COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Shortages in stores are likely to be with us through 2022, and perhaps even into 2023, but Rickenbacker airport cargo planes are unloading and distributing essential supplies.

“The disruptions to the supply chain really started in late 2019, when the pandemic first started in Asia … as soon as they started shutting factories down overseas, and sending people home,” said Bryan Schreiber, Manager of Air Cargo Business Development for the Columbus Regional Airport Authority.

“You hear a lot about the West Coast ports and the ships sitting off of the bay out there. It’s not just that, it really starts where the production is, and there have been shutdowns of factory production areas, there’ve been shutdowns of ports overseas. And that kind of ripples through the supply chain … they’ve been on and off as the COVID variants rise and fall,” Schreiber explained.

As of Monday, in southern California, there were 62 ships berthed at the two ports and 81 waiting to dock and unload, according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California in a NewsNation Now article which also stated the Long Beach port has been operating 24 hours daily for seven days for roughly the past three weeks.

Worldwide shortages of supplies for stores and manufacturers could continue well into 2022, and even into 2023, says Schreiber who predicts the situation will right itself when the pandemic wanes.

“As the pandemic wanes, and people are all fully back to work overseas, and we have enough people here to move the freight around that are back to work, it’ll abate. But I don’t see that happening until late 2022 if not 2023.”

Columbus is an important node for logistics, with goods like auto components, textiles, and medical supplies flowing through Rickenbacker airport.

“Columbus is ideally situated in the eastern half of the US to reach the greatest amount of the population base within a one-day truck drive. So it’s really an ideal distribution center. It’s a logistics powerhouse in the Midwest serving most of the eastern part of the United States.

“So we are a relief valve of sorts and a growing importance for national supply chain security. But Columbus, Ohio, is a very important node for logistics and transportation,” said Schreiber.