The supply chain is definitely in the news. A quick google search brings us articles by NPR, CNN, Bloomberg, the Washington Post, the NY Times, CBS News, Businesswire, FOX Business, USA Today and many more!! The reason of course is the season – the people are concerned with gift-giving and the availability of goods.
In his October 6th blog on the supply chain, John Bevacqua, VP of Logistics at AMS Fulfillment, answered a number of questions and made recommendations with regard to Christmas shopping. He said, “This is not going to end soon and there are going to be more shortages of certain goods. Therefore, I say yes to ordering early to be sure you get the items you want if they are of course available today.”
It has been more than a month since John B made his observations. The LA Times article tells us that the situation at the ports is easing, slightly, due to new fees put in place by port officials. The article reads as follows:
“One key problem facing the port complex has been the towering piles of containers left at the import terminals for days on end, taking up space that should go to new containers unloaded from the ships offshore.
“In response, officials at the ports voted in late October to impose a new fee on containers that sit around for more than six days if intended for rail transport or nine days if intended for trucks. Starting Nov. 15, the ocean carrier companies that brought those idling containers in will be charged $100 on the first day past deadline, $200 on the next, and so on — an escalating fine that could quickly grow into the tens of millions of dollars a day for the thousands of containers on the docks.”
The other articles speak to the same issue – so many containers sitting around. The CBS article says, “California Governor Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday that ships are coming to get some of the empty containers out of the way. He’s also looking for vacant lots to store containers that still need to be picked up, so the longshoremen have room to do their jobs.”
In the October interview with John B we conclude with a hopeful viewpoint: “The good news is we will most likely have long way to go before the supply chain catches up, however, for the supply chain professionals and shipping companies I think the work has never been more challenging and rewarding at the same time. Supply chain management is no longer a back-office function, largely ignored or taken for granted.”
That certainly is true. One thing that the pandemic has given us is an appreciation for all of the elements involved in getting our products into the stores and/or delivered to our doors.
Now that we are well within peak season we can thank all of the men and women who are working to keep the supply chain unbroken. Thank you as well, AMS Fulfillment.