This isn't going to get any better, any time soon.

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Peartree

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I wonder how much of the stuff in the containers on the ships will be no good by the time it is unloaded.
I've already heard stories about some of that.. entire container shipments just being dumped in the trash. I don't think that it's a huge percentage, but yeah, by the time stuff is arriving, it's showing up moldy from being at sea too long, in containers that weren't expected to seal out sea air for months.

Eventually the cost of shipping this stuff here is going to exceed any savings gained by having it produced overseas.
Production of those things left because it was cheaper to produce elsewhere. As soon as the math changes and someone can make more money by producing it here, then they will.

I do know that during the height of the oil boom in my neck of the woods, or rolling prairie as the case may be, all of the companies that hired truckers, and that was pretty much all of them, had a huge turnover rate because of drug-use.
According to this article, the U.S. will need an additional one-million new CDL qualified drivers in the coming decade.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say; that's not going to happen.

Never having been a truck driver, but having known a few as friends and relatives from long ago, and with all of them enjoying the profession back then, it appears as if somewhere along the line the trucking industry went into the crapper, at least as far as the drivers are concerned.

Anybody out there have recent experience with the whys and wherefores as to this phenomenon?
A newspaper article I read recently said that none of this was really new. That trucking companies, for the last decade or so, have had a consistent shortage of drivers, driven largely by an *average* 92 percent ANNUAL employee turnover. Guys I know that were career truck drivers and steady, reliable workers still changed jobs every
few years. All of this because, basically, trucking companies treat their employees poorly, pay poorly, the conditions stink, and all the government regulation, combined with the trucking company response to those regulations, has only made conditions worse and made it harder to make decent money while making harder, if not impossible, for independent owner/operators to exist at all.

Training and hiring more people isn't going to fix this. The pipeline training new drivers has been, and is, big business and churns out more drivers than we really need... if the trucking companies weren't driving them away even faster on the other end of that pipeline. From what I hear, as much as it will hurt all of us, a giant shortage of drivers may be the thing that is needed to finally force companies to do something significant about wages, benefits, working conditions, and all those other things that are making drivers quit.
 

boomtube-mk2

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Production of those things left because it was cheaper to produce elsewhere. As soon as the math changes and someone can make more money by producing it here, then they will.
The funny thing is that virtually all of the plastic products produced overseas is manufactured from plastic pellets produced here in the U.S.
We send the raw materials to China and they send back finished products; kind of like how Colonial America sent raw materials to England and then had to buy back the finished products.
 

rharshberger

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rharshberger

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I understand handling with half a load in tanker truck can be fun.
It is...especially smooth bore tankers, in slick conditions the surge can actually push the truck forward or backward depending on slope, and since roads are cambered(?) for drainage the same surge that pushes the truck can also cause it to slide sideways at the same time. I used to haul Telone C-17 for a bit, nasty stuff, and its only hauled in smooth bore tankers afaik, the stuff also weighs about 20% more than water so full tankers are not as common and most customers dont want a full tanker of something thats as nasty as it is sitting around for long.
 

boatgeek

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Here's an article that explains exactly why it's not going to get any better anytime soon. What it comes down to is that the shippers are making so much money off the shortages that they don't have any incentive to actually fix it.

  • There are 3 shipping alliances that control 80% of the world's container ship capacity. Moller-Maersk, one of the biggest shipowners, has tripled profits over a few years ago.
  • Per-container freight rates have gone up 7-10 times over March 2020 rates.
  • If the container stays in the port for more than a few days after being unloaded from the ship, the consumer* starts to pay container rental costs to the shipping company.
  • If the trucker doesn't redeliver the container to the port in a timely manner, someone (not clear whether it's the trucker or the consumer) pays a fee to the shipping company, even if the trucker can't redeliver the container because the port is jammed full. The trucker is also stuck with a container on their truck so they can't take a new load
Now that the supply chain is broken, the shippers have every incentive to keep it broken to keep their profits rolling in. By leaving the dock without picking up empty containers, they jam up the ports, increasing the chances that they get fees on both ends. Reminds me of this poster I used to keep on my cubicle wall...

