Supply Chain Industry Insights

November 2022

By Tim Gundlach

The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic continue to be felt in the global supply chain. As a result of unpredictable sourcing and transit times, the reliability of traditional “Non-peak” and “Peak” seasons in logistics is no longer applied. The global supply chain shifted from “just in time” logistics and instead implemented “just in case” logistics. The end result is warehouses becoming choked with products in preparation of the upcoming holiday season.

Suddenly the world which could not move products fast enough just as quickly faces a dramatic drop off in global demand due to global inflation and recession concerns as well as concern of escalation of the conflict in Ukraine.

The most recent concern in the United States was the potential for longshoreman and rail strikes. This routed cargo away from the West Coast, sailing to alternative ports on the Gulf and East Coasts. This influx of containers created berthing delays and port congestion in those areas. As of this video, US rail and labor unions are threatening a strike as early as Nov 19th, 2022.

So what’s next?

The short answer is nobody knows for certain… and it depends on how issues shape up on topics like West Coast port labor fights, Gulf and East Coast port congestion and the geopolitical arena with regard to the world economy, energy shortages in Europe, and the state of conflict in Ukraine.

Overall, we are confident about a few things going into November: (1) Ocean and air rates should remain flat or decline in the next month (2) The US Govt cannot allow labor strikes to occur as it would be detrimental to the US Economy (3) Port congestion and chassis issues should improve in time. (fingers crossed)

As always, PGL remains available to discuss particular needs and-or concerns at any time, in our continuing effort to assist in mitigating risk to our partners.

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