Port Congestion: Can’t Wait Another Week! They’re Almost Out Of Food

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  • Cargo ships and their crews are being forced to spend more time at sea as supply chain delays continue to cause port congestion in Southern California.
  • It’s one of two major chandlers in the region and caters to nearly every cargo ship coming in and out of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California.
  • Harbor Ship Supply can really source almost anything and, as crews are stuck out at sea for longer, they’ve been asked to.

As supply chain delays continue to aggravate port congestion in Southern California, cargo ships and their crews are being forced to spend more time at sea as reported by NBC News.

More supplies

As they wait aboard their ships, crews are going through more supplies than they normally would, since every route has become longer.

It’s one of two major chandlers in the region and caters to nearly every cargo ship coming in and out of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California.

“I’ve had a ship out there for a month and a half already that probably won’t come in until the middle of January,” said Kenny Meyers, manager of San Pedro Harbor Ship Supply. 

“It’s a lot of everything, but the main consumables are rice, flour, sugar, juices and long-life milk.”

We’re a one-stop-shop,” Meyers told NBC News. 

They’ll connect at one of about 50 anchorage points offshore but with the backlog, there are often more ships than anchorages.

Restocking 

In some cases, these ships are arriving with little time to waste before restocking.

Some things that are in very high demand are bottled water, cleaning supplies and toilet paper, according to Meyer.

That’s because customs requires to produce to be under seal when ships are about to come alongside land in an effort to prevent the spread of disease.

But the orders go beyond food and basic essentials.

“Laptops from Best Buy, t-shirts, toys for their kids, lots of vitamins, socks, Bluetooth speakers.

One time we had to go out and buy 70-80 bottles of lotion and perfume from Victoria’s Secret,” Meyers said. 

Backlog 

These types of requests have become more frequent because of the backlog and the ongoing pandemic.

Typically, the trip from China to the U.S. takes about two weeks and ships might wait a day or two at anchor before being able to dock at a berth in the port, according to Meyer.

Harbor Ship Supply, which has been servicing the ports since 1932, has become an even more essential lifeline for ships and their crews and that’s led to a boom in business.

“We’re getting double the orders,” Meyers said. 

“This time of year usually isn’t very busy for us.” 

Challenges and shortages 

While the backlog has helped generate more business for the company, it’s also led to some interesting challenges and shortages.

For instance, orders for rice and flour are becoming harder to fill.

The frustrating thing, according to Meyer, is that many times the very item that’s in short supply may be closer than anyone realizes.

People are starting to realize things don’t just drop out of the sky.

It has to come from somewhere and a lot of stuff comes from overseas.

“Until it gets unloaded, there’s nothing anyone can do about it.”

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Source: NBC News

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