Tag Archives: Supply Chain

Truckers tired of taking blame for congestion crisis at California ports, by Clarissa Hawes

There’s plenty of blame to go around for California ports’ bottlenecks, but truckers think they’re getting way more than their share. From Clarissa Hawes at freightwaves.com:

California port truckers say there’s not a driver shortage — just look at the lines

As Miguel Silva surveyed his truck yard just outside the Port of Oakland last week, he pointed to shipping containers filled with corn and soybean seed bound for impoverished nations in Africa and elsewhere around the globe.

Silva said his customers’ genetically modified seed, which can’t be reused because it’s engineered in a lab, should have been loaded on a cargo ship weeks ago to arrive in time for the planting season.

However, appointment times can be scarce. The terminal operators’ push toward automation, which Silva and other trucking company owners say isn’t always reliable, requires drivers to check for appointment times day and night and on weekends to see if more time slots open up.

Miguel Silva, president of Intermodal Logistics

“I have customers calling me daily, telling me to name my price, that money is no object, but to please, just pull their containers,” Silva, president of Intermodal Logistics at the Port of Oakland, told FreightWaves. “I wish it was that simple.”

Driver shortage?

Silva and other trucking companies dispute the widely reported message that a driver shortage is largely to blame for the port congestion issues in California.

During a five-day trip to the major ports in California, FreightWaves interviewed multiple company executives who said they were actually shedding drivers because of the lack of consistent work due to port congestion bottlenecks, equipment and efficiency issues.

Port truckers told FreightWaves on Monday that the Oakland International Container Terminal (OICT) website had been down since the previous day, so trucking companies weren’t able to obtain the vessel export receiving list. OICT, the port’s largest stevedoring terminal, is owned by SSA International.

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Retailers Lining Store Shelves With Props To “Hide Supply Shortage”, by Tyler Durden

The pictures would be hilarious if they weren’t so disturbing. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Americans are waking up to the fact that shortages of everyday products such as ice cream, frozen food, soda, chicken, spices, coffee, fish sticks, snacks, and toilet paper are popping up all over the country as supply chains remain heavily congested 19 months after the virus pandemic first began. Instead of leaving some store shelves bare, which might insight fear and buying panic among consumers, some stores are lining their empty shelves with meaningless items to appear as full as possible.

A little more than a week ago, hashtag #EmptyShelvesJoe was one of the hottest trends across Twitter but was quickly squashed by Twitter police. People from all over the country went to their local supermarkets and big-box outlets to point out how supply chain snarls have left some store shelves bare.

Retailers have since panicked, and social media users are now pointing out that some store shelves are lined with single items to “hide the supply shortage.”

A user tweeted a picture of what appears to be single boxes of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese lining multiple shelves.

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Watch as a Great Empire Stumbles and Falls, by Bill Bonner

You can stop worrying. The Biden administration is on the supply chain case, and our problems will soon be solved. From Bill Bonner at rogueeconomics.com:

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – What a marvelous time to be alive… with a front-row seat to watch a great empire stumble and fall!

It only happens once every hundred years or so… So pull up a chair and enjoy the show.

Here’s the big news, from Bloomberg:

U.S. Factory Output Falls in Fresh Supply-Chain Warning

Production at U.S. factories fell by the most in seven months in September, in part reflecting a sharp pullback in the manufacturing of motor vehicles as well as broader backlogged supply chains and materials shortages.

Supply chain? What’s happening is much more than just a weak link. Adjusted for inflation, real industrial production has been going down for half a century and now is only a third of its 1968 level.

Falling Apart

The U.S. enjoyed a fake prosperity for the last 30 years – but only because China picked up the burden of manufacturing and sold goods to Americans at discount prices, keeping inflation in check.

And now, the U.S. no longer has the good jobs, the infrastructure, or the know-how to make things Americans want.

Instead, appliances and geegaws are shipped across the Pacific Ocean – at enormous cost – while the discounts disappear.

China’s raw materials costs – metals, fuel, etc. – are going up. So are its wages. It can no longer offset America’s money-printing with cheap products.

Yes, here in the U.S., “inflation” is now out in the open… and the whole scam is coming apart. CBS News reports:

A perfect storm of high demand and low supply is sending fuel prices through the roof. Driving your car is costing a lot more – and heating your home this winter could, too.

[…]

The national average for a gallon of regular unleaded gas this week is $3.27 – a seven-year high. According to GasBuddy, a price tracking service, the price of a gallon nationwide has gone up more than five cents in a week.

Meanwhile, benchmark crude oil prices have risen above $80 a barrel for the first time since 2014. As a result, Chicago-area utilities are projecting that heating bills will be up to 50% higher this winter. The New York Department of Public Service warned residents last week that their home heating bills could jump 21% compared to last winter.

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Let Us Count the Ways, by James Howard Kunstler

When does Democratic economic and political stupidity proceed to the point where the whole shebang collapses? From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:

What America really wants to know is: after those months of “family leave,” did Pete Buttigieg get the hang of lactating? Hey, if sexuality is just a “social construct,” then the functions of sexuality must be teachable. So now Pete can move on to ovulation lessons and become the “birthing person” of his dreams. Pete’s dreams are America’s dreams, you see.

In the meantime, though, America has a little transportation problem that a Secretary of Transportation might look into if he wasn’t so busy performing a gender reeducation parable for the Woke family values crowd. Namely, that federal rules combined with California Air Resource Board regulations are destroying the trucking industry, a major link in the broken supply-chains for the gazillion products and parts that an advanced technological economy needs to keep on keeping on.

Under the rules, for example, California wants to phase-out tractor trailer rigs more than three years old, and eliminate all trucks that run on fossil fuels by 2035. Now, it happens that most of the truckers who service the ports of southern California are independents. They have to buy their own rigs, on which many make the equivalent of a mortgage payment, because a semi-rig can cost as much as a house. Of course, the rig must be allowed to operate for the duration of the loan. The new government regulations cancel that financial formula, and with it, the trucking industry. So much for the good intentions of the eco-wonks.

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