While labor negotiations at West Coast ports continue to be described at congenial, their extension well past the summer is complicating logistics that is affecting retail inventories.
A shortage of truck chassis — the trucks minus their container load — is adding to the logistical nightmare and to delays.
Storage at the ports is 90% full, and retailers are facing the possibility that needed inventory for the upcoming holidays will be stuck at the ports.
For months many observers have worked to calm fears that the labor issues at West Coast ports — a major shipping hub for several U.S. retailers — would interfere with holiday inventory logistics. Most retailers are, for the most part, all set with their holiday inventories, but the delays are nerve-wracking nevertheless. For those that might need to replenish their stock or that are waiting for certain orders, there’s little wiggle room at this point for retailers to access the goods in a timely way.