1638287599101.png


* consumer = the person paying for the container to be shipped, though eventually that will get rolled down to the consumer.

 

boomtube-mk2

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Now that the supply chain is broken, the shippers have every incentive to keep it broken to keep their profits rolling in. By leaving the dock without picking up empty containers, they jam up the ports, increasing the chances that they get fees on both ends. Reminds me of this poster I used to keep on my cubicle wall...
But you have to remember that "The Shippers" and "Consumers" aren't the only ones involved in this. There are also the retailers and manufacturers that depend on rapid, reliable and fairly inexpensive trans-oceanic transportation of their goods.
When those retailers, think Wal Mart, Target and Amazon along with the manufactures, think every auto-company in the world, can't get rapid, reliable and inexpensive shipment of their goods across the world's oceans, they are going to look for solutions that cut those shipping companies out of the loop, and together they have the money, resources and political clout to get it accomplished.

What I would like to see 10 years from now is a bunch of those enormous container ships being sent to the breakers because they are no longer necessary.
 
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boatgeek

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But you have to remember that "The Shippers" and "Consumers" aren't the only ones involved in this. There are also the retailers and manufacturers that depend on rapid, reliable and fairly inexpensive trans-oceanic transportation of their goods.
When those retailers, think Wal Mart, Target and Amazon along with the manufactures, think every auto-company in the world, can't get rapid, reliable and inexpensive shipment of their goods across the world's oceans, they are going to look for solutions that cut those shipping companies out of the loop, and together they have the money, resources and political clout to get it accomplished.

What I would like to see 10 years from now is a bunch of those enormous container ships being sent to the breakers because they are no longer necessary.
That's true... The article referenced above does have a case study of a retailer who has a couple of million dollars worth of snow globes stuck on ships outside LA/LB, and they aren't going to arrive in time for Christmas. Will that person try to get US-made snow globes next time? Probably, but they may not be able to get the snow globes made domestically.

Obviously, Amazon and Wal-Mart have more market power than the snow globe people and more ability to fill their own ships with their cargo, making it possible to charter some of the remaining 20% of the container ship market. That said, those ships are smaller and more expensive per container, so there's an incentive to get back to the big boys at some point.

I would love to have onshore manufacturing of the stuff that's currently made overseas, but I don't have a lot of faith that the American consumer will pay those kinds of prices. I would be happy to be wrong! The current system has been 30+ years in the making, so I don't see it being resolved anytime soon.

It would be nice if the FTC action you mentioned was the first step toward an antitrust action against the big shipping alliances, but it's hard to tell at this point. It might also be a need to be seen to be doing something for political reasons.
 

boomtube-mk2

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I would love to have onshore manufacturing of the stuff that's currently made overseas, but I don't have a lot of faith that the American consumer will pay those kinds of prices. I would be happy to be wrong! The current system has been 30+ years in the making, so I don't see it being resolved anytime soon.
But prices on those offshore manufactured goods are going up almost daily due to shipping costs. Eventually those shipping costs will exceed the additional costs of onshore manufacturing.

The funny thing is that all of those plastic items produced overseas are made from plastic pellets produced here in the U.S.
We are shipping raw materials over to China etc. and buying back finished products. This is not a sustainable scenario.
 

les

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It hasn't helped that Resmed had to recall over a million machines and have to build replacements on top of supporting new patients...
 

afadeev

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Sounds cute, on the surface.
Never mind that that the same chip shortage would apply regardless of where a thing is assembled.
And chip shortages have nothing to do with the place of their manufacturing, but basic economics and supply chain management.

More importantly, how much more would YOU be willing to pay for your healthcare premium for "made in USA" equipment?
Seriously?
10% ?
25% ?
50+%?

Or exactly 0.0%, or nothing at all, because you think premiums are already too high?

If you kinda WANT something (to be made in place XYZ), but are not WILLING to pay for it, is that a "need to have", or a passing fad ?
:rabbitdontknow:

Just saying...
 

