(NewsNation) — For much of last year, the pandemic led to a daily backup of more than 100 ships at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
Now, the lockdowns in China have port officials preparing for a new surge when they finally end.
Shanghai is China’s busiest port and usually handles about 20% of all exports.
Cargo is moving these days, but capacity is only about 20% since 25 million people remain in lockdown, which has resulted in the shutdown of most city warehouses and plants.
Restrictions have anger and outrage boiling over, incoming cargo is piling up and goods are stranded at Chinese warehouses with fewer trucks and trains picking up.
“It’s already affecting the global supply chain,” said Mario Cordero, an executive director at the Port of Long Beach.
The executive director went on to say that there is already a lull in Chinese imports.
But when manufacturing resumes, he said, Southern California will be more prepared for another supply chain surge.
“We’re a lot more ready for that than maybe we were back in 2021 in the fall, because of some of the proactive measures that both ports have taken since that time,” Cordero said.
The biggest change is that both ports can now operate 24 hours a day for much of the week.
In the short term, the slowdown in supply will mean more financial pain for consumers.
“That is probably going to throw another wrench into inflation, because once again, vendors who are getting their supplies from those factories will not get it one time or might not even get it at all,” said Yoni Mazur of Getida Technology.
Due to less manufacturing in China, fewer carriers are needed in the ports of Shanghai and Shenzhen, which usually ships key consumer electronics components used by companies such as Apple and Sony.