Pandemic Side Effect: America’s Backed Up Ports
March 12, 2021
First the good news: the economy is getting better. But consumer demand – driven by vaccines, online commerce and stimulus checks – has created an historic backlog at the nation’s ports. There is a shortage of shipping containers, many of which idle as overwhelmed workers struggle to unload them. The situation threatens delays not just for consumers, but for manufacturers waiting on imported parts. Company execs mention these problems on earnings calls and investor conferences more than at any time in the last 16 years, according to researchers at Sentieo, a data platform. It’s akin to the frustrations of travelers at a crowded airport, suggests shipping consultant Daniel Hackett. “The previous plane is still waiting to depart a gate, and the plane you are waiting for has arrived but is forced to sit and wait for the gate to free up,” Hackett says.
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