Economists expect shipping problems to linger well into 2022


Shipping backups at big U.S. ports, and the resulting goods shortages and price surges, are not likely to resolve themselves until well into 2022, according to economists and some business leaders who have spoken recently.

Some 77 ships are waiting outside docks in Los Angeles and Long Beach, California, carrying $24 billion worth of goods looking to find their way into the American ecosystem, according to Goldman Sachs.

The pressures are feeding into the economy, putting constraints on everything from grocery stores to big manufacturers. Prices for consumer and wholesale goods are soaring. The trends are expected to create an inflationary holiday season with the potential for fewer goods under Christmas trees.

Those looking for good shipping news anytime soon aren’t likely to receive it.

“Backlogs and elevated shipping costs are likely to persist at least through the middle of next year because no immediate solution for the underlying supply-demand imbalance at US ports is available,” Goldman economist Ronnie Walker said in a note to clients.

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