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Grocery shortage 2021: White House expected to make announcement on resolving supply chain issues

PHILADELPHIA – Delays at ports, COVID-19 outbreaks and labor shortages continue to stifle the flow of product in the region and the country.

As congestion at major ports continues in Los Angeles, Houston and Savannah, Georgia, some companies like Target are chartering smaller vessels that are redirected to smaller, less busy ports like the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal in Philadelphia. .

“We are having record volumes,” said Sean Mahoney of the Philadelphia Regional Ports Authority. “In August, we saw the most containers the port has ever handled. More than 70,000 containers arrived in August.

But another challenge is finding enough truck drivers to deliver the goods to the warehouses. That’s why the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority had to clean up a 30-acre site to store cargo containers until they could be unloaded.

“We still have work to do, but we are having record volumes and we are working on it,” said Mahoney.

SEE ALSO: Smaller turkeys could be scarce on Thanksgiving, Butterball warns

These challenges are fueling empty shelves in grocery stores and other retailers.

“The problems are only getting worse with supply chains,” said Adam Kamins of Moody’s Analytics.

“It’s a big part of the story, that there aren’t enough dockers, not enough drivers and there has been an increase in demand for e-commerce in particular,” said Kamins.

Action News has learned that President Biden will meet with heads of some major ports on Wednesday to discuss the issues.

According to the White House, Biden also plans to meet with executives from large companies on how they can scale up their operations to ensure the holiday season is not threatened by these supply chain issues.

Doug Baker of the Food Industry Association has some tips to help consumers.

“Don’t buy more than you need, plan your meals, and again, if you see it while you’re in the store now, go ahead and buy it. Don’t wait until next month. “said Baker.

Baker adds that there will be a lot of items in stores, but maybe not exactly what you’re used to.

When could things get better?

“We don’t anticipate any real relief until the end of next year,” Baker said.

“There is a lot of price pressure in the economy right now and that will likely continue at least until the end of the year and into next year,” Kamins said.

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