The Los Angeles and Long Beach ports that sit side by side with each other in Southern California are the busiest in the United States.
In normal times, which means any other time in history almost with the exception of the past year, it would take a cargo ship loaded with goods 40 days to sail from China to the California ports. Now that time has almost doubled, to 71 days.
And after that two-plus month journey across the Pacific Ocean, those boats end up waiting an average of 8.7 days before they can unload the items that retailers around the US are desperately waiting for.
This week there were an all-time high of 65 vessels waiting to dock and unload.
The problem keeps getting worse as the holiday season keeps getting closer.
Brace yourself for impact when it comes time for X-mas shopping, and have a plan B, C and D list ready to go.
In order to prepare for the onslaught of shoppers, big boxes like Best Buy, Target and other huge retailers are trying to order extra inventory of what is actually available, in order to compensate for what isn’t available.
Walmart has been able to get their global inventories up to what they were pre-pandemic, and one reason why is they chartered their own boats to avoid the nightmares of traditional shipping.
A word of warning if you are planning on buying a new artificial Christmas tree this year; be prepared to pay up to 20% to 25% more because of the increasing shipping costs.