Congestion at Chinese ports will likely force the United States into another supply chain disaster this summer, a shipping and customs company said Thursday, ultimately pushing consumer prices to their all-time high. year level.
“Prices were stratospheric last year,” Alba Wheels Up International President Sal Stile told FOX Business’ Lydia Hu. “They may not be as high this year, but in high season it will be the highest for 2022.”
Marine traffic data shows hundreds of idle freight carriers outside Shanghai, unable to load or unload shipping containers. Hu mentioned in his report that China’s backlog is mainly due to recent strict coronavirus lockdowns linked to the country’s worst outbreak since the pandemic began.
Stile pointed out that the zero COVID policy issue is unique to China.
“You never know when that, again, ‘black swan’ is coming or another port stop,” he said.
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But now China’s shutdowns causing worker shortages and port closures are “not just a Chinese problem,” Stile said.
Experts say the problems with the supply chain are “just getting started” and expect “to see them really spread around the world and in the United States throughout the summer,” Hu noted.
The ripple effect, according to Stile, will be a nationwide price spike seen on grocery store shelves and seasonal items.
“Traditionally, summer is the busiest import season in the United States,” he continued. “It’s all holiday stuff, it’s all back to school, and it’s going to be a push.”
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Stile, who helps companies secure container space aboard freighters, remains wary of when the summer price spike will eventually subside.
“The supply chain is still very fragile,” said the shipping and customs expert. “We’re still having issues in the United States at ports with equipment shortages…And I don’t know when that’s really going to dissipate.”