Skip to comments.America’s Supply Chain Is In Shutdown: “Could Derail The Economy Completely”
Posted on 02/13/2015 12:01:05 AM PST by SatinDoll
A massive shutdown of Americas supply chain is now in progress because of a labor dispute between dockworkers and their employers. The average dock worker, according to Zero Hedge, makes about $145,000 per year plus some $80,000 per year in benefits, but apparently their overtime pay is insufficient, which has led to widespread strikes at the nations busiest ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach.
The ports are now being partially shut down for at least the next four days, but the months-long dispute has already led to hundreds of container ships and tractor-trailers being left in limbo (see pictures below).
Though the strike has been off the radar for most, analysts suggest that the dispute is so severe that it could lead to widespread shortages of imported goods and mass layoffs in periphery industries, especially retail chains which will have limited amounts of goods to sell until a resolution is found.
The Retail Industry Leaders Association who, realizing that failure to reach an agreement between the dockworker union and their bosses, the Pacific Maritime Association representing port management would lead to devastating consequences for the US retail industry, had several very damning soundbites:
a work slowdown during contract negotiations over the past seven months has already created logistic nightmares for American exporters, manufacturers and retailers dependent on an efficient supply chain. A complete shutdown would be catastrophic, with hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk if Americas supply chain grinds to a halt. A west coast port shutdown would be an economic disaster. A shutdown would not only impact the hundreds of thousands of jobs working directly in Americas transportation supply chain, but the reality is the entire economy would be impacted as exports sit on docks and imports sit in the harbor waiting for manufacturers to build products and retailers to stock shelves.
And the punchline: The slowdown is already making life difficult, but a shutdown could derail the economy completely.
The situation, according to the Retail Industry Leaders Association, is dire:
A work slowdown during contract negotiations over the past seven months has already created logistic nightmares for American exporters, manufacturers and retailers dependent on an efficient supply chain. A complete shutdown would be catastrophic, with hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk if Americas supply chain grinds to a halt.
The shutdown is a sight to behold. Hundreds of transport ships with thousands of containers of cargo are not being allowed into ports to unload their goods.
Cargoes from around the world are backed up as evidenced by the following aerial photos from Mike Kelley:
It was one of the most exciting experiences Ive had doing aerial photography being that far out at sea, with the huge swells underneath you, and these massive, massive container ships everywhere was like living a scene out of Walter Mittys life.
The labor union and employers will eventually come to an agreement, perhaps with Presidential involvement, but a prolonged strike will, as noted above, have a disastrous impact on the economy.
Were written before about what life will look like in the event of a transportation shutdown in Just In Time: When The Trucks Stop, America Stops. As we noted then, a transportation shutdown can lead to nearly immediate and catastrophic consequences.
It appears that this is what is happening now and the effects on a consumer-based economy could be devastating across the board.
Weve often recommended to readers that they stock up on emergency supplies simply because sometimes unplanned events happen. The current port shutdown is a limited event, but given that even this could lead to serious economic problems and job losses, its not a stretch of the imagination to suggest that in a real emergency the shutdown of transportation systems on a national level would lead to a total breakdown and panic within days, perhaps even a few hours.
The reality is that 99% of Americans are not prepared for a sustained shutdown of transportation systems and supply lines. There would be no food or gas to be had. As The Preppers Blueprint author Tess Pennington highlights in Anatomy of a Breakdown, once peaceful streets and neighborhoods would quickly be besieged by looters looking for resources.
When the needs of the population cannot be met in an allotted time frame, a phenomena occurs and the mindset shifts in people. They begin to act without thinking and respond to changes in their environment in an emotionally-based manner, thus leading to chaos, instability and a breakdown in our social paradigm.
It is for these unforeseen circumstances that we urge Americans to prepare for the worst. The last thing you want to be doing is looking for food and other essential supplies after a supply shutdown has occurred.
They're doing a good job of destroying the economy. My two kids living with me can't find jobs.
This is exactly why we prepared for a nation-wide shutdown.
If this happened under a republican the press would be crucifying them and this would be the top story every night until the left got him to cave.
Under comrade muslim obama, nothing.
Damn, my Walmart is gonna run out of cheap, plastic, chinese crap. What will I do?
That kinda was my first thought also. What is coming into those ports that America really needs?
well, if you have to scrape by with a measly $225,000 a year job, you’d be Mad As Hell, too!
Down with The PIgs!
Workers of the World, Unite!!!!!!
(oops? What’s that you say? There aren’t many workers left after 6 years of Obama?!!)
those ports also ship whatever-little=we-still-make, out to markets all around the world
This is DESIGNED! It is what the media and Dems are going to use to explain the COLLAPSE of Obama’s “dream economy”!!!
Zerocare is at the heart of this. The heavy tax on quality medical plans has pushed the costs so high they can’t afford Cadillac care for the union rank and file any more. I noticed this article conveniently leaves this little tidbet of truth out. I’m shock, shocked to see such an oversight. (That’s sarcasm in case you did not catch my gist).
Plastic crap should be the least of your worries; how about, “NO FOOD”.
Which is exactly the meaning of my tagline. The most important thing to have in catastrophe is...
Time for some rum runners and moonshiners to take on a modern mission.
So will your home depot, office depot, Macy’s, your malls, best buys...
1. I was being sarcastic.
2. I've got enough food and water for months of not having to go to the grocery store.
The military will be shipping food if it comes down to that; our overlords learned from the French & Russian Revolutions that hungry people can accomplish anything politically, and have bought peace in our poorest areas with free food for decades.
Apparently China has become the source for all sorts of processed food ingredients.
A lot of auto parts and other small parts and assemblies. Many companies have embraced “Just in time” deliveries and carry little to no inventory. The impact will be felt quickly.
Could very well be but they’ll need to create a Republican connection. Wait, they already have a Capitalist connection. That might be better....
When I was growing up in New Jersey one of my friend’s father was a dock worker. Every day I would see him sitting outside in a lawn chair, a quart of Budweiser in his hand. He would drink a case a day. I learned that his contract stated that if the company was still in business they were making money so they had to pay him full salary whether they needed him or not. He went in to work perhaps once or twice a year until I moved away to college. That was one heck of a contract he had.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.