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Small retailers brace for shortages amid supply chain woes: “Worrying sign that things are getting worse”

President Biden is due to meet with industry executives and port directors on Wednesday to resolve a supply chain issue that could impact the next one holiday season.

Several of the companies and stakeholders Biden meets, such as Walmart, FedEx and UPS, will announce that they will move to 24/7 operations to help clear congestion.

Supply chain problems stem from unloaded shipping containers and ships piling up in ports and a shortage of truck drivers to transport products.

Carly McGinnis is the COO of a California-based toy company that struggles to fulfill orders as its products are trapped in the Port of Long Beach. McGinnis’ team considered taking drastic measures to get them back.

“Charter a helicopter to come and try to remove the container from the shipyard. We also discussed renting a U-Haul to unload it ourselves,” McGinnis told CBS News’s Weijia Jiang.

Thousands of containers are stranded because the ships carrying them have nowhere to go.

“It’s like taking 10 lanes of highway traffic and cutting them down to five,” said Gene Seroka, Port of Los Angeles Executive director.

Ports across the country face similar bottlenecks. In March 2020, restrictions related to COVID caused ports to reduce their capacity.

As the economy rebounds, more products must be imported, but on the ground, trucks cannot move them quickly enough, in part due to a shortage of drivers.

The Biden administration is working with states to speed up the process to get trucking licenses faster.

Ryan Petersen, who runs a tech company for global logistics, says help can’t come soon enough.

“In any complex system where you see the same input leading to increasingly long delays, that’s a very worrying sign that things are getting worse,” Petersen said.

With less supply on the shelves, prices are skyrocketing.

But Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told CBS Evening News anchor and editor Norah O’Donnell that consumers don’t need to panic before the holidays.

“I think there is no reason for consumers to panic about not having any products they will want to buy this Christmas. And retailers are working hard to make sure they have the products that the consumers want. people will want to buy, ”Yellen mentioned.