"The pandemic is haunting the global supply chain and, by extension, shoppers," two months before what's expected to be a big holiday shopping season, The Washington Post reports. Container ships are clogging ports, shipping costs are rising, and there's a dearth of truck drivers and warehouse workers.
So things may get a little rough for shoppers, retailers, and the chain of companies that move goods from factories to ships to shelves, but there are big winners, too. Here's a look at some illustrative numbers:
- 36 percent — share of U.S. imports that pass through the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex
- 75 — number of container ships waiting outside the Port of Los Angeles on Thursday, according to Time's Alana Semuels
- 40 — number of container ships waiting off California ports Sept. 1
- $20,586 — median cost of shipping a standard container from China to the U.S. West Coast in September, twice the cost in July and four times the cost in January, according to the Freightos index
- 10.8 million — record number of containers the Port of Los Angeles expects to handle in 2021
- $23 billion — profits booked by the 7 largest publicly traded ocean carriers in the first half of 2021, up from $1 billion a year earlier
- 14th — World Bank ranking for U.S. on moving goods efficiently in 2018, out of 160 countries
- 0 - 50 — number of trucks arriving to pick up containers during overnight shifts at Long Beach, despite 24/7 openings, according to freight logistics firm Flexport
- 90 percent — turnover rate at some trucking companies in the last quarter of 2020
- 25 miles — length freight trains were backed up trying to enter Union Pacific's enormous Global 4 shipping facility in Joliet, Illinois, over the summer
- 500 — number of football fields that would fit in the Global 4 facility
- 17 – days it takes for a container chassis to leave that Union Pacific facility and return for another container, up from normal 3.5 days
- 31,000 — employees on Union Pacific's payroll, more than a third fewer than 2015
- 1 million — toys from Amazon's holiday list sold by Oct. 13, nine weeks before Christmas
- $1.3 trillion — projected 2021 U.S. holiday retail sales, up 7-9 percent from 2020, according to Deloitte
- $785 — amount the average consumer is projected to spend on the 2021 holiday season, according to NPD
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