Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Friday, October 22, 2021

First it was toilet paper. Then it was processors and other silicon. Now it's cardboard. (And there's a whole lot of other stuff in between.)



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More from the article...

...The latest kink in the planet's ever-gnarled supply chain is one that is sending retailers, shippers, and consumers all scrambling. Cardboard supplies are unreliable, as are those for other packing materials like paper and plastic. And what is available costs more, with loads of companies passing the increased expenses to customers.

Many of the cardboard-producing paper mills around the world shut down at different points during the COVID-19 pandemic. While plants have come back online, they're still scrambling to fill a backlog of orders.

Meanwhile, consumer shopping habits altered by the pandemic are also a factor. With most of the world having experienced some sort of lockdown since the beginning of 2020, homebound shoppers have turned to Amazon and other online outlets in increasing numbers for life's necessities.

Complicating the situation is last winter's deep freeze that knocked several power plants in Texas offline for days. With no power, refineries were unable to make plastics used in shipping materials. That, in turn, led manufacturers and shippers to rely more on other products"like cardboard. ...

#1 | Posted by LampLighter at 2021-10-22 02:06 PM | Reply

Speaking of supply chain issues...

Container Ships Headed for U.S. Poised to Worsen Port Bottleneck

...The backlog of ships outside the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach -- America's largest gateway for ocean freight -- is poised to worsen.

There's now a record of 80 container vessels waiting off Southern California, with more on the way from Asia. The bottleneck that started almost exactly a year ago shows little sign of letting up, according to a Bloomberg analysis shipping data.

With the waiting area off Los Angeles starting to stretch further and further off the coast, Bloomberg's Port Congestion Tracker has rebenched its anchorage area for the ports to more accurately show the total ships in queue. While counts for ships in port remain the same, total counts have ballooned to 112, surpassing Singapore for the world's third-largest holding area for container ships....

#2 | Posted by LampLighter at 2021-10-22 02:09 PM | Reply

Sort of wild that ships don't attempt a reroute to any of the other ports in the US, which aren't making the news for delays or backups.

#3 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2021-10-22 02:14 PM | Reply


What other ports on the Pacific could handle the containers in the required volume? And then the subsequent infrastructure to move the cargo to its destination?

The Bloomberg article also noted that Vancouver,BC,CA was having queue issues.

Could the container ships get into the Tacoma/Seattle port?

I dunno. But it just feels like the supply routes have been so highly optimized for "just in time" inventory that they may be few, if any, alternatives.

#4 | Posted by LampLighter at 2021-10-22 02:28 PM | Reply

Are there no large ports in Mexico?

I know I know the one in Los Angeles is massive but it's reasonable to assume that at full capacity every other port on the western Seaboard between Alaska and southernmost Mexico could offset its bottleneck even if it requires the hiring of more truck drivers.

#5 | Posted by Tor at 2021-10-22 08:13 PM | Reply

More price gouging. With these corporations it's monkey see, monkey dodo. They see others pulling this off and get away with it, so they are doing it too.

#6 | Posted by a_monson at 2021-10-22 10:56 PM | Reply

A person chartered a boat and took a tour of the port to report on conditions and identify the bottleneck. He identified the bottleneck, the issues, and recommended fixes. Long Beach municipal gov and CA's gov office were overwhelmed with calls from followers and the policy of stacking was changed.

Excellent thread:

#7 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2021-10-23 10:43 AM | Reply

@#5 ... Are there no large ports in Mexico? ...

If Mexican ports are available (big if)Once the cargo gets to a Mexican port, then what? Is there freight service from Mexico to wherever the cargo needs to go?

Good article, worth a read, imo...

North American Freight Market Insights

...It is well publicized that several ports in the United States, namely Los Angeles/Long Beach, Seattle/Tacoma, and Savannah, are overwhelmed with high freight volumes. As the largest volume ports, Los Angeles and Long Beach have had dozens of vessels anchored for months while waiting to unload. Not all of this backlog can be attributed to container volume increases; in fact, it's much more complicated. ...

There are ongoing chassis shortages across the country for both international and domestic container services. In the photos above, you get a clear sense of the chassis shortages that currently exist across the country. The left photo is from 2019. It shows an active rail yard with some chassis bays empty and others full. The right photo is from September 2021 and shows there are no chassis available.

The contracting chassis pool"something that's been ongoing since 2018"is a complicated situation between domestic and Chinese chassis manufacturers that has been impacted by manufacturing capacity and tariffs. Currently, international chassis are assigned to certain ocean fleet containers rather than being made available for use across all containers. This significantly limits optimization opportunities. ...

Lots of info in the article...

#8 | Posted by LampLighter at 2021-10-23 11:15 AM | Reply

More price gouging. With these corporations it's monkey see, monkey dodo. They see others pulling this off and get away with it, so they are doing it too.

#6 | POSTED BY A_MONSON AT 2021-10-22 10:56 PM | REPLY

I'm with you on this one. I'm not saying there is no supply chain issues but I think everyone is using this excuse to jack up prices. It's a double win...more profits and for some reason people will accept it's Joe Biden's fault. Like the president has anything to do with the price of gas, or cardboard, or hamburger.

It's big businesses way of punishing Joe Biden for the talk about raising taxes on business and the wealthy by hurting the average American as much as they can.

#9 | Posted by ScottE at 2021-10-24 04:49 PM | Reply

FYI: 10 Largest Ports in North America [Updated: Oct 2021]

#10 | Posted by MSgt at 2021-10-24 05:38 PM | Reply

If only cardboard boxes could be reused, instead of flattening them and loading them into the baler...

#11 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-10-24 05:42 PM | Reply

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