COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Bananas will continue to be on supermarket shelves, but consumer goods from Asia may be missing.
“We know that [there’s] congestion at the Port of Long Beach in Los Angeles, and it’s not going to get better,” said Tony Taviano, a fruit broker with B&B Imports in Visalia, California, who hails from Ohio.
“Consumer goods from Asia — whether it’s from China, Vietnam, Japan, Korea — whatever, it doesn’t matter. There’s going to be empty shelves or limited availability on those goods in retailers in November and December.”
Taviano says the delays are due to a severe shortage of truck drivers across the U.S., affecting rail loading and unloading, and highway trucking. He predict delays will continue into late spring of 2022.
“There’s only so many drivers. And part of the problem here in California is the delays in getting commercial driver’s licenses, and you have to be cleared by Homeland Security to be in these sensitive areas, and that takes time.”
Drivers dropped out of the logistics chain during the pandemic, and it will take time to get them back to work.
Big retailers are bringing in their own ships and chartering wide-bodied aircraft.
“And will be flying as much as they can back and forth to Asia, to backfill goods for retailers for the Christmas season,” Taviano said.
But you won’t be seeing shortages of bananas, says Taviano, because they come in through Gulf Port, Mississippi, and Wilmington, North Carolina.
And of course, if you buy local for Christmas, you’ll being doing best of all.