And on The port of Los Angeles has just moved 24 hours a day, right?
Biden pushed them toward. And the problem is that every time someone eliminates one bottleneck, another becomes obvious. So they switched to 24/7 operations, but the CEO of Flexport [a shipping logistics company]Ryan Peterson sent some people to investigate and found out that trucks do not show up during night shifts when the boarders are working. So this 24/7 thing didn’t really help because you don’t have enough truck drivers who come to pick up these containers.
Why is this happening? Well, because this market is also fucked up for a million reasons. Part of this is that there is simply not enough storage capacity for all these goods. The amount of available capacity in Inland Empire warehouses, where these goods go before being transferred to long-haul trucks, has dropped to around 3%. So the ports have so many containers that it is blocked. The warehouses where these goods go have so much material that it is stagnant. It’s like the highway in LA at rush hour.
And we have not even reached the step where the goods are sent to customers.
This is the level of performance that is Amazon’s warehouses and delivery to the last mile, such as UPS, FedEx and special Amazon truck drivers. They are dealing with a difficult crisis, plus there are simply not enough trucks and storage capacity. The old promise “you’ll get your goods tomorrow” has actually just evaporated for many deliveries.
So, in principle, all this system that we are so used to – endless variety and will be delivered tomorrow – is so beyond its built capacity and ability to expand that you see reduced inventory, reduced choice or [goods being entirely] not available. Part of that is a quote-without quote, “great resignation,” which really isn’t a big resignation. People just say to themselves, “Okay, I have my incentives. I will wait. I’m going to be picky about what kind of job to take on, and maybe I don’t want to go back to work for Uncle Bezos, because it’s a pretty brutal environment. “
I was doing some math on the back of the envelope, trying to figure this out – if they had to sort a packet every 14 seconds for a 10-hour shift, that’s thousands of packets a day.
They get half an hour for lunch and two breaks of 15 minutes each. Yes [it’s] nine hours of absolutely solid work at the maximum pace you can maintain essentially.
When you describe a ship going from China to LA, you use the word “efficient.” Is that what you mean in terms of energy consumption? Because to me that sounds like an environmental nightmare.
If we could locate these supply chains and make them work, of course, that would be better. Although the highest cost of delivery from Texas to China is the price of fuel, it is generally very low because these ships are so gigantic. It is literally the size of the Empire State Building, laid on the side. There are up to 10,000 40-foot containers. Each container can hold 50,000 pounds of goods. Once you put so much on a ship, the amount of fuel it costs to move any of these objects is minimal. It’s a lot more fuel to drive it from the store to your home, honestly. Because you get in a two-ton vehicle to drive your shoes from Foot Locker.