The volume of containers at the Port of Los Angeles is up 30 percent over last year but the capacity to truck the containers out of the port has only increased by 8 percent.
More than 60 ships are lined up to enter the busy ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, CA in a record backlog, according to the BBC. And tens of thousands of containers are stuck at those ports at the moment, said the Wall Street Journal.
News reports today blamed the bottlenecks on increasing demand for goods from early holiday shoppers and a labor shortage of truckers and warehouse workers.
Clogged ports are part of the reason shortages are expected to grow more severe next quarter for many goods including car audio.
“This fourth quarter is going to be tough, not just for car audio but for every industry,” said Ronnie Brashear of Epsilon Electronics. “My Chinese counterparts told me 45 days ago that if I knew what I wanted to get my friends for Christmas to buy it now because it won’t be there in the fourth quarter. We employ 5 people in China. They are in touch daily with everything going on, not just electronics.”
Many 12 volt dealers said they expect worsening shortages this holiday season including Todd Hays of Columbus Car Audio, OH. “It’s going to be a problem in the fourth quarter for sure. I just hope we continue to get more of these air freight opportunities. If I have to pay more, that fine, I’ll just sell it for more.”
MSNBC aired a news report today forecasting many Christmas gift items will be out of stock after Black Friday.
Costco has returned to limiting purchases of toilet paper, paper towels and bottled water. Nike doesn’t have enough sneakers to carry it through the holidays, reported the Wall Street Journal and other news outlets.
The two LA ports are working at 60 to 70 percent of their capacity due to labor shortages and other bottlenecks. Long Beach will test running 24 hours a day from Monday to Thursday, but the Port of Los Angeles is keeping its current hours, said the Wall Street Journal.