shortage of truckers and deteriorating conditions across the transportation sector, which have made it even harder for consumers to get the things they want when they want them.
Unless there is a big push for training truckers, I worry that the supply chain problems will continue for some time.DONATE
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