Uncategorized October 13, 2021

Market Update October 13, 2021


I’ve been waiting for some time now to get my new light fixture for the bathroom I’m remodeling. Having been delayed for two weeks now I was surprised to see the reason for this delay was it’s on one of these container ships pictured above.In case you’ve ordered something and haven’t received it yet, there might just be a chance that it’s in of the ships above.

Seattle’s port is also experiencing a similar situation, albeit a little less severe, causing container ships to park around the Sound. Besides the labor shortages, each of the major Pacific Ocean ports have had their own challenges:

  • Seattle: As Vancouver ports remain at capacity, cargo is diverted to Seattle, causing wait times to double.
  • Ports of LA and Long Beach (which handles roughly 50% of Asian imports) has up to 60 ships daily sitting idle. The increased congestion caused by COVID shut- downs and increased demand.

There have been supply chain issues that were strained due to several factors:

  • Increased demand
  • Increased dock time. (due to labor shortages, illness, COVID restrictions) causing 14 day delays
  • Container Shortage. Over 5% decline in export trips while empty container rates have increased 55%
  • Trucking Shortage. Driver availability in Long Beach is as long as a 3-4 week wait.
  • Railway Bottleneck. Railway systems across the US are backed up and delayed for 3-4 weeks.

The biggest US retailers (Walmart, Home Depot, Costco, Target) are chartering private cargo ships to avoid the port delays. These ships are smaller, holding only 1/20th of the containers that the larger freighters hold. This allows them to dock at smaller ports such as Portland or Oakland. While this is financially feasible for these large retails, smaller retailers are suffering due to low inventory impacting their revenue.

So with that in mind… maybe I’ll get to finish my remodel by end of this year.