Shipping Woes Persist in California

This is a story that Ecorite has covered before but given the severity of the issue, we think it bears repeating.  The problems relating to shipping worldwide appear not to be a temporary problem and may not get worked out even by this time next year.  If you depend upon shipping cycles of goods worldwide, you may want to read this and pass the information on to your clients.

The news cycle has continued to report on the record number of anchored container ships outside some of the world’s busiest ports, most notably the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, California.  The Globe & Mail reported on Monday that the situation has escalated to national and international importance and has created an urgent political problem for the White House as the holiday season approaches.  The governor of California is now in the uncomfortable position of having to ensure that ports will operate 24/7 to relieve the shipping backlog and keep goods moving to empty store shelves across the U.S.  Holiday shopping is expected to be an even greater ordeal than usual amid shortages in almost every product category.  Industry estimates put the value of the goods stuck in port at more than US$26-billion.

The sad reality for merchants everywhere is that, as approximately 85 ships wait, anchored off the coast around L.A., is that if it isn’t unloaded and on a truck in the next few days, it probably won’t make store shelves in time for Christmas.

The global situation is unprecedented.  Businesses and consumers broadly have stimulus cash in their pockets and have never wanted to buy this much – with supply bottlenecks and labor shortages everywhere.

Much of the attention  has been focused on the west coast, key gateways for goods arriving from Asia, where systems and logistics networks are being pushed beyond their capacity.  Containers that in 2019 spent 2½ days on average waiting at port terminals are now waiting more than five, a historic high, according to the Globe.

What does this mean for Ecorite and our customers?   In contrast to the slowness in activity we experienced during the earlier stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen record activity on our factory floor, with our suppliers and in our warehouse.   We are currently experiencing challenges maintaining supply in some of our most popular styles but are taking the necessary steps to backfill our inventory quickly and with as few interruptions as possible.    As a result, we are deep in inventory in many of our popular bags and continue to overcome the worst of our supply hurdles.    You can continue to depend on Ecorite to keep you supplied but it would be best to order early this Holiday season in order to ensure that your goods arrive in time.

Eric Vengroff – October 2021