Florida ports limited in helping backed-up supply chains

Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 11:56 PM EDT
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Sherry Ford says when she’s out shopping It’s no longer business as usual as she’s seeing more shortages.

"I went to Walmart a couple of days ago there was a lot of stuff missing. Even like vegetables were just low you didn't see everything you wanted," she said.

Ford says she's surprised by the ongoing backlog as companies strategize to meet customers' demands.

"I knew why it was occurring in 2020, I knew why it was occurring earlier this year but I'm surprised that in October heading into November 2021 that we're still seeing the shortages that we're seeing," she said.

Ford's not alone.

"I guess I'm a little concerned," Tom Carroll said.

It's a concern that may not be resolved for some time. Experts say shipping backups at major U.S. ports could linger well into 2022.

40% of U.S. imports come through the California ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.

The back-ups are now so severe that the ports are now open 24/7 looking to reduce the bottleneck.

An issue that also has the attention of Governor Ron DeSantis.

"You see all those ships off the west and east coasts of the United States that are backlogged. We have the capacity to alleviate those backlogs. People can reroute ships to Florida," he said.

But there could be limits to that help. Locally we checked with the Port of Palm Beach but they are limited on the size of the ships. In an email, they shared the following, saying in part: large container ships "wouldn’t be able to get through the channel, so there is no way for those ships to divert to Port of Palm Beach."

Ford says she's staying positive.

"I have the means to shop at a couple of different stores," she said.

Experts say shoppers could end up feeling the pinch this holiday season if fewer items lead to fewer store discounts.

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