Thursday, March 5, 2020

COVID-19 and container imports - the cupboard is bare

OK, folks, this isn't a news broadcast or a government statement.  This video was put up today by a truck driver at the Port of Los Angeles.  She shows us the real conditions on the ground at the container facility there, thanks to the coronavirus epidemic.  I'll let her do the talking.

If you buy much from stores that rely on Chinese products - stores like Walmart, Target, Harbor Freight, and many others - you can now see where they're going to be a couple of months from now.  What's in the supply pipeline right now - the containers that have already left our ports - is all there is for the foreseeable future.  When it's used up, those stores will either have to find alternative suppliers - and right now, none have stepped up to the plate, because they aren't shipping containers here either - or do without.  That means their customers will do without, too.  Forewarned is forearmed.

As I've said before, the real impact of COVID-19 is going to be commercial and economic, rather than health (although that's going to be interesting, too).



drjim said...

I just talked to one of my friends who goes in and out of POLA almost daily. He said traffic seemed light to him, so he called one of his friends who monitors the comings and goings for a hobby. His friend told him traffic was down "significantly", but he didn't know how much because he doesn't keep very accurate records.

I know it's 'third-hand', but I know these two guys pretty well, and I trust them.

Eric Wilner said...

We've already moved up various purchases, and now I'm pondering whether I should snap up a cheap wire-feed welder and a 4x6 bandsaw or maybe an abrasive chop saw - setting up the machine shop has gotten postponed until probably-next-year, for various reasons, but there'll likely be some minor steel projects in the next few months. Hm. Maybe also a bargain-basement plasma cutter, and spare consumables.
Ugh. And I guess I should be ordering maintenance stuff for the tractor, oil filters for the cars, ....
I note, though, that two Far East specialty-electronics purveyors with which I've done business in the past are reporting being back at work and their (small) factories being in operation. Maybe it'll be less like the end of the world and more like a month-long Chinese New Year hangover?

 Ashley said...

Of all the things we should be worried about is the economic effects of China's actions to curtail a disease that was a big problem for them because of their cultural traditions: sanitary practices around food and waste.

Aesop said...

Exactly as we both posted would happen, Peter, almost a month ago.

The Freeholder said...

Wait until businesses start failing because they have no goods to sell. The interesting part is just starting.

Ray - SoCal said...

Thanks for sharing the video.

Longer term positives is going to be for the US:

- Increase in US manufacturing
- More manufacturing moved out of China
- Increased automation in the US
- Moving manufacturing to Mexico (new NAFTA).
- US Pharmaceutical production will be moved out of China (unbelievable it's there with all the quality issues).
- Taiwan is weathering this unbelievably well.

China is, and will be taking a huge hit from this economically.

Dad29 said...

WallyWorld will have trouble obtaining "other suppliers" b/c Wally World screwed its US suppliers to the wall before dumping them for the pretty Chinese lady.

Memory is long. US based suppliers hate them, and it's NOT all about price. Their return policies are horrible (to the suppliers), too. They'll stretch their payables (just like GE does) into the next century if possible.

This will be interesting.

WhatIfWeAllCared? said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tal Hartsfeld said...

Disrupting the ecosystems of society's commercial, institutional, and social functioning will ultimately turn out to be the actual pandemic.