US Logistics Crises of 2021 - No Christmas Presents For You! Everything is stuck on the Cargo Ship or at port!

LaxerBRO

Honoring Juneteenth: the 3/5 Holiday!
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So it does not seem that this is being discussed but their seems to be a logistics shitstorm brewing. As we come closer to the holidays the shitstorm this will cause could be fairly serious, most likely resulting in bare shelves during the busiest shopping times of the year.

How and why is this occurring?
Lets look to the Pacific Ocean, namely the ports:
News Story
A backlog of cargo ships waiting to get into the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are helping drive up the cost of goods and services during the pandemic. A record 70 cargo ships — carrying everything from furniture and electronics to toys — are facing delays at the ports, which handle 40% of the nation's imports.

The backlog is likely to inject more chaos into the holiday shopping season.
So we have 70 cargo ships at the ports but what is the normal amount of ships at anchor:
"The normal number of container ships at anchor is between zero and one," Kip Louttit, the executive director of the Marine Exchange of Southern California, told Insider in July.
Such the normal is 0 to one and that works for the US just in time supply chain but now we have a 70 fold increase. Complicating problems is the trucking shortage that is highlighted in another thread. Basically, the issue is a sensor shortage:
Ongoing shortages of replacement parts for failed diesel exhaust fluid quality sensors are believed to be causing thousands of trucks nationwide to be disabled and parked.

The sensors, which measure the quality and level of diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) in the tank, normally retail for roughly $300. But due to global computer chip shortages causing a backlog the part is being offered for sale — in some cases on digital retail sites such as eBay — for as much as $7,000, according to some industry technicians.

“It’s part of the global chip shortage,” Paul Enos, CEO of the Nevada Trucking Association, told Transport Topics. “We’re seeing trucks parked throughout the country. Just here in Nevada, 300 trucks are parked waiting for quality level sensors.”

Enos said there is a fail-safe that’s built into the selective catalytic reduction system of 2010 and newer trucks. “If it senses too much [nitrogen oxide] it will derate the engine,” he said.
Now, adding to this shit heap is the issue that their is not enough rail car to get the containers to the destinations within the United States.
A severe shortage of railcars in Los Angeles-Long Beach is causing rail container dwell times to double, which is further stressing already-congested terminals and inhibiting the ability of the terminals to ship imports to inland rail hubs.

So in summary:
  • We do not have enough truckers to move all the Chi-Com stuff we buy
  • Their a record breaking number of cargo ships at the ports.
  • The ports are going to be backlogged.
  • We don't have enough rail cars to get the stuff into the interior US
  • This is going to affect the amount of truckers as they cannot get sensors for their trucks.
  • Due to the lack of sensors even more truckers are going to be out.
  • With the lack of more truckers the backlog at the ports and the number of ships sitting in the harbor will keep growing.
Correct me if I am wrong but this seems to be a self reinforcing shit show.

For those that own a small to medium sized business relying on shit from China or parts that are made from shit made in China:
 
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Dergint

Cyber-bully this A&N goblin
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Buy American.
If possible, be like those green people and buy local too, reduce dependence on both ships and trucks.

I just wish the local options I serendipitously run across didn't have to be run by such dweebs. Choosing the option made in state because it happens to support the local economy is cool, having marketing shoved down my throat about how green and virtuous they are is obnoxious.
 

drfuzzyballs

The Farm's #1 sperg
True & Honest Fan
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Oh no we might not have plastic crap in time for Christmas!
 

Dergint

Cyber-bully this A&N goblin
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Doesn't help. Still can't ship. Chink sensor and Mexican axles made with chink metal don't exist. Also a shipping container shortage.
It does help, but it's a slow payoff.

Beanie Man likes to tell the story of how a skateboard is made: they kill a tree in Canada, ship it to China for processing, and ship it back to America to be sold.

If that skateboard were made in the continent instead, yes the wood still would require transportation, but it would require less truck based transportation and no ship based transportation. For just the one product, it wouldn't fix anything, but if it happened across industries? The nationwide shipping demand would drop so those resources can be directed to things that absolutely can't be done locally.

Also things made closer to home tend to cost more, meaning they have to compete on quality instead of quantity, and once you pay up you'll go longer before you need a replacement. (Think of the poor man / rich man / shoe story). If you're replacing things less often, you're also putting less stress on the shipping system.

It's hard to do and takes a long term commitment, like dieting. And it takes society as a whole cooperating to really make it work, like avoiding the tragedy of the commons. But it does help alleviate the issue by reducing the total doing capacity required instead of increasing the total capacity available.
 

Mooger Meng

Now I've got your autism!
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Jun 2, 2020
To reiterate what I mentioned in the trucking thread,
They've been having a hell of a time getting shit out of the port yards fast enough, which is causing more and more ships to pile up in port, along with not sending as many back to Asia as they've been getting because exports have tapered off. Apparently the bottleneck has been getting bad enough that some of the shit for my company has been coming around the Panama Canal in 23' boxes just to get it off the fucking ships.
The bit about the Canal is something one of my co-workers found after looking up the route one of those pigs took to get to us, more or less on a whim after we'd gotten so many in. If I'm remembering what he told me correctly, the Canal is a no-go for most modern container ships on account of how shallow and/or narrow it gets at various points; that area is another "Evergiven in the Suez" moment waiting to happen if companies start trying to send full-size cargo haulers through there to mitigate some of the congestion.
 

Dysnomia

Sucka MC
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Mar 11, 2017
Oh no we might not have plastic crap in time for Christmas!

Does this mean that Dollar Tree won't smell like toxic plastic and glitter this Christmas? :biggrin:

WHO WANTS MACARONI ART FOR CHRISTMAS!?! :biggrin:

Wait, there's probably going to be another food supply issue too, pasta will be stupid expensive. I don't think the price ever dropped back to 2019 values.

Well fuck.

It's pretty bad now. Some food stores have signs about their supply issues.