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Managing Your Products with the Backup at U.S. Ports

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Managing Your Products with the Backup at U.S. Ports

September 26, 2021 John Wie

In this blog post, we will look at why there is a continued backlog at the ports across the United States and what you should be mindful of when thinking about how this affects your products and business.

If you have been trying to import nearly any kind of product, most likely, you have been experiencing prolonged delays and increased pricing. In this blog post, we will break down the current situation of what is happening at the national ports and give you tips on how to best navigate the current situation, especially in terms of why it is critical to choose the right fulfillment partner, including how TRG can best be of help for you and your products. 

What Is Happening and Why? 

As the world starts to reopen and adjust to the ongoing pandemic, the global logistics chain continues to also be swayed to never-before-seen extremities, creating historic back-ups and outsized demand. In 2020, when the pandemic forced countries into lockdowns, cargo volume fell heavily to some of the lowest levels in the past four years. Many retailers were not looking to bring in any new supply to protect their margins, driving down demand. Now, as businesses continue to quickly reopen in the US and consumer demand comes roaring back, historic demand has lopsided the supply chain in the opposite direction. More than a million containers were shipped over from March 2020 to December 2020 and has suddenly spurred strong demand as vendors try to catch up. In the port of Long Beach and Los Angeles, for instance, a record amount of container ships are continually waiting to offload, with more ships behind them that are waiting patiently to do the same and creating these extreme bottleneck situations. Container, palette, and fuel pricing have also gone up significantly which also further complicates the transportation of goods. 

Compounding this situation is the continuing pandemic itself and extraordinary situations that have arisen. One area is a labor shortage. Truck drivers and longshoremen are trying to quickly increase their labor pool but struggling against spikes in COVID-19 infections including the more contagious Delta variant. In addition, there is increased competition for workers nationwide that has created a workers’ forward market. Some of the extraordinary situations this year, thus far, includes the Suez Canal backup, where a container megaship was stuck and backed up cargo that was worth billions of dollars’ for weeks, along with extreme weather such as the volatile flooding in China and Europe that continue to disrupt the global supply chain in July of 2021, hampering the transportation of wheat, coal, and other supplies. 

How Do You Navigate Your Business During These Historic Times?  

If you are currently a retailer or trying to sell imports in the US, you need to be both cognizant of the ongoing global logistics news to see whether your products are being affected and be ready to shop for the best product available that can reach you and your customers more quickly. In addition to this, you need to make sure to be working with an experienced fulfillment partner that has the right connections and experience. How do you go about accomplishing this? One way is to make sure to bookmark the blogs and news sites of experienced logistics fulfillment providers, like our TRG blog, with the most up-to-date information and analysis being provided. Another important step is to work with qualified and experienced fulfillment warehouses that understand how to best adapt quickly and have a well-trained staff of over 20 years like TRG. We utilize RF-enabled warehouse management systems that are built specifically for our clients needs and infrastructure. We also have good relationships with the ports that have been built up over the last couple decades, so we can inform our customers in regards to the best course of action as well as having the right people in place to streamline the process. TRG makes sure that as soon as the cargo is available, we are both picking up these shipments and moving them for the best efficiency possible. 

Contact us today to see how we can help you, and make sure to bookmark our blog for the latest analysis and news in regards to fulfillment and logistics!

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