If you go to the coast of Southern California and look out to sea, you can easily find dozens of container ships docked at the port and wait for their goods to unload.
The Wall Street Journal headlined, “Cargo piles up as California ports the luxury reserve to hostel.” Subhead: “U.S. shipping operations are stuck because ports, truckers and warehouses can’t find enough staff or agree to 24/7 operations.”
This happens again and again when the port union goes on strike. This time there are different reasons: supply disruption from the Covid-1 lockdown last year and possible new lockdown.
Randall O’Toole told me, “It will take a long time to clean up, even getting everyone back to work”; He is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute working on urban growth, public land, and transportation.
He gave this analogy: You are driving on the freeway, 60 miles per hour traffic is flowing freely. Then it goes from bumper to bumper. You have never seen the cause of recession. But someone in front of you had to slow down – perhaps to avoid a rabbit jumping in front of a car. The first car was moving at 60 miles per hour, but at a slower speed of 59 miles per hour. Then the car behind him had to slow down to 58 miles per hour. The third car is 57 miles per hour. Etc.
“Everyone is in a jam,” he said. “But in the end it became clear. So it was with the port.”
Last year, the Covid-1 lockdown caused people to cut costs, so less imports were needed at the port. The lockdown is over (we hope), the demand has increased, but the top capacity of the ports has not expanded. So container ships remain on the coast, waiting to sail to ports and reduce increased demand.
This is similar to the problem of rental cars. During the peak coveted in 2020, rental companies were virtually gifting cars. Hertz went bankrupt, but Avis “tried hard” (as his old ad used it), and didn’t. Most rental companies leave a large number of vehicles in the rental market.
Now, according to the Detroit News, rental car prices have skyrocketed, “because the epidemic is causing a shortage of supplies.” The car reported directly, “The price of a used car may not be normal until 20224.”
California is not the only area due to port problems. The port of New Orleans reopened on September 2 after being closed for three days during Hurricane Eder. Business Insider 2 reported September 26, “Dozens of cargo ships are waiting on the New York coast amid a shortage of port workers and growing demand for goods.”
The 3.5 3.5.5 trillion infrastructure bill – which in itself causes traffic congestion – could give Congress some relief in the future. Final numbers including total are indefinite. But Sept. Sept., Transportation Matters wrote, “In particular, the budget reconciliation bill will dedicate 2.5 2.5 billion to maritime administration for support chain resilience, traffic congestion reduction and port coastal air infrastructure development.”
However, O’Toole warned that Congress has a habit of spending money on wrongdoing.
“The whole motivation of the infrastructure bill is that we are assuming that there is an infrastructure,” he said. “It simply came to our notice then. Private infrastructure is basically in good condition. Tax-supported infrastructure that is in poor condition. Members of Congress want new infrastructure, not maintenance of existing infrastructure. ”
Regarding the port’s finances, he said: “I doubt that much of this money will go to the Gulf Coast ports. This is because the expansion of the Panama Canal has allowed a lot of shipping to go to Ft instead of the west coast. Lauderdale or New Orleans. Those places will ask for money to expand the port. ”
From 2009 to 2001, the new Panama Canal project, called the Extended Canal, greatly increased the size of the container ships it could handle. This allows larger shipping to flow directly from Asia to the east coast of the United States, avoiding transportation across the west coast and across the continent.
The wide canal has intensified competition between the west coast port and the east coast.
O’Toole said the best solution would be to shift from government-run transport projects, such as airports and seaports, to personal benefits, depending on user fees. Private facilities must maintain their infrastructure to maintain customer satisfaction. Most government-run airports in the United States have become so dull that they have become an international embarrassment.
But privatization is something for the future. For now, ships at sea are waiting for a port, another Covid-1 event.
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times