Do it early as retailers battle supply chain disruption – NBC 7 San Diego


A global supply chain disruption not only continues to impact businesses and outlets, but could also have an additional impact on consumers who are already paying higher prices as the season approaches. holidays.

This week there was a backlog of 72 container ships awaiting unloading at the Port of Long Beach.

Brian Young says his year-round Christmas and collectables store inventory in Bay Park is likely stuck on one of those ships.

“We are in a position where we are stuck and we have to accept whatever we can grab. It all happens very slowly, ”Young said.

Young, who has owned City Light Collectables for 32 years, is like virtually every other business owner caught in the midst of a major disruption in the global supply chain.

He said he had to pay import and shipping fees on items from China which in some cases have tripled. These additional costs will have to be passed on to consumers.

“In some cases, the cost of shipping from China to Long Beach has increased tenfold in a year and a half, so you have to pass it on,” said Simon Croon, professor of supply chain management at the University of San Diego. .

The ports of LA and Long Beach are crowded, and a record number of container ships are still waiting to be unloaded. Now the mayor of Long Beach says they are working with the White House and transportation officials to get goods through our ports. Gordon Tokumatsu reports for the NBC4 News at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, September 21, 2021.

Croon says supply chains are struggling on several fronts.

Factors contributing to the disruption include the pandemic, a massive labor shortage for truck drivers, shipping difficulties, restrictions on travel and border crossings, and trade deals.

So how did we come to this?

“The pandemic was a big factor because it caused a major disruption, everyone was clamoring for paper products, water, even cans of tuna. Then there were closures and the pandemic affected work. Basically we didn’t know how to deal with a supply change issue, ”explained Croon.

Meanwhile, Young considers himself lucky as he has a huge inventory to meet customer demand.

But the inventory he should have received in July is only arriving now.

This forced him to hire additional workers to fill shipping orders that should have been sent months ago. The majority of its sales are done online and customers are tired of the delays.

“They know they’ve placed their order, they ask where the merchandise is and we have our customer service ladies apologizing all day. Not good for our image, but totally out of our control, ”Young said.

For now, he’s waiting for more inventory that would be stuck on a freighter in Long Beach, hoping it will arrive before the peak holiday season in a few weeks.

“Not happy. Not happy at all. Not happy with the whole situation. Back to square one, I can’t change it. Live with it,” Young said.

Croon recognizes the enormous pressure on struggling businesses.

“You just have to be prepared to change the way you think and get fundamentally closer to the customer, and help the customer understand that this is the new world we’re in,” said Croon.

He also expects the disruption to take at least two years to correct.

“It’s really hard to predict because we don’t know what lies ahead. The variants are again going to have a profound effect on the economy, ”said Croon.

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