Bravo52

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Here's an article that explains exactly why it's not going to get any better anytime soon. What it comes down to is that the shippers are making so much money off the shortages that they don't have any incentive to actually fix it.

  • There are 3 shipping alliances that control 80% of the world's container ship capacity. Moller-Maersk, one of the biggest shipowners, has tripled profits over a few years ago.
  • Per-container freight rates have gone up 7-10 times over March 2020 rates.
  • If the container stays in the port for more than a few days after being unloaded from the ship, the consumer* starts to pay container rental costs to the shipping company.
  • If the trucker doesn't redeliver the container to the port in a timely manner, someone (not clear whether it's the trucker or the consumer) pays a fee to the shipping company, even if the trucker can't redeliver the container because the port is jammed full. The trucker is also stuck with a container on their truck so they can't take a new load
Yeah but...

While the outcome is in the shipping companies' best interest now, those things, except #1 and 2, were instilled when there wasn't a shipping backlog. Mostly at the insistence of the customer. They were done to ensure "Just in Time" manufacturing/sales were efficient and effective. These things are also not inclusive of one another. It's almost like this incentive was laid right in their laps...

You could argue the reason for fewer shipping alliances is due to better management of the industry by the few talented companies that have risen to the top of the game. This was done over time and not as a result of the pland...errr....pandemic (😏) Clearly #2 is a result of the pandemic with help from #1.

What is interesting is this will eventually smooth out over time, however, I think it will take longer than expected. This will happen well after the effects of the pandemic partially because of the bureaucracy created by this environment. In other words, all the "UBI type" people will insert themselves in the mix and not let the market drive the cost. It will then be the classic labor vs management fight except the "labor" part will be government. We are already seeing this...
 

boatgeek

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Well, this is ...interesting. LA is reporting 2 ships currently at anchor waiting to dock, and Long Beach is reporting 13, so the backlog of ships is more or less cleared. For reference, LA reported 17 ships waiting at anchor at the beginning of the year.

In possibly related news, LA had steadily 30-40 ships waiting at anchor in the fall until November 15, when they imposed a fee for leaving containers in port for an excessive period of time. By 11/30, the backlog of ships was cut in half to 17, and in half again by December 6. Some of that is no doubt due to upstream effects (production in China) and downstream effects (less demand for Christmas stuff). Still, the big port backup issues seems to be largely resolved. I don't know what's up in the big railyards and truck warehouses.

 

Cnorm

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Well, this is ...interesting. LA is reporting 2 ships currently at anchor waiting to dock, and Long Beach is reporting 13, so the backlog of ships is more or less cleared. For reference, LA reported 17 ships waiting at anchor at the beginning of the year.

In possibly related news, LA had steadily 30-40 ships waiting at anchor in the fall until November 15, when they imposed a fee for leaving containers in port for an excessive period of time. By 11/30, the backlog of ships was cut in half to 17, and in half again by December 6. Some of that is no doubt due to upstream effects (production in China) and downstream effects (less demand for Christmas stuff). Still, the big port backup issues seems to be largely resolved. I don't know what's up in the big railyards and truck warehouses.

Shocking.

Sometimes a little motivation is all you need to get some collaboration between industries.
 

hobie1dog

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every bit of this is caused by Greedy, EXTREMELY Selfish Capitalists who always want more and more for them selves, and have ZERO empathy, or concern, or gratitude for the workers who are totally responsible for generating the necessary physical duties accomplished. This is what will never change as we have a global society brainwashed by a failed educational system to believe it's all about putting more money in their pockets, while ignoring the other members of the society. Every student should have mandatory classes every year that teach empathy, compassion, and an overall concern for the planet and all of the other inhabitants of this planet, so that things can be continuously improved while the greedy capitalist attitude is taught as something that should be avoided.

