August, 2021

As if we haven’t heard this sentiment enough lately, labor shortages of all types continue to impact every facet of the global economy, from limiting raw material collection rates to halting the international supply chain. Logistical issues regarding transportation are at the forefront of these challenges, especially when it comes to moving products from their growing and production regions to shipping areas. Ports are experiencing a similar story, with products left sitting on ships or loading docks far beyond their expected export dates. 

As ports struggle to meet demand, 33 cargo ships float off the coast of Los Angeles (Source: Business Insider)

Despite record high demand for workers and continued issues with global logistics, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that employment levels remain low in the rail and maritime industries; rail is down 0.6% and maritime is down 0.5%. Other transportation sectors have also ceased to improve, staying well below their pre-pandemic levels. Despite what some may think, these issues are not exclusive to the US either. In Paraguay, for example, there was yet another issue with an unexpected national truck loaders strike, and material movement has been restricted within the region. It appears as though the labor shortage will be yet another problem for the continued supply chain hiccups the world has been experiencing since the start of the pandemic.

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Written By
Gillian Bleimann
Executive Vice President