Supply Chain Observations at the Long Beach Port Complex

The original 10/22/21 tweet from the CEO of Flexport describes the standstill at the port of Long Beach despite the large backlog of ships needing to be offloaded:

It seems that everyone now agrees that the bottleneck is yard space at the container terminals. The terminals are simply overflowing with containers, which means they no longer have space to take in new containers either from ships or land. It’s a true traffic jam.

In the links below, first from Bill Mitchell:

The expenditure on goods has shot up – well above the previous trend, upon which decisions about productive capacity and investment were being made.
The supply-side in the productive goods sector simply cannot adjust that quickly to such rapid (and artificial) shifts in demand and so the conditions for price rises are in place, given the market power held by price setters.

...Transient doesn’t necessarily mean short-lived.

...Transient means that there are no structural forces that would see these initial price pressures morphing into an institutionalised wage-price spiral where labour and capital duke it out in distributional struggle to see which one has the power to force the other to bear the real income losses of the rising costs and prices.

Additional perspective 12/17/21 from the Wall Street Journal:

The supply-chain crisis, Mr. Levy contends, has no parallel in history. We’ve had shocks before, such as the oil crisis of 1973. But “global-trade liberalization and distributed specialization,” allied to an ease of shipping and transport, fueled by ideas like “just-in-time inventory”—that’s all new.

Bill Mitchell 12/13/21: Central banks are resisting the inflation panic hype...
WSJ article 12/17/21: An Insider Explains the Supply-Chain Crisis
NY Times article 3/31/22 tracing one shipping container's journey: This Is What Happens When Globalization Breaks Down

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