There was hope that as the Covid-19 pandemic got under control and shopping habits became more balanced, the global supply chain disruptions would stabilize. Unfortunately, the crises has only worsened. In New York, the Port of New York and New Jersey, is experiencing longer wait times and unusual backups as a national supply chain shortage threatens to bottle up the region just as goods are set to arrive for the holidays. John Nardi, president of the New York Shipping Association, says that ships wait seven to ten days to dock their cargo now.
The inability to unload imports because of a nationwide shortage of trucking and rail cars, increased cargo volumes coming from Asia and a global decline of available shipping containers have all contributed to backlogs at quays in New York Los Angeles, Savannah, and other major maritime choke points. In fact, President Biden announced that the Port of Los Angeles will be joining the Port of Long Beach in operating 24/7. The administration is also encouraging states to accelerate licensing more truck drivers.
The Port of New York and New Jersey is the economic engine for the region. About 80 percent of all containers coming into the port depart by truck and head to local markets. To that end, a shortage of local distributors and available commercial truck drivers is exacerbating New York’s supply chain woes.
Making matters worse, the IMF slashed its 2021 growth forecast for the US by one full percentage point to 6 percent. The cut reflects disruptions to supply chains and softening consumption in the third quarter. All of which is troubling headed into the holiday shopping season and beyond.
The growing Freight Tech industry is working to resolve these issues and open new opportunities moving forward. Given the supply chain issues and inflation it is more important than ever for fleets to properly maintain their assets and to partner with the right groups. Frankly, the supply chain issues were a long time coming and it took the pandemic to push them over the edge. Ensuring this doesn’t happen again means recommitting to American manufacturing and encouraging our young people to seek meaningful careers in trucking and logistics.