MIAMI – To help with supply chain jams, the Florida Ports Council is asking shipping companies to avoid the snarls in California, use the Panama Canal and come to the Sunshine State.
President Joe Biden said Wednesday the Port of Los Angeles will move to 24/7 service as the Port of Long Beach already has and FedEx and UPS will increase overnight operations.
US Coast Guard Cmdr. Stephen Bor said cargo ships are back up along the shore and it looks like “a cell phone waiting lot” in the Pacific Ocean.
“There are more ships than there are parking spots,” Bor said.
Mike Rubin, the Florida Ports Council’s president and chief executive officer, said the 7-day Panama Canal voyage to Florida will help shipping companies avoid moorage fees to anchor ships. Jonathan Daniels, the chief executive and director of Port Everglades, likes the idea.
Megan Greene, a global chief economist and senior fellow at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at Harvard Kennedy School, said the supply problems started with China factory shutdowns.
“On the U.S. side, the issue is much more with labor, so a shortage of longshore workers and truckers to actually get stuff off shipping containers and into stores, onto shelves,” Greene said.
As countries start to reopen the economy and demand is surging, firms haven’t been able to keep up, according to Greene. Shipping costs increasing and a truck drivers’ shortage can cause higher prices.
“It all goes back to the pandemic. The pandemic has disrupted all markets,” said Mark Zandi, Moody’s Analytics chief economist.