"U.S. Consumers Feel Effect Of High Shipping Rates And Delays On Purchase"

Shipping port delays continue to be a key factor in supply chain challenges across the country. West Coast ports remain a constant problem, with more than 90 ships waiting for berths at the Port of Los Angeles. The average waiting time for a vessel within 40 nautical miles at the Port of Los Angeles is 3,5 days. Business hours are now 24/7 at the port, which has resulted in a significant decrease in container dwell times at the port since October. In addition, high trucking fees, a shortage of truck drivers and winter weather continue to affect the produce sector, as well as other sectors.

Consumers are feeling the pinch when they shop for groceries, with higher prices and limited supplies of some items. Retail establishments such as restaurants, which were seeing activity levels beginning to improve, have seen a significant drop in recent weeks with the impact of the omicron variant.

Crossings of Mexican blueberries through Arizona, California and Texas are expected to increase. Trade has been very active due to limited competition from Chilean fruit. Prices for 170 gram containers are higher and 387 gram containers are unchanged. It is reported that the quality and condition of the berries Mexicans are variable. The movement of Chilean blueberry imports by ship through various East Coast and West Coast ports of entry is expected to increase as the harvest in Chile increases.

Trade at East Coast ports of entry is subdued, with the first FOB price report issued this week. Supplies entering West Coast ports are still in too few hands to establish a market. Chilean blueberries continue to be delayed at West Coast ports, especially the Port of Los Angeles. Movement of Peruvian blueberry imports arriving via Philadelphia and New York City and through Southern California ports by boat is expected to slow as the season draws to a close. There is talk of good quality in general for this end of the season.

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