10 reasons why the West Coast Port shutdown has companies looking at domestic suppliers

Port congestation

As the West Coast Port negotiations between the ILWU and the Pacific Maritime Association continue to stall creating lockouts and slowdowns at the West Coast Ports, the effect is killing companies dependent on the supply chain moving effectively.  What no one in the media is talking about is the effect this is causing companies whose business model is dependent on moving goods in and out of the ports.

Frustration is growing rapidly at companies that have inventory locked up inside the supply channel.  It is now common place to take weeks to get containers through the ports these days.  This is adding to the already extended time frame for delivery form overseas.  For example, ships going directly from China to Los Angeles may take about 12-16 days to cross the Pacific to arrive in Los Angeles.  But actually getting your container once it has arrived to the Port?  There is no answer at this point. Some containers are taking weeks to be unloaded and released.  Others are getting lost in the shuffle. The effect of all this slowdown and lockouts are creating is a massive backlog of containers waiting to get through the port.  This backlog of containers is what I call “Containergeddon” due to the stacks of containers parked at the port and on the water.

“Containergeddon” is creating havoc for supply chain executives trying to provide answer to their respective companies as when the products will be delivered.  Lost sales and ultimately cash flow is being squeezed due to the supply chain nearly stopping.

So what are the options?  The answer may be closer than they think.  Domestic suppliers have no risk of port shutdowns!  There are several huge benefits to on-shoring products back to the US.   Here are my 10 reasons for looking at domestic suppliers to eliminate the risk of foreign supply chain:

  1. Eliminate the risk of dealing with the port entirely
  2. Job creation here in the US
  3. Reduced lead times due to shorter delivery routes
  4. Reduced transportation costing
  5. Reduction in order quantities due to the decrease in transportation costs
  6. Increased cash flow due to higher inventory turn over
  7. Less risk to intellectual properties that are often experience overseas
  8. Environmental friendly supply chains – reduction in delivery length means less requirement for oil and carbon footprints
  9. Opportunity to promote the supply chain as a competitive advantage through localized partnerships
  10. “Made in America” marketing opportunities

If you are looking for help with domestic alternatives to foreign suppliers, I currently have immediate sourcing solutions for you in the following areas:

  • All types of metal fabrication
  • Aerospace
  • Hospitality products

If your needs include other industries, I can help you with those, too.  Please call or email me right away to get started.


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