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A shortage of everything is only intensifying all across the nation as the all-important holiday season approaches and thousands of cargo ships remain stuck outside key US ports while millions of containers are in rail yards waiting to get unloaded amid a lack of workers and truckers. A couple of months ago, President Biden assured Americans that supply chain bottlenecks and price spikes would reduce as our economy continues to “heal,” and appointed a “port envoy” to work with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
But now, the truth is finally coming out, and the outlook doesn’t look pretty. During a recent interview with Bloomberg, Buttigieg admitted that some of the supply chain problems that we are currently facing are likely to last for “years and years”. Last Thursday, he also told MSNBC that this is “an incredibly complicated situation,” and even though the government is holding virtual “roundtables” with port operators, labor unions, and private companies, the “challenges” will continue, not only “going into the next year or two, but going into the long term.”
It’s truly shocking how the outlook for our economic future has changed so drastically in a matter of a few months. At the beginning of the year, government officials were promising that we would soon be entering a new golden era of prosperity. But instead, what we have today is chaos, inflation and shortages everywhere we look. And now even our leaders can’t deny the fact that things are collapsing all around us. The mainstream media also seems alarmed about the severity of this crisis. In a recent article, the Daily Mail bluntly reported that “stores across America have empty shelves thanks to a series in supply chain problems that are prolonging inflation and could stretch into the new year, with some retailers like Costco and Walmart limiting the amount of toilet paper in some stores”.
The article also highlighted that there are currently more than 60 cargo ships are waiting to dock in California, each of them is carrying hundreds of thousands of containers, and they may be stuck for months in this unprecedented port traffic jam. Meanwhile, in China, millions of dollars of American goods are still sitting in warehouses awaiting shipment. The situation is causing massive delivery delays and aggravating local shortages at U.S. retail and grocery stores.
At the Port of Savannah in Georgia, at least 80,000 containers are still stacked up on the docks, 50% more than normal, according to the New York Times. Some of the ships are having to wait up to ten days before getting a slot.In addition to the extensive container backlog that we are witnessing at our major ports, shipping costs continue to rise relentlessly for Pacific trade lines. The latest numbers reported by The Washington Post revealed that the median cost of shipping a standard container from China to the U.S. West Coast hit a record $20,586.
Needless to say, those price increases are completely absurd. To make things worse, now that the global energy crisis is pushing energy prices to skyrocket, it is going to be even more expensive to move goods around the planet. US oil prices have shot up by $120 since crashing to negative $40 a barrel in April 2020. Sadly, as demand continues to soar, global energy supplies are going to get even tighter and prices are going to hit sky-highs in the months ahead. As a result, big corporations will start passing on those higher costs to consumers. In several industries, this is already happening. In fact, the CEO of the international food giant Kraft Heinz, which makes the famous tomato sauce and baked beans, just revealed the company is raising the prices of several items. Miguel Patricio said that unlike in previous years, inflation was “across the board”.
With all things considered, the short-term scenario looks incredibly chaotic. We’re currently heading to an era of inflation that is going to absolutely shock most Americans. Unfortunately, we’re being warned that conditions are going to continue to deteriorate in the coming weeks and months. And as more turbulence emerges, our society will start to realize that our nation has become extremely dependent on broken supply chains that can’t be easily fixed. That’s to say, our problems may only worsen from now on. Although we would like to tell you that things will get better soon, that would be simply unrealistic. We should brace for more supply chain problems in the months ahead, and keep in mind that some of them are going to be exceptionally painful. It’s time to get ready while you still can!