From This Collection

This manufacturer sees little improvement in snarled global supply chains

Apr 26, 2022
“It’s the kind of stuff that keeps you awake at night,” said Teresa Asbury, a senior executive at the Legacy Cos.
Pandemic lockdowns in China are stacking more challenges onto overloaded shipping networks.
Sameer Al-Doumy/AFP via Getty Images

Prices will remain high, California warehouse owner predicts

Dec 16, 2021
David Erlanger is dealing with shipping delays and price increases the likes of which he hasn’t seen in his decades in the business.
David Erlanger at his main warehouse in Riverside, California. Business is good, but the conditions are challenging, he said.
Andie Corban/Marketplace

"There’s a limit to what I can do,” says owner of trucking company at center of shipping logjam

Dec 9, 2021
“Drayage” might not be a household word, but it’s a critical link in global supply chains.
Francia and Antonio Cortez own A&F Transportation, a short-haul trucking company. A&F is one small part of a complex system that moves goods around the world.
Richard Cunningham/Marketplace

How the shipping container revolutionized freight and trade

Nov 23, 2021
Before the shipping container, goods were manually loaded into barrels and wooden creates.
Malcolm McLean realized it didn’t make sense to put entire trucks on a ship, so he came up with the container system.

Using “queuing theory” to understand supply chain logjams

Nov 16, 2021
"We can use some fancy math to predict how long the line will get," Keely Croxton of Ohio State says, then apply it to related problems.
According to logistics expert Keely Croxton, the mathematical formulas that explain wait times at an ATM can be applied to global supply chains.
Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP via Getty Images

With shipping costs sky-high, is importing products even worth it?

Nov 8, 2021
For some businesses, the answer is no, but it depends on the value of the product in question.
With costly manufacturing and delayed shipping timelines, the value of certain products is shifting in the eyes of retailers. Above, people watch a container ship at the Port of Los Angeles.
Mario Tama via Getty Images

How a container storage yard fits into our global shipping crunch

Oct 27, 2021
Some containers have been sitting in storage for years. Experts say the problem has more to do with moving them to the right places than increasing the number in circulation.
Sales manager Carlos Carrillo at ConGlobal Industries' container storage depot. After unloading, he said, "they terminate here before they go out back to China or wherever it may be.”
Andie Corban/Marketplace

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Why everything is “out of stock” right now

Oct 11, 2021
Four charts and a new series to help you understand ongoing product shortages.
Patrick Baranic, general manager of the Marine Exchange of Southern California, discusses the delays at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach with “Marketplace’s” Kai Ryssdal.
Maria Hollenhorst/Marketplace

Pay or delay: Importers caught in shipping backup face limited options

Oct 8, 2021
“There’s nothing I can do,” said India Hynes, CEO of appliance importer Vinotemp.
Stacks of shipping containers at the Port of Oakland in California. "Containers aren't unloaded at the port level, and the factories are hesitant to produce," laments India Hynes, CEO of Vinotemp.
Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

Here's another shortage to add to the list: paint

Sep 29, 2021
Ryan Amato of Ryan Amato Painting in Easton, Pennsylvania, talks us through the challenges.
Thanks to labor shortages and a lack of resin, paint is in short supply.
Ming Yeung/Getty Images