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The customs business has become all about handling the unexpected

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A semi-truck in front of colorful stacks of shipping containers.

"There hasn't been a lot of warning to some of the issues that have happened, and we've just had to make do," Gretchen Blough says of the customs business. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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For customs broker Gretchen Blough, business has been a “little crazy.” And Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — and the disruptions it’s caused to the global supply chain — are only part of the problem.

“The port in Shanghai has been closed,” said Blough, who works at Logistics Plus in Erie, Pennsylvania. “There’s been capacity issues domestically. Also, we are dealing with some anti-dumping and countervailing issues with solar panels, so our solar customers are kind of in a holding pattern while they decide how this is going to play out.”

For Blough, change has become the norm. “Everything is just a constant pivot,” she said. “Because there hasn’t been a lot of warning to some of the issues that have happened, and we’ve just had to make do.”

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