The head of the U.S.’s biggest port said supply-chain disruptions are likely to take until at least the end of next year to subside.
“It’s going to take us some time via the volume of cargo coming in—it’s still very strong,” Port of Los Angeles Director Gene Seroka said in an interview on Bloomberg Radio Tuesday.
He expects a peak ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday in February, with American importers typically booking January orders well in advance to restock inventories before Chinese factories and ports reduce activity for the festival. Also, retailers and home-improvement companies plan to replenish stocks to boost inventory-to-sales ratios that are at the lowest since 2011, he said. “I see this going to the end of at least 2022, but we’re making small, incremental gains.”
Despite efforts to ease congestion, long delays continue at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which combine to handle 40% of the U.S.’s inbound containers.