Nearly 80,000 shipping containers are piled high in the Port of Savannah, a report says, as the supply chain crisis shows no sign of stopping
Ports around the world are overwhelmed. Getty Images/Sasin Tipchai
The Port of Savannah, like other ports around the US, is approaching crisis point, according to a report by The New York Times.
It has nearly 80,000 containers - 50% more than normal - stacked up, and the person that oversees the port says he's "never had the yard as full as this."
About 700 containers have been left there for a month or more, per The Times. In September, 4,500 containers sat in the port for weeks, waiting to be collected by the trucks or boats that take them to their next destination, The Times reported.
These issues have become common in ports around the world.
After falling shipping demand in the first half of 2020, a surge at the end of that year led to delays, port traffic jams, and blockages across the supply chain.
A lack of shipping containers and dock workers made it worse. Now, containers are getting jammed up in ports because of both rising demand and a continuing shortage of staff to unload them and take them to their destination.
Around the world, other containers are stuck at sea on ships that are waiting to find a spot in port. Insider's Grace Kay reported earlier in October that nearly 500,000 shipping containers were stuck off the coast of Southern California.
The traffic jam in Savannah shows no signs of easing up, Griff Lynch, who oversees the port and is executive director of the Georgia Ports Authority, said.
He has had to force some ships to wait at sea for more than nine days, and recently had more than 20 ships in a queue, he said.
"The supply chain is overwhelmed and inundated ... It's not sustainable at this point," he told The Times.
The fact 4,500 containers sat for weeks in September was "bordering on ridiculous," he said.
The immediate concern for the industry is dealing with supply chain issues ahead of the busy holiday shopping season. But experts say these issues are set to continue well into next year and beyond.
"There is no indication that it will get better by 2022," Dave Marcotte, longtime retail and supply chain expert from Kantar Consulting, said in a recent conversation with Insider.
"Things are really bad ... it's like a huge rubber band that keeps getting stretched further and further," he said.
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