This post is by Phil Price, not Andrew.
I keep seeing articles that say U.S. ports are all backed up, hundreds of ships can’t even offload because there’s no place to put their cargo, etc. And then the news articles will quote some people saying ‘this is a global problem’, ‘there is no single solution’, and so on. I find this a bit perplexing, although I feel like my perplexification could be cleared up with some simple data. How many containers per day typically arrived at U.S. ports pre-pandemic, and how many are arriving now? How many truck drivers were on the road on a typical day in the U.S. pre-pandemic, and how many are on the road now? How many freight train employees were at work on a typical day pre-pandemic, and how many are at work now?
I understand that there are problems all over the place: various cities and countries go in and out of lockdown, companies have gone out of business, factories have closed, there are shortages of raw materials and machine parts etc. due to previous and current pandemic-related shutdowns…that’s all fine, but it does nothing to explain why goods that are sitting at US ports are not moving. Have all of the U.S. truck drivers died of COVID or something? Inquiring minds want to know!