But, it will never change. :(
 

MidOH

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every bit of this is caused by Greedy, EXTREMELY Selfish Capitalists who always want more and more for them selves, and have ZERO empathy, or concern, or gratitude for the workers who are totally responsible for generating the necessary physical duties accomplished. This is what will never change as we have a global society brainwashed by a failed educational system to believe it's all about putting more money in their pockets, while ignoring the other members of the society. Every student should have mandatory classes every year that teach empathy, compassion, and an overall concern for the planet and all of the other inhabitants of this planet, so that things can be continuously improved while the greedy capitalist attitude is taught as something that should be avoided.

But, it will never change. :(
We call that solution, parenting and private school.

The last thing we need is another BS social studies class in public schools. Stick to math and science. 2 subjects our schools are failing in.
 

Antares JS

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Every student should have mandatory classes every year that teach empathy, compassion, and an overall concern for the planet and all of the other inhabitants of this planet (...)
I'm sure the way to create compassionate people is to make bored teenagers sit through yet another class. :rolleyes:
 

Antares JS

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And who didn't see this coming from a mile away?
https://www.yahoo.com/news/videos-show-la-train-lines-113712470.html

Just out of curiosity, what's the weirdest or most unlikely item that seems to be in short supply at your local Wal Mart/grocery store?
Here it's pasta products, all kinds, all brands.
We couldn't get yogurt this week, but it's been one of the very few times we couldn't get everything we wanted.

Interestingly, while our nearest Walmart is generally really low on or out of a wide range of items for the past year and a half, our local grocery store has been doing fine keeping things in stock.
 

Banzai88

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We couldn't get yogurt this week, but it's been one of the very few times we couldn't get everything we wanted.

Interestingly, while our nearest Walmart is generally really low on or out of a wide range of items for the past year and a half, our local grocery store has been doing fine keeping things in stock.
We went to seven different grocery stores this weekend around my house (NASO area of Virginia Beach, VA) in search of chicken. Not one single piece of chicken in any of them unless you wanted to buy the 3-5X price "Organic", and even then there were only 2 or 3 packages.

No beef, either. Same bare shelves and same organic options.

I have a relationship with most of the meat counter folks on account that I get beef and pork fat trimmings to mix with my deer harvests, and they all say the same things.........trucks are coming, but they're half full and we put out EVERYTHING that comes on the truck, there is nothing 'in the back' anymore.

Of the 2 Wal Marts that I visited, the grocery section was MAYBE half stocked or less. Local grocery stores about the same.

Never thought that I'd live to see Soviet era food shortages in America.

Oh, and for anyone looking for beef this summer, water restrictions on the Colorado below Lake Meade means that most folks in the Southwest that use that water to grow cattle feed.....simply won't have the water. Reports are that they're planning on slaughtering the herds (about 20% of the beef production in the US) and NOT ranching again until they have water to grow their own feed.
 

Bravo52

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About 6 months ago I bought a new full-size freezer with the intent of lengthening the time between going to the store for frozen foods. We filled the thing up with meat and other frozen food because we wanted to "get our money's worth" using the freezer. Never would have thought it would be so appropriate.

About a week before Christmas, we got a call from the appliance store asking if we would consider selling the freezer back to them for a small profit and they would gladly come and pick it up and waive the delivery fee... 🤣 Who knew getting a box of Jimmy Dean Sausage, Egg and Cheese Croissants would be difficult...fortunately I have two boxes stashed away!
 

boatgeek

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We call that solution, parenting and private school.
Absolutely agree on parenting. Private school for teaching empathy? Eeeeh, not so much, at least in my experience. Almost invariably when I've seen unsportsmanlike conduct on the field, it's been private school kids. Maybe it's a GIGO situation? :D

Stores out here have been pretty well stocked, but we also don't shop at Walmart. Even with spray paint, our local Ace has always had a great selection missing only one or two colors. Of course, when I went there looking for orange, guess which color they were out of in my preferred brand?
 

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I use Campbells cheddar cheese soup to make smoked macaroni and cheese. Campbells canned soup has plenty of stock of every flavor EXCEPT for the empty space where the cheddar cheese soup is. Whatever batch of chemicals they use to make that fake orange goop (because let's face it, there's noting natural in there) has run out.

Our stores here seem to have random empty spots. One week empty, the next week stocked and the empty space is something else.
 
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