Retailers Face Stockpile Buildups After West Coast Port Delays Clear

Earlier this year,the strikes and labor disputes taking place at the West Coast ports were causing serious supply chain delays not only across the US but globally, and news sources estimated that it would take two or more months to bring schedules back to normalYet backlogs have cleared sooner than expected, and many suppliers find themselves with an excess of product. How did this pendulum swing occur, and how will it affect the remainder of the year?

Because of the uncertainly of conveyance of cargo through west coast ports, many of the beneficiary cargo owners had placed PO’s in advance of their in-store date.  It was in key ways a responsible reaction to the potentially business-damaging delays that had no real end in sight.

However, since the operations at port in back to full capacity, the delays have begun clearing more quickly than anticipated. The result?  Inventory is flowing in the DC’s sooner than planned by supply chain leaders. The result? New costs will be incurred as companies will end up warehousing it for longer period of time.

Of course, many of of these products could have simply flow through the supply chain if the concerns/delays  were not there.  A lesson about supply chain pendulum swings remains for future delays of this kind.

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