September 30, 2021

More on the Port Mess

Timothy Birdnow

On Facebook I asked why we have the backlog in the ports. I asked what it is that "they" doing this.

Dean Mellor replies:

"Why are they doing this?"--a curious question which assumes there is some "THEY" which controls the global shipping and distribution industries. 🧐 CEO of Freightos, a shipping broker, says it's cuz you people are buying more imports. (??!!)
"Congestion won’t be fixed until everyone steps up and does their part,” said Frank Ponce De Leon, a coast committeeman at the ILWU [the longshoremen's union, which controls the docks]. "The terminal operators have been under-utilizing

their option to hire us for the third shift,” he said. (Docks are not working 24/7. It costs overtime premium to get workers for 2nd & 3rd shifts.)
Meanwhile, there's a shortage of shipping containers and a mountain of empty containers tying up space on the docks. They can't get truckers to pick up loads on time at the docks.
All it takes is one hiccup anywhere to snarl traffic around the world. Plenty of hiccups lately. Not sure if they've even caught up from that ship that parked sideways in the Suez Canal last March. 😎

Tim adds:

Dean, the "they" are primarily government entities and hanger-ons (like the longshoreman's union or the Teamsters.) There is clearly bad policy involved here. The big question is, why and who does it serve? If they aren't working three shifts why not? What is making it unprofitable for the third shift? Shouldn't the Biden Administration suspend labor laws temporarily and allow the hiring of temps to do this? Inquiring minds want to know.

And I REALLY don't get the trucker shortage. Trucking is a solitary business which should largely have been Covid immune.

Danny Winget added:

You can go to and see this in real time. Right down to the name of the ship, company and type. Scary stuff. The trucks are in a mess because of this too. They get dispatched to meet the ship…ship doesn’t dock…truck leaves… ship docks …no truck. And around and around we go.

Not to mention also Biden raised the minimum liability per truck to almost unaffordable levels for the small fleets. This is a controlled demolition. Ask yourself …if you wanted to destroy the economy , would you do anything different from what they are doing ?

Eric Chapman adds:

You should hope that stuff stays on the boats. It's packed with goods that cost $25k per container instead of usual $4k per container because of this madness. As soon as they unload it the prices start to go up this October....again.

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